The apostle Paul speaks of love as the first evidence that God is at work in our lives, the first fruit of the Spirit of God within us.
The apostle John, in his letter of 1 John, views love as the evidence for life (our eternal life in Christ is demonstrated by love), as the evidence for faith (love proves that our claim of faith is not an empty claim), as evidence for God (the invisible God makes himself visible in the love that Christians have for one another), and as evidence for Jesus (because love points people to Jesus).
If anything can be said to be primary, central, and essential to being a Christian and becoming more like Jesus, it must be love.
But what are the implications if that love is not present in the life of a Christian?
Dr. Christopher J.H. Wright addresses that question in his book Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit…
According to John, when people who claim to be Christians show no evidence of this kind of God-like, Christ-like, Spirit-produced love, then they call into question whether they are truly born again (1 John 4:7); they show that they don’t really know God (1 John 4:8); and they are despising the cross of Christ by refusing to live as if it has anything to teach us (1 John 4:9-10). But worst of all, they are keeping God invisible (1 John 4:12). They are hiding the love of God. They are concealing the God who is love, the God who longs to be seen in and through us.
This is why it is so important for we Christians to obey Jesus when he said, in John 15:12, “Love each other as I have loved you.”