Pastor David B. Curtis

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Gospel Conversation

By Jeffrey T. McCormack

Philippians 1:27

Delivered 08/18/2013

This morning I would like to take a look at some verses from Paul where he is exhorting the Philippians in his absence. Our text comes from Philippians 1, and of course looking at the context here, we find Paul writing to those at the church in Philippi with great joy. Let’s do a real quick synopsis to get the context of Paul’s words.

In verse 5 he states they have been partners in the gospel with him since day one, and in verse 6 he reminds them that he who began the good work in them would complete it in the day of Christ. In verse 7 he states that they were partakers with him in grace in both imprisonments and defense of the gospel.

In verse 8 he openly yearns for them in the affection of Christ. In 9-11 he prays that they abound more and more with knowledge and discernment, so as to be ready for the approaching day of Christ.

In 12 through 14 he speaks of all of his trials and imprisonments as being a great benefit to the spreading of the gospel message. In 15 through 19 he speaks of those who preach the gospel, some with good motives, others with bad ones, but explains how he is happy either way since in both cases Christ is preached.

In 20 through 26 is the familiar section where Paul speaks of his desire to die to be with Christ, but how it is most beneficial for the gospel’s sake that he remains present in the flesh. Then, in 27 through 30 he exhorts them to continuing living in a manner worthy of the gospel, not fearing their opponents, for they have been granted the privilege of not only just believing in Christ, but also suffering for him just as Paul has.

 Now, verse I would like to discuss this morning in verse 27:

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…(Phil. 1:27 ESV)

Paul is exhorting them to live in a manner of life that was worthy of the gospel of Christ, and that is the topic I would like us to look at to see if we are striving to live up this exhortation.

First, notice that to Paul, living in manner worthy of the gospel of Christ is of utmost importance. He starts by saying “only” – which is to say above all else. He places this at the start of his thought, and says that living in this manner is above all else the most important thing to do. To do this it entails many aspects of love, mercy and righteous deeds as we shall see.

So, above all else, we are to strive to live in a manner of life worth of the gospel – but what exactly does that mean, and what does the Word tell us about doing so?

When it speaks of the “manner of life,” the original Greek implies to live as good citizens. In the King James, which I spent most of my early Christian years using, it is translated as “let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ,” which is where my title comes from.

While the original writers and even the readers of days of old would have understood the term conversation to mean more than our speech, unfortunately to the modern reader it is often misunderstood as being limited to how we speak, and so a better, more modern interpretation is often needed to get the point.

However, even the translation we have here - to live in a manner worthy of the gospel – still misses the mark a bit. These people were citizens of the local government. They lived in accordance with the rules and regulations of the local government, and they knew the difference between being a good and a bad citizen.

Philippi was a colony under Roman rule, and so they had to abide by Roman rule. This brought forth many advantages as well as disadvantages. Living as a good citizen probably had more advantages than disadvantages, and so they knew this.

Being a good citizen in a city means being a part of a community where people pull resources together to use for the common good of the whole. Even today, we have people using their talents to assist others in the area who do not have those skills. Being a good citizen means using those skills honestly and not taking advantage of others, and working together for the common good.

Those in the church of Christ also belong to another polity, or order of things though. Just as they were to be good citizens of their local government, Paul is encouraging them here to apply similar standards to how they should live within the church body, and do so in such a way as is worthy of the gospel of Christ. John Gill puts it like this:

A church of Christ is as a city, and is often so called; the members of it are citizens, fellow citizens, one with another, and of the household of God, and have laws and rules according to which they are to conduct themselves; as such do who walk worthy of their calling, and becoming the charter of the Gospel by which they have and hold their freedom and privileges, as citizens of the new Jerusalem: and such a Gospel walk and conversation lies in such things as these; constant attendance on the preaching of the Gospel, and on the administration of Gospel ordinances; a strict observation of the rules of behavior towards persons that have given offence, either in public or private; a just regard to the discipline of Christ's house, in admonitions; reproofs, censures and excommunications, as cases require; cultivating love, unity, and peace; keeping the ordinances as they were delivered; retaining and striving for the doctrines of the Gospel; holding the mysteries of it in a pure conscience, and adorning it by a becoming life and conversation.

