Scripture: "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou, shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well."—JAS. ii. 8.
When our Lord, in answer to the question, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" had answered: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart," He added: "The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." These two commandments both contain the one verb, love. In heaven, where God is, and on earth amongst men, love is the royal law, love is supreme.
The Christians love for his fellow-men has more than one purpose:
1. It reveals to us our own nature, implanted by God, that we should love ourselves, and it calls us to love our neighbors with the same love. Thus we have in our hearts the law to love our neighbors as ourselves.
2. Christianity teaches us to love our neighbor because God loves him. Every man, howsoever vile, has a share in Gods compassion and love, because he is made in Gods image. I ought, then, to love my neighbor, not merely because he is a fellow-man, but because I see Gods likeness in him, and because God loves him. As God loves all men, even His enemies, even so, not more, nor less, I must love all. "Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful." From my Father in heaven I must learn how to love.
3. The Christian love of all mankind may rise still higher. In the realm of grace, God has reconciled us to Himself, so that He can apportion to us His personal love. This is the law for each child of God; he must love his brother with the same love with which Christ has loved him.
4. And then comes the last and the highest thought, that even as Christ, in His great love, redeemed a world dying in misery and sin, so all those who have received this love should give themselves, even as Christ did, to love all men, and devote their lives to making others partakers of this great blessedness.
Child of God, here are four reasons why we should love our neighbors. Have they not a Divine authority and irresistible power, which will compel us to manifest this Christian love towards our brethren in fulness of beauty?
May God write the royal law of love deep in our hearts!