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Can We Be Christians Without Love?

Have you ever met someone who said they were a Christian and was just mean
and nasty? The Bible spares no words when covering the topic of love. In fact, to
understand our role as Christians we must understand the one whose name we wear –
Christ.

How important is it for Christians to emulate Christ? John wrote, “Now by this
we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know
Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But
whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that
we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He
walked” (1 John 2:3-6).

To claim Christianity means we claim the lifestyle that our Lord lived. Consider
what Paul wrote when he said, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism
into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even
so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). From the moment one comes
up out of the waters of baptism he begins to walk a new life.

Yes, it may be easier sometimes to be nasty, but when one makes the decision to
become a “follower of Christ”, or someone who walks after Christ walked, they make the
decision to love as he loved. Christ himself said, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let
him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34). Denying self takes
great patience and determination. It is that death that Paul spoke of in Romans 6. It is
keeping His word and His commandments (1 John 2). It is what one should mean when
he says the words “I am a Christian.”

To summarize this thought process John writes, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we
also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11). Could it be any simpler than that? Christ’s
preaching was to many different types of people, yet he always called out hypocrisy
when he saw it (Luke 11:44, 12:56). Would he call out someone’s hypocrisy on
judgement day if they stood before him claiming Christianity with a lifetime of hatred to
show for it?

 

-Evan Manning-

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