– C.I. Ezike-Dennis
1 John 3 (NKJV)
14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
1 John 4 (NKJV)
7 … everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 3 (NKJV)
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
Love is a fundamental attribute of the believer.
Before He left, Jesus gave believers a way of living that would characterize them as true disciples, if they follow through with it.
John 13 (NKJV)
34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
In the 4 passages above, the Bible shows that love is the evidence of that vital deposit of the essential nature of God into the heart of man. The New Birth is a miracle of regeneration. It is a transformation of man’s spirit by the life of God. And love is the defining quality, because “God is love”. Where this attribute of love or agapé is lacking in a man’s heart, hardly can it be rightly said that there has been a rebirth. At any rate, not the genuine experience. In fact the Bible states categorically that, “He who does not love his brother abides in death.” (1 John 3:14), underscoring the point that the migration from “death unto life” is yet to transpire, where we find an absence of the love of God.
Jesus stressed that this love quality will be the believer’s ID, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.” (John 13:35). To know here means in an absolute sense. Notice he did not say it’s by our attire, our miracles, our flowing in the gifts, although those are important too. Definitely not by our bumper sticker, fish sign, or religious lingo. But, by our love, expressed toward all men, especially those of the family of faith.
C.I. Ezike-Dennis is a Bible teacher, lawyer, and a businessman who began his ministry in the mid-1980s having served as pastor of the Love Family Fellowship (then the youth arm of the All Saint’s Church), University of Benin, Nigeria, at a time the Word and Holy Spirit revival broke out on that campus. Since then, he has served under various ministries, pastored briefly in Nigeria and South Africa, and now resides in Canada with his family. C.I. is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Centre, South Africa. He travels internationally with his lovely wife – Uche, bringing liberating truths from the word of God to countless souls in different parts of the world.