Love One Another

When Al-Masih realized that His earthly mission was about to reach its climax, He spent some very private moments with His close disciples. During that time He tried to prepare them for His death, which was soon to take place. He lovingly tried to encourage them with words that their grief would eventually turn to joy. He spoke much about the love of the “Father” and His own love for them, His disciples. Then he left them with this important instruction, which has been the distinctive mark of His true followers ever since:

As the “Father” has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my “Father’s” commands and remain in His love….My command is this: Love each other as I have love you.

Injil, John 15:9,10,12

As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples.

Injil, John 13:34,35

The Law of Love

If you examine the teachings and deeds of Isa Al-Masih, you discover that the main ingredient of all he did and said was love. He taught his disciples that one could observe all the essentials of the moral law simply by adhering to the law of love.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Injil, Matthew 22:37-40

For example, the Law (Shariah of Musa) forbids idolatry and the abusive use of Allah’s name. However, if one loves Allah with all his heart, surely he will have no desire to worship any other. Furthermore, he will be careful to guard the name of Allah with utmost reverence. The Law also forbids such things as murder, theft, and giving false witness. However, if one truly loves his neighbor, surely he will not want to kill him, or steal from him, or tell lies about him. The Holy Scriptures speak of such love as fulfilling the law in this manner:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Injil, Romans 13:8-10

My friend, when you become a follower of the Way, who is Al-Masih, you must not only have a right relationship with Allah, you must also have a right relationship with the people around you. Both of these relationships are to be established in the bonds of love, which is now in your heart by the Spirit of Allah. The Scriptures clearly warn the believer that he cannot claim to love Allah if he is unable or unwilling to love his fellowman:

If anyone says “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has never seen….Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Injil, I John 4:20-21

The Performance of Works Without Love

There are some people who profess to be extremely religious and are quick to display their long list of good works. However, the Holy Scriptures warn us that unless these good works are motivated purely by love, they are worthless. Remember, some people perform good works only to be seen by others or to earn religious merit for themselves. Neither is acceptable in the eyes of Allah, who is able to detect the hidden motives of each one of us! Allah desires a much purer love. He desires genuine love from a heart that has been purified through faith in Al-Masih.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

Injil, I Peter 1:22

Read carefully now the following description of godly love that is found in the Injil Kitab, the Book of Good News; truly this is the most excellent way:

And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Injil, I Corinthians 12:31-13:8

The Preaching of Love Without Works

Besides people who do works that are void of genuine love, there are others who preach about genuine love but fail to do works! The Scriptures clearly warn that it is not enough to simply talk about love. If we truly love one another, then we must show it. Our words and our faith must be proven by our actions. Otherwise our love is false. It is not the kind of pure love that Al-Masih speaks of when telling his followers to “love one another.” He proved his love by giving his life. We must prove our love likewise by the outward demonstration of good works.

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Injil, I John 3:17-18

What good is it, my brother, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Injil, James 2:14-17

The Love That Cares for Fellow Believers

As a believer in Al-Masih, your first priority of love, of course, is Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate. All that you do in life will now be motivated by your desire to love Him and serve Him with all of your heart. Next, you will feel a deepening love for Al-Masih Isa who led you into this new wonderful experience in the first place! Then you will feel a special attraction and love toward other followers of Al-Masih who have likewise joined the divine royal family and become “children of God.”

Just as you hold a special affection for your own true brothers and sisters, now you will hold a special affection for your spiritual brothers and sisters. Your common identity in Al-Masih will help you love one another. The visible demonstration of this love will bear witness to the community of believers, the people of the Way (ahl al-tariqa).

You must remember, however, that the members of this worldwide community come from a great variety of cultural and religious backgrounds. Many of them will be very different from you. Despite the many differences, you are all united by this one common identity: you are followers of Isa Al-Masih and you seek to obey His commands that rise above the bounds of culture to unite man on a higher plane – the plane of love for Allah and love for fellowman.

The Love That Respects Others

Al-Masih clearly taught that we become members of the kingdom of Allah not by what we do, but by what we are on the inside. Allah is spirit; He searches for spiritual purity and not the purity of outward customs and rituals. Allah looks for the heart that has been transformed from the old to the new!

The LORD does not look at the things a man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Writings of the Prophts, I Samuel 16:7

As a follower of Al-Masih, you are warned to be careful about judging your brother and sister in the faith. The following scriptures offer further teaching to help believers respect and accept one another and to help them meditate upon the more important matters of the Spirit:

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day….Since, then, you have been raised with Christ (Al-Masih), set your heart on things above, where Christ (Al-Masih) is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Injil, Colossians 2:16; 3:1-2

Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another….For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit,….Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.