Now, Paul goes on to say that he wants them to “stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” and then verse 28:

and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. (Php 1:28 ESV)

While we may not be facing the same enemies or situations that Paul was directly addressing here, we still live in a world that is opposed in many ways to the gospel, and therefore the church still has opponents. Plus, we all belong to the same body of Christ that those at Philippi did, and therefore can pay heed to Paul’s exhortation here.

Now, he states that “this is a clear sign” – what is the clear sign? The clear sign is the “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” When a church body is united, standing firm beside one another, and working as a single body, then it performs in a way that is a good sign to others.

As a general rule, does that sound like the state of the church these days? Do we as Christ’s body stand first in one spirit or hardly anything anymore? Do we have one mind and strive side by side for anything?

Sadly, the church does not do this, and that is a key reason why so many in the world around us see today’s church as impotent and of little use to society in general. There is so much disagreement between denominations and individual congregations, that to say the body of Christ works as a single body is near impossible.

The individualistic mindset is much more the way of the day. Everyone wants to do their own thing, they all want to make a name for themselves, or they want to do a ministry their own way. There may be two churches on the same street, just a stone’s throw from each other, with many similarities, but to think of merging them into one body so pool their resources is rarely ever a possibility. Neither body – or their leaders - wants to give up their position.

Instead of wasting twice the money on overhead and resources that do the same thing, wouldn’t merging together, pooling the resources, and combining talents not allow them to accomplish much more for the kingdom? But this is never an idea because no one wants to give up their small piece of the pie.

Even on a non-congregational front, I can’t help but wonder how much more good would be accomplished if the multitudes of separate “feed the children organizations” and other such organizations would join together as one. Think of all of the money that would be saved in avoiding having all of the individual promotion and overlapping of labor that is being done to promote each group.

However, admittedly, Paul’s context is more directed at a single church body and how it functions together, so let’s move back in what he is saying here. After this section of verses, he continue on in chapter 2 to explains some of what he means by all of this one-spirit one-mindedness. This is not just applying to the individual mindedness of most independent congregations, but is mainly directed at the individuals in the church themselves. Paul continues:

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  (Php 2:1-4 ESV)

A lot of what fuels the individualistic attitude in churches today tends to come from our own pride and self-worth. We tend to put ourselves above others, and only look out for our own interests. Self-love is highly promoted by the world, but seems to have taken a foothold in the church body too.

Paul here says it would aid in completing his joy if they were to have the same mind and same love, and look not to their own interests only, but to others also.  This idea of love is nothing new of course; Paul has said it elsewhere, like Romans:

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Rom. 12:10 ESV)

If we are concentrating on outdoing one another in showing honor, and looking out for their interests, that will pretty much squelch any self-love, pride, or selfish attitudes we could have. We should be actively on the look-out for ways we can show honor to others, and put their interests ahead of our own interests. This is just one key aspect of loving one another and is repeated by others, for Peter tells us:

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.  (1 Pe 1:14-15 ESV)

Again, he is giving us an emphasis on the conduct and manner of living, which of course is tied to loving one another as he states a little later:

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. (1 Pet. 1:22-23 ESV)

John tells us many times the same message on loving one another:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34, see also 15:12, 17)

And then over and over again in 1 John we are hit with it:

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. (1 John 3:11 ESV)
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. (3:23)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (4:7)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (4:11-12 ESV)

This is a major key to kingdom living – love others, especially within the body of Christ. This self-sacrificial love is what brings a body together in unity and love. Our manner of living must be raised higher than normal, and higher than the natural law requires, in order for it to be worthy of the gospel.

The gospel message is a message of peace, love and reconciliation. Our manner of living should reflect that too. We must live in a manner that manifests the power of the gospel beyond just the words we say – it must be evident in our very actions.

