The irreplaceable Christian virtue – Part 1

Pastor W. F. Kumuyi

Love is indispensable in the life and service of every Christian. It covers every aspect of the believer’s life and no child of God can make much progress in life and ministry without it. In interaction with other people at home, church, community, school or office, the believer is commanded to “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Thus, we should, as believers, constantly examine our motives and actions to ensure that they are borne out of love. Our relationship with others should bring joy, comfort and encouragement to them.

Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Corinthian brethren shows that love is more important than all the spiritual gifts being exercised in the present-day church. Great faith, acts of dedication or sacrifice, and miracle-working power produce very little without love. Love makes our actions and gifts useful. Our gifts, positions and activities in the church will be unprofitable, if God’s love is not at its foundation. Christian service demands love, and it is love shed abroad in our hearts.

Although everyone is created with natural love, believers possess spiritual love at salvation. This love increases and becomes deeper and richer with sanctification and Holy Ghost baptism experiences. Our love should supersede our knowledge and strength.

Everything we do in Christian service – preaching, teaching, giving, caring, evangelism, visitation, prayer and intercession – should be anchored on love. Love does not exist in isolation; neither is it passive. It is active, functional, practical, creative, proactive, thoughtful and transformational. Our love should be expressed in actions of affection, kindness, consideration and empathy. If our actions are propelled by love, it will benefit church, the society and us. True believers manifest pure and transparent love.

“Let love be without dissimulation…”. As believers, our love should be devoid of any form of deception. We should eschew any act or conduct that has the stain of sin. Thus, gossips, backbiting and negative criticism must be abhorred, as these can discourage or put down others. Every believer should be wary of a pretender like Saul, Joab, Judas Iscariot or Hushai, whose real motive is hidden. “When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.” To conceal envy or hatred in the heart against other people, while we pretend to love them is sheer hypocrisy that will attract God’s judgment, except there is repentance.

Further Reading (King James Version): Romans 12:9; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3; Romans 12:9; 1 Samuel 18:22,25; 2 Samuel 20:9,10; 16:15-19; Psalm 55:21; Proverbs 26:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:3; Romans 12:9; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8; Romans 5:1-5; Hebrews 6:10-12; 1 John 3:16-18; John 21:15-17.

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