Love is the unity of the body of Christ. John 13:34-35

Class Outline:

Turn to Eph 4.


/Under the old commandment the test of love for one’s neighbor was one’s love for oneself. The test under the new commandment was to love as Christ had loved them. \


Christ had just demonstrated the kind of love’ that He had as well as the degree of His love (13:1—20). His love had brought Him from heaven’s glory to this earth. His love had brought Him from His’ position at the right hand of the Father to the position of a Servant. His love motivated Him to offer the honor of the morsel to the betrayer.


Therefore, the love of Christ directly motivates sacrifice of one’s own comfort for the benefit of another.


The love of Christ is the loss of one’s own life for the benefit of another.


That love sometimes has to be tough when certain types of giving would only hurt or hinder rather than benefit another.


This love must do for others what Christ did for His disciples; provide, protect, give, forgive, teach, enlighten, encourage, comfort, rebuke [when the time is proper], and sacrifice.  


Christ demanded this kind of love of these men. As His love had made Him a Servant, so their love for each other was to make them servants of one another.


Thus Christ was saying that in fulfilling this commandment to love one another, they would accomplish two things:


/This love would provide for each other what He had while He was with them and it would be a sign to all people that the Eleven were His disciples.\


John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.


John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."


In the first case, that in which they would provide for one another, the love of Christ would bring unity to the body.


/This love is the unity of the body of Christ. Its source is not found in any other place than the mystery doctrine, which every joint supplies so that the body has unity. \


EPH 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;


EPH 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,


EPH 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.


Doctrine daily and the subsequent virtue love from Christ is the glue that holds the church together.  


And, the virtue love of Christ is the sign to the world that we are His disciples.


Each movement in Israel historically had had its peculiar identifying sign. The sign that one was related to Abraham and the Abrahamic covenant was circumcision. The sign that one was related to Moses and the Mosaic law was the observance of the Sabbath. The sign that one was related to John the Baptist and his message concerning the coming Messiah was water baptism. The sign that one was a Pharisee was that he wore a phylactery either on his forehead or upper arm. These external signs all indicated a relationship to a particular movement in Israel.


/Christ gave His disciples a new kind of identifying sign. It was not an external sign that could easily be imposed but an inner sign that required a transformation. The sign was mutual love.\


Their love for each other would not only be a sign of identification with Him, but the exercise of that love would provide for these what He Himself had provided for them while He was with them.


We all bear the burden of an absent Savior, not absent in terms of neglect, but absent in terms of physical presence. We all long to see Him face to face.


/If you operate in the love of Christ you are providing what the presence of the Savior would to your fellow believer - the love of Christ.\


I did not say that you need another believer to develop the love of Christ in your own soul. I did say that we can provide that love to others just like Christ would if He were physically here.


/This is the importance of the RFOG. This is your importance in the body of Christ. Do not deny your fellow believer the presence of Christ in His life. \


Many believers will resist this teaching because they want to be alone. When being alone there are no challenges from others and no conflicts with others, so this type of believer would rather be home and have it just is them and Jesus. This is not the plan of God for the church.




Again, I’m not saying that you need another believer to grow up spiritually, but what I am saying, dogmatically from scripture, is that you were called to a body and in that body, the love of Christ in you provides the presence of Christ for others. If you do not operate in love you are denying them this presence.


If you do operate in this love toward others then you are encouraging them just as the Lord would if He were here.


If you fail to grow up spiritually and develop the love of Christ then you are not only hurting yourself but you are also hurting others.


1 Thess 5:11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.


1 Thess 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,


1 Thess 5:13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.


1 Thess 5:14 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.


How can you fulfill these commands when you ignore your call to be a part of a body?


HEB 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope [what you claim to believe] without wavering, for He who promised is faithful [you can trust the promises of God];


HEB 10:24 and let us consider [premeditated] how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,


HEB 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;[“one another” not in the original - “for the purpose of encouragement] and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.


Internet listeners can fulfill this just as well. Even though you are not in the geographical location of your local assembly you can still be available for needs of the assembly and the believers in it. You can pray for the needs of the assembly.


With all the media that we now have you can be in contact with believers hundreds or thousands of miles away. And if you are available, God will use you to bear the burden of another. I can’t tell you how many letters and emails I have received from all over the country that have encouraged me.






Be creative, be aggressive, and consider how to stimulate others in the local assembly even though you cannot be physically present. Take a step of faith, take a risk, come up with your own premeditated ideas and if they don’t work - so be it. Your risk may open up other doors that you would have never seen before. I’m going to do the same. I don’t think we have taken full advantage of the technology that is ever growing.


