“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
I love John 15. I love how it explains my life’s purpose and the secret to fulfilling my reason for existence. How it shows me, using the analogy of the Vine and its branches, how I am the fruit-bearing part of Christ. The part of Him visible to the world. A part of Him that portrays His beauty and attributes. What a privilege!
I love how in very clear terms, without mincing words, Jesus summarizes my life’s assignment by saying ” You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that…” So just as an orange tree’s branches bend heavy with orange fruits, I , as a branch of Christ have been called to bear Christ-Fruit.
I also love how The Master doesn’t leave me wondering what this fruit is. In speaking of this fruit, in all the verses( 2,5,8) he uses the singular- Fruit. It’s beautiful to note that a tree can only produce one type of fruit. So just as an Orange tree has just orange fruits, I’ve been called to have Christ’s Fruits. Later in 1 John 4: 6- 16 this same theme would be explained. Clearly stating what fruit I am to bear.
What is the fruit of Christ? What makes Him who He is? “…for God is love.” Will you take a second to ponder on the full verse? It’s 1 John 4:8 ” But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” . All of 1 John 4 echoes this same theme- God is Love.
It’s beautiful how the words I would love to use to state the fruit I’m to bear is clearly expressed by Apostle John in 1John 4:7
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
Love is the fruit. Everything else springs from this. I love the link between love and the Holy Spirit and if you’ve wondered why the fruit of the spirit mentioned in Gal. 5:22 is not shown in these verses as the fruit we are to bear then it’s time to see what I noticed in 1 John 3:24.
“…And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us”.
It’s the Holy Spirit in us that bears this fruit through us. All the flavours mentioned in Gal. 5:22 spring from Love. It’s all one fruit. Having one source. We’ve been called to a lifetime of love.
So How Do We Love?
While it’s normal human reaction to want to take a command such as this and do our best to love others, the key to expressing the Christ-kind of love is written right there, right beside the command. It’s a gentle call, a whispered method, a clear answer to the ‘how’ of this assignment.
So you ask : How do I love like you Jesus? And He whispers back “As I have loved you”.
We can only love to the extent we’ve received Christ’s Love. Basically, You can’t give what you don’t have. And when it comes to the New creation in Christ, we’ve been called to rest. We fulfill purpose from the place of rest. We bear fruit by resting in Christ.
Love flows seamlessly from the one who dwells in Love. “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
To abide in Christ is to abide in His Word. John 15:7 clearly states that. A loving relationship has deep communication. To abide in Christ is to pray, to think about His word. To believe Him. It’s to believe Him when He says “I love you” even when you don’t exactly feel loveable.
When we learn to receive and appreciate Christ’s love even when we feel undeserving, we will find that it’s easy to love even our enemies. Unconditional love will flow through us and the fruit of Christ, the love we give will bring praises to the Father. And this will be possible because we’re reflecting the love he shines on , bathes us with. We’re not spelling love by our power, or effort, we are loving just as He has loved us.
John 15. I John 4.