As I Have Loved You

God’s commandments are God’s enablings. God has commanded us to love one another as He has loved us. Immediately we must turn away in disappointment, “But I am not God that I can love like Him.” Who does He think I am God? Yes, actually He does. He has made every one whom He has redeemed to be like Him, to be found in the fullness of the likeness of the Son.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12.

“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col. 2:9. When you are operating in the spirit, when you are depending upon Him, when you have died to Self and this world and its lure and lusts, then you remain in Him. Then you abide, then you are like Him.

God, here through the disciple and Apostle John, tells us how we can love like that. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35. The secret is in remembering and recalling how He has loved us.

How has God loved you? Magnanimously, joyously, profusely, unceasingly, sacrificially, prayerfully, specifically,personally, hopingly, self-denyingly, everlastingly, Fatherly, Motherly, Brotherly, Husbandly, Wifely, Neighborly, even as His enemy has He loved you.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8. We were and are and remian by no means loveable. If we had to rely on our own worthiness and lovliness, then we are to be among all men most pitied. We, you, I am not worthy. Never will be. Neither will your husband, wife, neighbor, boss, friend or enemy.

That is not how Jesus loved us. He loved us “while we were yet sinners”. How does that work? “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10. That’s how it works. God’s love for us has nothing at all to do with our loveliness or worthiness. That is how He loved us. That is how we are to love one another.

But, you say, “That is impossible.” “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27. With God, but with God with us — Emmanuel — “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me”. Phil. 4:13.

So God teaches how we are to love, but that is not all. He also gives us another powerful clue as to how we can love others. “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matt. 22:39. You may say and think, “But I do not always love myself.” But oh, you do. You always forgive yourself. Think of all the ways you express mercy to yourself.

You are always forgiving yourself, always justifying yourself. You use many methods to make you OK with you. You find another to blame for your action or the way you are, You find a way to make it OK that you are that way and said that thing that you should not have. No, you always find ways to forgive and grant to yourself the mercy you must have.

Of course there are those who have become immune to their conscience and or that grieve the Holy Spirit’s promptings by their pride. They do not allow themselves to accept that they are wrong and thereby never experience a broken and contrite heart. They just gloss over their own wrong-doing. Oh, but they do love themselves. They love themselves immensely.

So that is how you are to love others — as yourself — as Christ loved you. But, you rebuttal, “They are mean and despicable, hurtful and knowingly wrong.” And the point is? Are not you mean, despicable, hurtful and knowingly wrong? You forgive you right? Forgive them also.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:… For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matt. 6:12-15.

But you say, “who can forgive sins but God only?” Mark 2:7. Exactly. Paul knew this and said,

“To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ.” 2 Cor. 2:10.

When you forgive yourself and grant yourself mercy and not judgment, then you are like God, forgiving sins. We know that you know how to do this. Now, go and be like God to your neighbors, forgiving them also.

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Cor. 5:19.

God has granted to us this ministry of reconciliation. He has granted to us that we be like Him, not holding men’s sins against them but forgiving them, as we have also been forgiven in Christ.

And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” Luke 10:37

As I have loved you, so love one another.