Where Sacrificial Love Leads
The New Testament has a rich vocabulary to show the place of sacrificial love in the life of Jesus, and in the life of those that follow in His steps. Jesus loved us to the greatest possible degree. He loved us enough to give Himself for us. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13) If we are to follow in His steps, have His mind, and walk as He walked, then we must imitate His sacrificial love. Where will this sacrificial love lead?
Sacrificial love leads us to prefer others instead of self. Our duty toward fellow Christians is summed up in one word, and that sweet word is “love.” Paul wrote in Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” We must consider our brethren as more worthy than ourselves; and let neither grieve nor envy affect our mind at seeing others honored and ourselves neglected.
Sacrificial love leads us to “Esteem others better than self.” Instead of contending for superiority, sacrificial love causes us to give others pre-eminence. Paul wrote, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (Philippians 2:3) God’s people must always have a humble view of themselves, and this will lead them to esteem others above self.
Sacrificial love leads us to seek another's welfare. Christians must not study their own interests, but the interests of others. Paul wrote, “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being.” (1 Corinthians 10:24) Christians must be concerned not to hurt their neighbor. We must be concerned to promote our neighbor’s welfare; and must consider how to act so that we may help others, and not hinder them in their salvation.
Jesus is our example of sacrificial love. All should desire to come to Him and be like Him. In coming to Jesus, it is necessary that we believe in Him as the Son of God. (John 8:24) Faith in Christ leads us to repentance. (Acts 2:38) Repentance leads one to confess faith in Christ (Matthew 10:32), and to be baptized for forgiveness of sin. (Acts 22:16) This is the simple pattern of conversion found in the New Testament. Faith leads to repentance, confession and baptism. Then the Christian lives a life of worship and service, a loving and caring life. (Revelation 2:10) If you are not yet a Christian, please obey God while you have life and opportunity. Tomorrow could be too late. (James 4:14
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 37037 USA