One of the great tragedies of the history of Christianity is our division–within local churches, denominations, and the faith as a whole. Truth matters, and we need to make a stand for the truth; yet divisions are hardly a good witness for the gospel. After all, one of the repeated messages of the New Testament is the call for believers to love one another.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22, NIV).
Love for the family of faith comes from the gospel. God’s sanctifying work, which we receive by faith, gives us that love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. As usual, the apostle Peter takes this redemptive reality and shows the ethical force: God has given you love for the church, so love the church.
And this love is not simply a matter of outward appearance. God cares not only about behavior, but about our hearts. He desires to form in us a heart-holiness, a heart-love that we then live out.
Love is the ethic of faith, the sign and witness of the work of God. It begins at home, with the family of faith. Christians, love one another.