John 13:31 When therefore he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him;


/Despite the betrayal and all the forces against the Lord, the Father’s plan must advance. \


There are two periods to the intensified stage of the angelic conflict, both of which the Lord described as the mystery of the kingdom in Matt 13: the mystery stage [Church Age]; the overt stage [Tribulation]. The Church Age is the most intensive part of the conflict because it is hidden.


The plan for the church will advance as will God’s plan for your life. Be positive and don’t quit and everything will work together for good. That is God’s promise. He who promises is faithful.


John 13:31 When therefore he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him;


John 13:32 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.


Here we have a gnomic aorist followed by a gnomic future, which is a very rare construction in the original Greek and it indicates that:


/Both the Father and the Son are mutually glorified at the point at which Jesus Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father as the God-Man.\


There will be no delay in this glorification of them both.


/When the timing of God is perfect it will be immediate and the gates of hell can’t stop it.\


The prayer in Gethsemane, the unfair trials, the beatings, the ridicule, the falling Christ unable to bear His cross alone all gave fuel to the hope of satan and the kod that Christ wouldn’t make it to Cavalry. But nothing could stop Him.


Things may look bleak in the believer’s life and he may begin to doubt if he’s going to make it, but nothing can stop the believer who remains positive towards the word.




This, the last night and next day of our Lord, is the perfect timing of God and immediately, in the next several hours, the next three days, and the next 40 days after that, leading up unto the ascension, God the Father who sent Him and the Son of Man who revealed the Father will simultaneously be glorified.


From this moment on, if someone were to know what Christ would face, they would say impossible. But what is impossible with man is possible with God.


/As you step through your own Christian walk, remember this principle. The promises of God are irrevocable. The timing of God is perfect. Stick with the word of God and know that He will bring “it” to pass.\


In our society of instant gratification, too many believers quit before God’s perfect plan reveals its ability to fulfill a need.


God waits on purpose to show those who walk the plan because they desire God’s glorification and also those who desire self-gratification.  


John 13:33 "Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You shall seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, I now say to you also, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.'


/“Little children” - the vocative of teknion.[teknion] This means to be under training and discipline. They have a lot of discipline and training ahead of them as we all do.\


“I am with you a little while longer,” refers to the next few hours, but also another 40 days after the resurrection.


After the ascension of our Lord the disciples will continue to seek for that comfort that the Lord provided by means of His love during His earthly ministry and while that love will be given through the word and the Spirit in abundance, they will seek for the familiar source that was the humanity of Christ.


/This will be a repeated pattern in every believer’s life. There will be certain places or people that provide us comfort for a certain period of time, which will be taken away.\


And while new and greater sources of comfort will be provided through the Father’s plan we will seek for the old sources due to their familiarity, but we will not find them.


/By remaining positive towards the word of God and the plan of God, as the disciples were, we will eventually be brought face to face with the new source of comfort.\


If the Lord doesn’t leave then the disciples would have never seen the source of comfort that comes from the Spirit and the mystery doctrine.  


John 13:33 "Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You shall seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, I now say to you also, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.'


Why bring up that He said the same thing to the Jews?


He said to the Jews:


John 7:33 Jesus therefore said, "For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me.


John 8:21 He said therefore again to them, "I go away, and you shall seek Me, and shall die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come."


But what was not said to the Jews was the actions of Jesus at the right hand of God for the benefit of the believing disciples.


The Jews sought for the body of Christ in order to discredit His promise that He would rise again.




Many have done this all throughout the Church-age and especially today. Their only interest in Christ is in seeking a way to discredit His word. They are just like the Pharisees searching all Jerusalem for His body.


The disciples sought for Christ because of the love He gave them and that comfort that it provided for them. And Christ would not abandon them in this; only, He would do so in physical form any more. He would do so through the agency of God the Holy Spirit and the mystery doctrine of the Church, which combined in the positive believer, produce the love of Christ to his fellow believer as Christ did to the disciples.


I’m convinced that we have no idea as of yet the importance of our love toward one another in the body that produces unity and peace.


The disciples have no idea of it yet.


Can you make it without others? Can you reach maturity without others in the body of Christ toward which you target the love of Christ?


There are a lot of loner believers out there who think it’s just them and Jesus. But let me ask you a question. How can you fulfil the command to love one another as I have loved you if the “one another” are not around?


