Paul’s weighty epistle to his beloved brothers and sisters in Rome is designed to focus our attention on our great salvation; our position as already justified, our conduct in the process of being sanctified, and our assured future of one day being glorified and made like unto Christ’s glorious body. As Paul draws his amazing treatise on salvation to a conclusion, he ends with a section on how to live the Christian life in a way that is pleasing to God.
He argues that in the light of the amazing grace of God that has been showered upon us all, and the manifold mercies He has poured upon all His children (including our past justification, our ongoing sanctification, and our future glorification), we should live a life that is worthy of our calling. Paul urges us to live a holy life, to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God, to be separated from the world, to be transformed into the likeness of Christ through the renewing of our minds, and to use the gifts, talents, abilities, and works (which God has foreordained that we should do), wisely, diligently, cheerfully, and in an attitude of love.
It is this attitude of godly love towards one another that comes to its climax with Paul’s exhortation to us all: “Love one another with brotherly affection and seek to outdo one another in showing your brothers and sisters in Christ, honour and respect.” All who profess to be Christians are called and commanded to love in the same way that Christ loved us. This is not a human love that we have to pump up from deep within ourselves, but is a supernatural love that is external to human emotions. It is the very love of God Himself, which is freely available to all believers and is freely given to those who are prepared to die to their own human natures, to take up their own cross daily, and to live the only life that is wholly acceptable to God – a spiritual life – a sacrificial life.
Such a life is available to us by means of the Holy Spirit and expressed through our new life in Christ, but only those who choose God-dependency over self-dependency can avail themselves of God’s love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God.” Let us love each another with brotherly affection and seek to outdo one another in showing honour and grace to all.
And we pray:
Loving Father, thank You for Your Love. I pray that You would pour Your godly Love into my heart so that Your Love may stream through me to all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to Love with brotherly affection and consider the needs of others before my own. I beseech You and I pray in Jesus’ name, AMEN.