We live in a world too often filled with hateful words that are divisive and not very loving. Is the Church any different? We should be.
Yes, we must stand for truth. We should uphold God’s holy standards. As we’ve noted in the last couple of posts, holiness and truth should characterize us to the core of our being and not merely form a verbal code of ethics. But, when that happens, we will also be people who love.
Bible Verses That Couple Holiness and Love
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Col. 3:12)
The qualities mentioned in this verse characterize love (1 Cor. 13) and promote acceptance and unity, not condemnation and divisiveness. Clothing ourselves takes an intentional effort. We put thought into what we wear on our physical bodies. Why wouldn’t we do the same spiritually?
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:17-19)
Notice how Ephesians 3:17-19 identifies “all the Lord’s holy people” as “being rooted and established in love” but needing an even better grasp of the Lord’s love. We have a holy God who makes us holy in Christ Jesus but that’s not enough. To be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” we need to know and rely on His great, immeasurable love more and more — to lay hold of His love so as to appropriate it to our own lives.
Churches Characterized as Loving and Unified As Well as Holy and Filled with Truth Stick Out
When holiness and truth coupled with love characterize a church, our bonds with one another in Him become strong enough to withstand differences of opinions. We work through potentially divisive situations, unified because of who we are in Him. Because He is the Standard, we seek to get on page with Him, not push our personal agendas.
This is a church that stands out. This is a church that demonstrates the fullness of God’s character. This is a church with some appeal.
Think about it: If the Church can’t lovingly work with one another, how will those on the outside think they will be valued, loved, and not simply condemned?