We see this idea even in the very words of Christ, who told his audience:

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 5:16 ESV)

Our manner of living, our words, and our works should portray the beauty, excellence, and glory that the gospel offers to mankind. Has God the Father brought the light of the gospel into your life? Does evidence of it shine forth in your heart? Has he revealed to you those glorious mysteries of salvation in Him? If so, then let the light of that break forth and shine in your lifestyle so that others can see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Gospel living goes above the normal lifestyle of the world around us and should reveal a lifestyle powered by the love of God and the Holy Spirit. It goes above and beyond the live-for-ourselves, fulfill-our-own-desires mentality, and seeks the higher calling of love and unity with the body. Similar to what we are told in 1 John:

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:9 ESV)

A gospel lifestyle will reveal the evidence of this seed of God within us producing a lifestyle that is above the norm. God’s seed will produce the fruit that makes our gospel lifestyle more evident. Of course failure to do so reveals the opposite, as we are told in 1 John:

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20 ESV)

This is the high calling of a gospel lifestyle – it is one that lives consistently with the profession of a gospel conversion. It is not one that is filled with hypocritical words and actions that go against the very gospel and Lord that we claim to follow. It is one that relies on the life giving vine to bring forth the fruit of this lifestyle.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4 ESV)

The Apostle Paul gives us a whole section of instruction for the kind of gospel lifestyle we should be living out.

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. (Titus 2:1-8 ESV)

I wish time would permit me to go through each of these traits to unwrap the wealth of doctrinal truths contained in them. Terms like sober minded, dignified, and self-controlled pack a punch when it comes to how we men should strive to live in the gospel. The same can be said for the lifestyle traits mentioned for the women and younger men.

In the end, the reason for this lifestyle is so that “an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Oh it would be nice if the church’s opponents today would have nothing evil to say about us, but sadly that is not the case because so few truly strive to live a gospel lifestyle.

James gives us great instruction along this line too:

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. (James 3:13 ESV)

Our conduct should show forth the love and meekness of the gospel – it should be evident in the way we live. James continues:

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:14-16 ESV)

Note, where jealousy and selfish ambition exists, there will be disorder – not unity as there should be. This is not showing the evidence of a gospel lifestyle, which James then states by saying:

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:16-18 ESV)

This is a manner of living that is revealing the gospel. This lifestyle is evidenced by the presence of peace, gentleness, reason, mercy and good fruits. If we are to manifest the evidence that God has brought about a true saving knowledge and wisdom within us, then we should know that God requires us to show that through living the gospel lifestyle in love, meekness and wisdom.

Aside from leaving the opponents without evil things to say, this lifestyle is also one that is honoring to God. Of course striving for this type of God-honoring lifestyle has brought forth many attempts to produce satisfactory results in this area.

One example was just a few years back, there was the WWJD movement. “What would Jesus Do?” was plastered on everything – but especially things like rings and bracelets. It was a means to give people a visible sign to help them always remember to questions their motives when making decisions.

Another one, which I am not sure when it got started but recall hearing it often when I was growing up, which is a slightly different take on the WWJD idea, is where you ask yourself if you would still do such and such activity if Christ were sitting beside you.

These are all means to cause us to hopefully stop and think before we act foolishly. They are set up to hopefully help us attempt to train our minds to live in a manner pleasing to Yahweh and showing forth a gospel lifestyle to those around us.

Of course, these types of things can and have led to much abuse and legalism in practice – thus actually counteracting the truth it seeks to establish. People do just like they have been doing since…forever – they create rules and practices that become hedges to protect against possible sin and over time those rules become traditions that go far beyond anything biblical.

We must not allow ourselves or others to produce guidelines that bind us to a new law or legalism instead of grace, or we will become just as fruitless as the early people of God with all of there over-the-top ways of seeking to keep the law.

