Discus specific topics in our friendly Christian forums.
One may have an appearance to obey the Lord Jesus (Jhn 14:23, 24), but it is the test of time that will determine its genuineness, for it will never cease. The Lord Jesus said, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mat 24:13). In other words, only whosoever is saved will endure unto the end, as those who are not reborn (saved) will eventually affirm “they were not of us” (1Jo 2:19; 2Ti 3:9, 13; Heb 10:39; also Num 32:23).
The primary manifestation of hypocritical love to God is the absence of love to others (Jhn 13:35)—especially when this concerns our “brother,” which are those within “the household of faith” (Gal 6:10; Eph 2:19; 1Jhn 4:20, 21; also Mat 12:50). Walking in practical love develops from first having the desire to love, which is an inherent ability solely from the Spirit at rebirth (Gal 5:22), using the implanted “life” and “nature” of Christ (Col 3:4, 10; 2Pe 1:4).
It is the ongoing desire to love others that manifests the presence of the indwelling Spirit the most, and as this desire grows within we eventually begin practicing more all the time God’s love to others (again and very important, esp. when it concerns the saved). I believe the well-known acronym JOY describes Scripture’s definition for God’s love best: Jesus, others, then you, i.e. we put Jesus first when we put others before us. This is clearly demonstrated by passages such as Phl 2:3, 4; Ro 12:10; Eph 4:2; 5:21. I’ve found that being concerned how we should respond to others more than being concerned how others respond to us aids well in supporting a more consistent adherence to these truths.
Since the works deriving from walking in the Spirit cannot be practiced one-hundred percent of the time (due to the ongoing indwelling of the “old man”), I believe God’s greatest work in us rests in the retaining of this desire to love (which produces continued growth in it), which then is in us—the crux of His “work” (Phl 2:13). May God give us to remember to keep a constant check on the intentions of our actions, that we may, more all the time, be love-centered; without which our testimony cannot be God-glorifying (Jhn 15:8). God be blessed above all!