There is an obligation on Christians to love fellow Christians even to the point of death, as our Lord did (1John 3:6). This obligation to love one another sacrificially is spoken of in strong words. The Greek word for “ought” here is the verb ὀφειλω (opheilo, G3784), which means "to owe, be in debt; be bound by oath; be obligated, ought, must”. We are obligated and we owe it to God to love His children. Christian Love is not only something which the Lord demonstrated toward us, but also an obligation upon His people to demonstrate to each other. It is not something optional, something that we do when we are comfortable, but it is an obligation—something that is commanded of God. This love should be demonstrated to all the saints of God, especially those of our own congregation.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
(1 John 4:7)
- ^ Many Scriptural references have been supplied by Samuel Waldron's Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith which was apparently supplied by the Westminster Confession of Faith 1646.
- ^ Robert L. Dabney. Systematic Theology. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1985). pp. 612-613.
- a, b John Murray. Redemption: Accomplished and Applied. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 2015, original 1955). p. 171.
- ^ A. H. Strong. Systematic Theology: A Compendium Designed For The Use Of Theological Students. (London: Pickering & Inglis, 1970. Originally, 1907). p. 795.
- ^ Louis Berkhof. Systematic Theology. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Banner of Truth Trust. 1963). p. 449.
- ^ Dabney, Systematic Theology. p. 613. Colors and bold font added by me.
- ^ Marcus Peter Johnson. 10 Things You Should Know about Union with Christ. Crossway Blog, 2016.
- ^ Wayne Grudem. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994). p. 843. Emphasis original.
- ^ Ibid., p. 844. Emphasis original.
- ^ Strong, Systematic Theology. pp. 800-801.
- ^ Berkhof, Systematic Theology. pp. 450-451.
- ^ Murray, Redemption. pp. 174-175.
- ^ William D. Mounce. ὀφειλω.