We must also watch that we do not let works becomes our attention grabber tool. I appreciate the way the Puritan preacher Jeremiah Burroughs put it:

It is one thing to do a good work that may be seen, and another thing to do a good work that it may be seen. To do a good work that may be seen is lawful, though we should not do them principally aiming that they may be seen. (Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646), Gospel Conversation, pg. 10)

In other words, do not become someone who does good deeds simply to reap the attention and credit upon themselves. I am sure you are familiar with what we are told by Christ in Matthew about this:

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 6:1 ESV)

He continues on saying not to blow a trumpet to draw attention to you when giving to the needy, and not stand on the street corner to pray in order to be seen doing so.

The point being that you should not do these things with the direct intent of gaining attention to yourself. If your deeds are seen, be sure they bring all of the glory to the Father and not to yourself.

Through your lifestyle and deeds, you do give honor to the Father, and become a living, breathing, walking gospel message. To habitually live contrary to that is to do the opposite – and provides a negative message.

A changed lifestyle – one that is lived above and beyond the normal standards of the world, is indeed a witness of the gospel’s power. People who claim to have been born again, and then live as if nothing has happened and no differently from anyone else - they do not present such gospel power.

The church is ignored so much these days because of the widespread hypocritical professions when compared to the lifestyles standards by many church goers. Instead of love and mercy the church is seen as a place offering judgment, condemnation, and an image of greediness.

The church is supposed to be the go-to place for answers, love, and mercy. Instead, it has become a house of self-serving liars that is avoided by the world because of its failure to live as the gospel requires.

Many people have left the organized church because of this hypocritical lifestyle they find contained within. This kind of lifestyle is more in line with the basic human nature that we are called to strive to live in opposition to. Even Paul is aware of it and speaks to the church at his time, saying:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:29, 31-32 ESV)

This is how the church body should live – by seeking to build one another up. This is the way a child of Yahweh is to behave. This love is not suggested, it is required if you claim to follow your master:

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13: 34-35 ESV)

This is the evidence to the world around us that we truly are who we profess to be – followers of Yeshua. We are the witness to this truth, and our lifestyle either promotes a proper image of Yahweh, or it provides an image that is dishonoring and detrimental to the gospel.

On top of being a manner of living that honors Yahweh, it is also a way to convince unbelievers around you. While the audience relevance scenario is different, the exhortation from Peter is applicable as to how this works:

Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Pet. 2:12 ESV)

Yes, they had there day of visitation that was approaching, but the underlying principle is still solid – that honorable conduct and good deeds glorify Yahweh to those around us. So it is actually a two-fold response – it glorifies God and convicts the unbelievers around us.

Another aspect of it - as relating to those around us - is found a few verses later, where Peter says this action will actually silence ignorance:

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:15 ESV)

Peter also gives us a hint of what we spoke of from Paul earlier in our opening text. Living as people who are free hearkens back to the living as citizen idea. Plus he reinforces Paul’s teaching to honor others and love the members of the body of Christ. Then later in 3:16 Peter speaks of our good behavior putting to shame those who slander and revile.

On top of glorifying Yahweh, and affecting those unbelievers around us – we now look at how it affects our fellow saints. When fellow believers see us living a gospel honoring lifestyle, it will warm their hearts. They see the glory it brings to the Father, and that brings them joy.

They will not only feel joy, but will bless God the more for it. And likewise, to see this spirit of love working through others, it should fill us with the same joy, seeing the good things being done in our Father’s name.

It is also a means of adding additional encouragement to others. They see another brother or sister practicing a righteous gospel centered life, and it gives them great joy and encouragement to continue doing the same.

On the other hand, seeing someone making the gospel profession yet walking contrary to that, is disheartening, and brings shame to them and the whole body in general.

Also, new converts will be emboldened in their walk by seeing the gospel living of those around them, and they will be given the encouragement to follow the example and seek to imitate that righteousness too.

So our gospel lifestyles – or lack thereof - can greatly affect those around us, making it of great importance that we watch over ourselves in these areas. Let us hold fast to truth and not be proven to be liars as we are warned in 1 John:

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  (1 John 1:6 ESV)

Instead, we should always seek to stand firm in that manner of living that is worthy of the gospel:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 ESV)

It is the hard words found later on in this same letter that help to separate the sheep from the goats as it were:

No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.  Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:6,8 ESV)

Now, we could go into all kinds of detail here about what it means to keep on sinning, etc. but instead of going down that path, let’s keep it more surface level and simply say that someone who has no desire to  - or ignores all efforts to  - live a disciplined, gospel honoring life may need to take a real hard look at their spiritual life and profession in general.

