Love is the hallmark of the Christian life, as this article explains.

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Loving is basic to Christian behavior🔗

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 trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

New Testament Christianity is essentially response to the revelation of the Creator as a God of love. God is a tripersonal Being who so loves ungodly humans that the Father has given the Son, the Son has given his life, and Father and Son together now give the Spirit to save sinners from unimaginable misery and lead them into unimaginable glory. Believing in and being overwhelmed by this amazing reality of divine love generates and sustains the love to God and neighbor that Christ’s two great commandments require (Matt. 22:35-40). Our love is to express our gratitude for God’s gracious love to us, and to be modeled on it (Eph. 4:32-5:2; 1 John 3:16).

The hallmark of Christian life is thus Christian love. The measure and test of love to God is wholehearted and unqualified obedience (1 John 5:3; John 14:15, 21, 23); the measure and test of love to our neighbors is laying down our lives for them (1 John 3:16; cf. John 15:12-13). This sacrificial love involves giving, spending, and impoverishing ourselves up to the limit for their well-being. Jesus’ story of the Samaritan’s kindness to the hated Jew stands as his model definition of neighbor-love (Luke 10:25-37).

Neighbor-love is profiled in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Its total lack of self-concern is breathtaking. Neighbor-love seeks the neighbor’s good, and the true measure of it is how much it gives to that end.

Love is a principle of action rather than of emotion. It is a purpose of honoring and benefiting the other party. It is a matter of doing things for people out of compassion for their need, whether or not we feel personal affection for them. It is by their active love to one another that Jesus’ disciples are to be recognized (John 13:34-35).

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