Colossians 1:7 Epaphras, our much loved co-worker … 8 He is the one who told us about the great love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.
The Christian life cannot be lived apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who gives us new life and it is the Spirit who enables us to walk the new walk. In the passage we have just read, we see that it is the Spirit who gives us love for others.
The love the Spirit gives is not the same kind of love often found in the world. What some today call love is actually lust. In addition, there is another kind of love found in the world that says – “I will love you as long as …” Such love is conditional based upon the actions of others. If others perform in a way that pleases us, we feel love for them. If they don’t – we don’t.
Yet this is very different from the kind of love God gives to His children. The love that the Spirit implants in the hearts of God’s people is the same kind of love which they themselves have received from God. We read of this love in the book of 1 John –
1 John 4:9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Real love was shown when God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. Such love had not been earned, nor was it deserved. It was shown solely because God is love. (1 Jn 4:8) It is this kind of love that the Spirit gives to God’s children. Therefore John writes –
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. (1 Jn 4:11)
We ought to love others, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is evidence that we have received the love of Christ.