LOVING THE BRETHREN
“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light…” 1 John 2:10
As Christians look at their fellow men and women, they see people exactly like themselves before their eyes were opened, and now they are sorry for them. They begin to love hateful persons instead of hating them. They say, “We are all in the same position,” and they begin to have an eye of compassion for them. Their knowledge of the love of God in Christ makes them love other people even as they have been loved themselves. They are new men and women with a new outlook; they are in a new realm. They feel the love of God in their heart, and they want to love Him and glorify Him, and they know they can glorify God most of all by being new men and women, by living as Christ lived and thereby showing and proving that they are indeed true disciples.
Christ our Lord put this perfectly once in the parable of the man who was a servant and was in trouble. He went to his lord and pleaded for forgiveness, and that lord forgave him. But there was another man who was a servant under the first servant who came to him and made exactly the same plea, but the forgiven servant took the other by the throat and said, “No, I won’t let you off—you have to pay to the last farthing.” Well, said our Lord (Matthew 18:23-35), which man must not think he has been forgiven, for the man who does not forgive will not be forgiven.
What this means is that you and I can only be happy about the fact that we are Christians if we find this loving, forgiving spirit within ourselves. It is idle for us to say that we know God has forgiven us if we ourselves are not loving and forgiving. People who say they are in the light but who hate and do not forgive their brother are in darkness even now. – Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones