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Steven A. Bush - November 9, 2014
Bound for Philadelphia
If Jesus' command for us to love one another isn't enough, Paul, Peter, and John offer plenty of additional reiterations in their epistles. While suggestions may leave some us wiggle room, commandments do not. Paul tells the churches in Rome and Galatia (and by extension us), that loving one another fulfills the law. He tells the church in Thessalonica that while brotherly love (Gk-philadelphia) is already present throughout the Macedonian churches, he urges them to love one another more and more. Peter exhorts believers to keep on loving each other earnestly, employing our gifts to serve one another in accordance with that love. And John, the former son of thunder turned apostle of love, writes in his first letter that if we claim to love God but hate our brother (or sister), we're liars. No wiggle room here. Back to Jesus' words at the Last Supper, found in John 13:34-35: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV) Looks like we're bound for philadelphia...