Love One Another

Recently, I came across a list of the 59 verses in scripture that have the phrase “one another” as part of the verse. What I found beautiful about these verses are that they show us how we should relate to our fellow brothers and sisters. The repeated use of the phrase “one another”, shows us that the early churches were characterized by mutuality and a deep shared-life community. What surprised me while reading these verses, was that there was an obvious and major theme that appeared:

“…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
“…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
“…Love one another…” (John 13:35)
“…Love one another…” (John 15:12)
“…Love one another” (John 15:17)
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)
“…Love one another…” (Romans 13:8)
“…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
“…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
“…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
“…Love each other.” (I Thessalonians 4:9)
“…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
“…Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
“…Love each other deeply…” (I Peter 4:8)
“Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I Peter 5:14)
“…Love one another.” (I John 3:11)
“…Love one another.” (I John 3:23)
“…Love one another.” (I John 4:7)
“…Love one another.” (I John 4:11)
“…Love one another.” (I John 4:12)
“…Love one another.” (II John 5)

Looking at the numbers, 21 out of the 59 “one another” verses are related to loving one another. This shows us that having love towards one another is one of the most important aspects of the Church and shared-life community. In the gospel according to John, one of the few commandments Jesus actually gave to His disciples was to love one another, and by doing so the world would know that they were His disciples. Jesus set the bar in His own life by loving those around Him. Consequently, the only way the world will know we follow Christ is if we have His love those around us. Simply put, loving one another, reveals the heart of Christ to the world.

John also wrote a lot about loving one another. He said that love is of God and that God is love, and those that love one another are born of God and know God. John also talks about the love that was shown towards us through Christ, and implores that we love one another just as God so loved us. He also states that we know that God abides in us and His love is perfected in us when we have a love for one another. Our born again nature is to love one another. Loving one another not only reveals Christ to the world, but reveals the abiding Christ in us, who has perfected His love in us. John makes another staggering statement, saying that a person who says they love God, but hates their brother, is a liar.

And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

With all of this, it is obvious that loving one another is at the very center of our love for God and His love for us. We love because He first loved us. His love towards us is the source of our love for one another. We cannot say we love Christ if we don’t love those that make up His body, and on the other hand, when we love the members of His body, we show that we love Christ Himself.

Therefore, there seems to be a threefold purpose in loving one another: Firstly, loving one another reveals Christ to the world. Secondly, loving one another reveals the abiding Christ in one another. Lastly, loving one another is to show our love for Christ Himself.

Love can reveal itself in many forms, such as the list Paul gives to us in 1 Cor. 13. Loving one another means we must be patient and kind towards one another. It means taking our pride, envy, and boasting to the cross and walking in humility towards one another. It means respecting one another and not seeking glory for ourselves. Loving one another means we are slow to anger and quick to forgive. It involves protecting, trusting, persevering, and restoring one another in all circumstances. Love covers a multitude of sins and restores, rather than expose and condemn.

But all these things do not come from ourselves, rather they are expressed through us by the One living in us, Christ, through the Spirit. God is love and Jesus is the tangible expression of Love to the world. He is Love made visible, and He has chosen to reveal His love to the world through His body, the Church. As we learn to live by His indwelling life, we learn to Love.

May we Love one another deeply. 

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About the author

Nathan Odell Nathan Odell is the author of Joined to Him. You can connect with him on

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Comments

  1. Praise the Lord brother. Mat we learn to live by his life and so express His love in the tri-fold way you mentioned!

  2. Thanks for reminding us of these precious truths so forcefully, truths I can only display by the indwelling Christ.

    I seem to recall a story about the apostle John in his very old age when no longer able to walk, being pushed around in a wheelbarrow, and all he would say to people was “Little children, love one another… Little children, love one another…” I myself need this constant reminder.

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