Yes the word of God comforts and reveals to us the love of God and yes the Spirit provides teaching and power, but the very love that was the presence of Christ during the incarnation has now been delegated to every believer.  


The disciples will not be able to follow Him now in order to continue to experience that love.


In fact, they will now become the target of the enemy of God in the AC they will remain on earth to glorify God under the new power of the mystery. That means they need the love of Christ more than ever.


But Christ will not be around to fulfil that need. As a family of royalty of God, we fulfil that need to one another.


This is the meaning behind:


John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.


Christ displayed His love to 11 disciples while you and I have the ability to display this love to many more and will ourselves receive this love from others so that the power of love and its resultant comfort is greater in quantity.



2 Cor 1:3-7

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.


John 14:13"And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.


John 14:14 "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.


The context is the Lord asking the Father on behalf of the disciples. Therefore this is supplication for believers in need. When many are praying for a need it becomes more in quantity than even what Christ prayed for and it works. Just look around and fellowship with believers and discover the power of prayer.


What the Lord will now say to them will introduce their new found power that will fill the gap left behind by the departing Savior and this power will overflow that gap.


The introduction to this power is the epitome of it - the love of Christ.


What was hidden from the Old Testament, people and angels, and from Satan himself, is now to be revealed.


John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.


“A new commandment.” The adjective kainoj[kainos] means new in contrast to old. This adjective means also new in species and that is exactly what this commandment is. It is new in contrast to anything ever given before.


Kainojimmediately tells us that this is not the same commandment as found, for example, in the Mosaic law—sometimes called the eleventh commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” It has nothing to do with that because this is new [kainoj], new in contrast to any old commandment in this area.


There is another word, neoj,[neos] which also means new, but it means new in time, it has a temporal connotation.


But to be new in species or new in contrast to old is the adjective we have here. So we have a new commandment for a new species.


The double connotation of the adjective—new in contrast to the old, and new in species—gives us a perfect picture of what we can anticipate in the rest of this sentence.


The new species is the born-again believer. At the moment of salvation every person becomes a new creature in Christ. He is a new species. Being a new creature, being in union with Jesus Christ, demands a new set of instructions/commandments.


These are going to be summarised under two key words. One is love and the other is discipleship. The new commandment is based on the fact that Christ is glorified, He is absent from the earth, He is seated at the right hand of the Father, awaiting operation footstool, and therefore we have entered into the intensified stage of the angelic conflict.


The new commandment is obviously based upon some new provisions that did not exist before this dispensation. For example, the baptism of the Holy Spirit whereby every believer at the point of salvation is entered into union with Jesus Christ.





This means that he has the life of Christ—eternal life, the righteousness of Christ—perfect righteousness, the sonship of Christ, the heirship of Christ, the priesthood of Christ, the election of Christ, the destiny of Christ, and eventually he will reign with Jesus Christ.


This new commandment cannot be followed without a real understanding of the mystery doctrine.


The indwelling of Christ is also another factor. For the first time in all of history every believer is indwelt by God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. For the first time in history every believer is a priest, is an ambassador and therefore the personal representative of Jesus Christ.


Ambassadorship could not exist until after the incarnation, until Christ was absent from the earth, and therefore every believer is now in fulltime Christian service. The new commandment in this verse is designed to meet the exigencies of the intensified angelic conflict.


“I give unto you” - present active indicative of didomi.[didomi] God in His grace is providing for us this wonderful thing. “Unto you” is the intensive dative which relates the subject to the individual and it becomes a dative of advantage as well.


Some believers look upon the commands of God as a burden. However, we see here that this commandment is a grace gift. God in His grace is giving us something wonderful and not a burden.


Obviously, if we are commanded to love with the love of Christ, then we must be given the power and provisions to fulfil the command. The advantages from our union with Christ, unique to the CA, are the grace gifts that are those provisions.


“that” - i(na[hina] plus the subjunctive introduces a purpose clause. The purpose clause is the present active subjunctive of a)gapaw[agapao] which is strictly a mental attitude love.


This is a restricted love, a mental love; filew[phileo] is really the greatest love in the Greek language, but it is a soul love based on deep attraction for the object. Phileo is not only human but it is also divine. God phileo’s the believer and the believer may phileo God when he has gained the capacity through spiritual growth.


Phileo is also divine in the love of right man right woman and the love of friendship, however, phileo is not sustainable by any member of the human race and so it is never commanded. Your spouse can in a moment lose their attractiveness to you and you are not out of fellowship. You would never be able to phileo the entire human race, for how could they all be attractive to you?


Agapao is a command, as it is here, and it is always available to the believer in fellowship with God. It’s magnitude is directly proportional to how much wisdom of God’s word is in the heart of the believer.


The agapao love of Christ is a mental attitude love that only the new creature can function in and only when he is filled with the Spirit. The lack of MAS’s opens the heart [right lobe] of the new creature to lay down his life for the brethren. This love is sacrificial, it gives, it comforts, it provides, it separates, it forgives, it unifies, it is the #1 power in the universe and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.


It is in the present tense, which means there is not time when a believer is justified to not have this love.


At the point of salvation every believer passes the point of propitiation which places him under maximum divine love, 1 John 2:2.


1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;


1 John 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.


1 John 2:3And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.


1 John 2:4The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;


If you come to know Him you will love Him and therefore the love of God will be matured in you.


1 John 2:5but whoever keeps His word [because he has come to know Him], in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:


1 John 2:6the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.


1 John 2:7Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.


1 John 2:8On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.


John’s first epistle was written to combat the false doctrines of Gnosticism, which stated that all matter, including the flesh of people was evil and that Christ was never true humanity.


To them, spirituality was some sort of outer body experience so it eliminated the flesh. Don’t mistake their meaning of the word “flesh” with the OSN. They truly demonized all matter.


Therefore it developed a hate of people who did not seem to be spiritual overtly because they were made up of evil matter.


1 John 2:9The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.


1 John 2:10The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.


1 John 2:11But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.


Therefore God can love every believer with maximum love in spite of the believer’s spiritual status.


There are three general categories of love. These categories are based upon the direction of love. a) Toward God; b) Toward a member of the opposite sex—right man, right woman; c) Friendship.


Relationship-type love also exists under several Greek words: storghand e)roj. Both of these have Attic Greek origins. Storghconnotes the love of parents for their children. E)rojis strictly a word for sexual love to the exclusion of everything else. Relationship love dies exist, except where doctrine divides a family, for example—Matthew 10:34-37; Luke 12:51-53.


The New Testament vocabulary for love. The Koine Greek of the NT presents two words in both their verb form and noun form.


a)gapaw, the verb form. The cognate is a)gaph. By definition this is a specialised love related to the mentality of the soul. When used in connection with God it has a broader expanse, it means that God loves us in spite of the fact that He knew ahead of time what we were like. So it is related to the omniscience of God. 


Filew, the verb, and the cognatefiloj.This is a very general type love in that it relates to all facets of the soul. It is also used in physical expression of love. This type of love is more mature and expresses greater capacity for love. Cf. John chapter 21, the indignation of Peter.


The summary of the distinction. The noun a)gaphis mental attitude love. The noun filojis stronger and connotes a general soul love with more capacity. The noun a)gaphis found in several areas of the NT, specifically the filling of the Spirit—Romans 5:5; 1 John 2:5, as the 3rd floor of the ECS. Filojis the fourth floor of the ECS and is the great capacity for love.


All believers are commanded a)gaphlove—it is a mental attitude. It is fulfilled under the principle of Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13. Filojis not commanded for all believers because it is a grace capacity for love and no normal, sane person will love everyone under filoj, it is impossible.


In mankind a)gaphis limited to the mentality; filojextends to every facet of the soul.


Erroneous conclusion: a)gaphrefers only to divine love. While God is the subject of a)gaphmany times, we have also the fact that man is the subject—man is commanded to love. In John 3:19 even the unbeliever is capable of a)gapaw. The unbeliever’s a)gapawis darkness rather than light.


God must be the subject of any verb before that verb connotes divine love. God is the subject of a)gapawin John 3:16. God is also the subject of filewin John 16:27.


God as the motivating factor in category #1 love found in 1 John 3:11; 4:19.


“ye love one another” - a)gapaw. This is strictly a mental attitude only. “One another” is a reciprocal pronoun. It is in the genitive case here—a)llhlwnmeans one another of the same kind. The genitive case is objective genitive to show we belong in the same family. The accusative is not used (which would indicate we are not in the same family). The genitive case says we belong together because we are all members of the family of God when we believe in Christ.


“as I have loved you” - a)gapaw, gnomic aorist. A gnomic aorist is used to indicate something that is an absolute and becomes axiomatic. The fact that God loves you as a believer is an absolute.


“that” introduces a result clause.


“ye love one another [of the same kind]” - keep on loving, present active subjunctive. The subjunctive is not only potential but introduces a result clause. Every word for love that is used in this verse is for mental attitude love only.



John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."