If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers. – 1 John 4:20-21 [NLT]
James puts it this way: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (James 1:27) John the Baptist puts it this way, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” (Luke 3:11) Jesus asks, “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
John says simply, “Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.” (v. 21) How does this jibe with the promise of John 3:16, “…whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life,” or “by grace you have been saved through faith.” Nothing we could ever do will make us right with God. We have been forgiven of all our sins, and saved by God’s grace. As his sons and daughters we are compelled to reflect his love to others.
Because God loves all people, we who have been saved, and who are his children by faith must love one another. To do otherwise denies God’s love for others. It is vitally important that do not give witness to anything less. Thank God that he loves us and therefore, that we are recipients of his love through others along life’s way.