Injil, Romans 14:13, 17, 19

The Love That Brings Unity

We know, of course, that Al-Masih did not come to bring disunity among the brothers and sisters of the faith. He came to tear down the walls of prejudice and hatred; he came to put an end to communal hostility and bitter rivalry; he came to bring peace to the inner man, which is the only way to provide peace to the outer man. The Scriptures declare:

For he (Al-Masih) is our peace, who has made the two (communities) one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility….His purpose was to create in himself one new man (community) out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. For through him (Al-Mashi) we both have access to the “Father” by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus (Al-Masih Isa) as the chief cornerstone. In him (Al-Masih Isa) the whole building (community) is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him (Al-Masih Isa) you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.

Injil, Ephesians 2:14-16, 18-22

The Love That Provides Encouragement

In loving one another, it was the duty of the early disciples to care for each other and to strengthen one another in the faith. Some of them endured great persecution and hardship. Some became discouraged. Others were being seduced by the false teachings of various religious sects. Shaitan intensified his attacks upon the early believers in an effort to overtake their hearts and destroy their new faith in Al-Masih. As a result, the followers banded together and often met to worship Allah and to receive instruction and encouragement from each other. This became an important part of fulfilling the command to “love one another.”

As a new believer, Shaitan will also try to attack you. He will try to bring discouragement and doubt. He will do all he can to destroy your new life in Al-Masih. That is why it is important for you as well to band together with other believers.

Remember that loving or caring for one another is a matter that requires at least two people. When you find someone, you will discover that not only will that person be of special help and encouragement to you, but you will be of special help and encouragement to him. The fountain of godly love that is within you must be allowed to flow outward. When you seek opportunities to help another “brother” or “sister,” your heart will be blessed. You will be blessed not only when that person cares for you; you will be doubly blessed when you care for him. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures instruct the believers to fellowship and worship together, for the strengthening of their faith:

Le the word of Christ (Al-Masih) dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Injil, Colossians 3:16

The Love for Unbelievers

It is not enough to love one another in the faith, we must also love those outside the faith. For was this not the same kind of love that compelled Allah to send a Savior to save us? At that time, we were not believers; we were sinners!

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ (Al-Masih) died for us.

Injil, Romans 5:8

Yes, our love must reach out to everyone: to strangers, prisoners, and even enemies! For the law of love surpasses the limitations of human nature. And we are now subject to this law if the Spirit of Allah rules in our hearts. Thus the Scriptures give us the following instructions:

Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers….Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Injil, Hebrews 13:1-3

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be “sons of your Father” in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous….Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly “Father” is perfect.

Injil, Matthew 5:44,45,48

The Love in the Home

As a believer and follower of the Way, your love for others will be reflected in the home toward your family members and any house-helpers. Notice how the Holy Scriptures provide instructions in this regard so that your love will not be lacking:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ (Al-Masih) loved the church (community of believers) and gave himself up for her.

Injil, Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Injil, I Peter 3:7

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Injil, Colossians 3:19

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Injil, I Peter 3:1-4

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Injil, Colossians 3:21

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Injil, Ephesians 6:4

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother.

Injil, Ephesians 6:1-2

Masters, provide your slaves (servants) with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Injil, Colossians 4:1

Al-Masih Isa came to reveal Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate. As a follower, you likewise will be concerned about mercy and compassion. In fact, the Quran mentions this distinct identity of the followers of Al-Masih Isa. They are seen as “helpers of God.” If they are helpers of God, and if God is merciful and compassionate, surely they will reflect this wonderful love of God.

When Jesus (Isa) found unbelief on their part, he said, “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) God?” Said the disciples: “We are God’s helpers, we believe in God and do thou bear witness that we are muslims (ones submitted to Allah’s will). Our Lord! We believe in what Thou has revealed, and we follow the Apostle (Jesus).”

Quran, Surat-u ali-Imran (3):52,53

We (Allah) sent after them (the prophets) Jesus the son of Mary (Isa ibnu Maryam), and bestowed on him the Gospel (Injil); and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy.

Quran, Surat-ul Hadid (57):27

Let us now summarize this matter of love with this passage of scripture from Injil Kitab:

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ (Al-Masih) rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

Injil, Colossians 3:12-15

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