It someone would rather contradict their profession of salvation by a habitual, public, and unapologetic manner is showing forth no evidence of being born of God. Whereas this same section tells us:

Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:7,9-10 ESV)

So, this kind of makes the gospel lifestyle less than optional. It seems fairly clear that if someone does not practice righteousness or does not love their brother, they are not of God. Those are pretty strong words, and they should hopefully wake us up to the seriousness of the situation.

Of course, this is not saying that righteous living causes us to be of God, but it is saying that those truly of God will have a heart towards this gospel manner of living.

Those who don’t tend to take care of themselves anyway. Like a comet, they may blaze for a short period, but after a while of no righteous living or striving for growth, they tend to fade away and disappear.

When you think about it, what is the purpose of being born of God if you are just going to stick it in your pocket and make it of no use to your life or anyone else’s around you? Does Scripture give us any indication of a lifestyle that he calls us to where we just accept His gift and hide it away only for ourselves?

Going back to our original verse in Philippians:

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…(Phil. 1:27 ESV)

As we said earlier, he is saying “above all else” we are to strive to live in a manner of life worth of the gospel – it means our prayer should be that we live and act differently than before. We should be “set apart” and noticeably so by those around us.

Yes we’re human – yes we’re seeds of Adam – yes we stumble – yes we sin – yes we fall. But are we to use our human nature as an excuse to continue in sin with never much desire to be rid of it and work hard at striving for holiness?

We are to strive and work within ourselves to daily seek to overcome the secret sins that are keeping us from being the men and women God wishes us to be. We are to stay in his Word frequently to better learn and understand the nature and ways of Yahweh, in order that we may focus our lifestyle to be more pleasing to Him.

This is not works based righteousness, this is works based love. If Yahweh has loved us and brought us into his family and renewed us with truth, we should be more than willing to love and honor Him with a lifestyle according to his mandate.

Living in a manner worthy of the gospel means earnestly desiring the ability to pray in good conscience something like this updated prayer borrowed again from Jeremiah Burroughs:

Father, you know, according to what light you have given me in the gospel, that it has been my care to look to my manner of living.

Oh, that I might live to your honor and be a witness to your truth; that I might hold forth your image and further your designs, and make up the dishonor that you have from others in the world. That I might convince wicked men and stop the mouths of those who are contrary!

Oh, that I might be a means to convert those with whom I live, or otherwise to judge them. Oh, that I might rejoice the hearts of the saints, that they may lift up their heads with boldness because of me, and that they may be established and edified.

Many in today’s pews could not repeat this prayer in sincerity. But the question is, do we desire to be able to do so? Are we struggling daily to make our manner of living more like this?

Many do not have such a concern or desire, but are just fine going to church, going through the motions, and putting on a good front while there – only to go live like the devil the rest of the week.

Do we attend church services or listen to sermons with the intent of learning new things about Yahweh and to strengthen ourselves with new ways that we can live more unto Him? Or do we go to church because that is what is expected of us?

What is it we are seeking most to do in this life – be pleasing and appeasing to men, or seek to be honoring to our Father who has given us life and truth? I once sat under a pastor who said plainly from the pulpit, “In this life, we can never be sinless – so why try?” That is a sad and lazy excuse that allows us to just wallow in our sin.

The church is sadly filled with men and women just like this – whose daily lives are a great dishonor to the Lord they profess to love and follow. Nothing darkens the glory of the Father as much as a professor of the gospel who lives so loosely with little concern for correction.

May our hearts not be set in such a direction, and may God’s Words always chime in our ears:

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: (1 John 1:6 ESV)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:29, 31-32 ESV)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:11-12 ESV)
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20 ESV)

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