‘Because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts.’ Romans 5:5b
When we read this passage, the question arises what kind of love is meant here. This is stated clearly in verse 12: it is the love the Lord has for us. That was the love that drove Him to lay down His life for His friends (:13); in this love He died for us while we were still God’s enemies (Romans 5:10)! This is a divine, unselfish love, that cannot be compared to the most beautiful love a human might muster.
Jesus commands us, to love each other as He has loved us (:12). We do not need to worry hopelessly about this command, for when God gives a command, it is - at the same time - an opportunity. Impossible within ourselves, but made possible through Him, as long as we wholly entrust ourselves to Him. We may be filled with hope, for God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Into the hearts of all people? No, Paul addressed his letter to ‘all in Rome who are loved by God’ (Romans 1:7). And who those loved ones are, is stated clearly in the Bible-passage of today: 'You are My friends if you do what I command’ (:14).
If we are loved by God, then we should be very careful with the divine love that is poured out into our hearts. We cannot be more careful than by being obedient: ‘If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love’ (:10). God expects of us that we, just like Jesus, obey His commands and remain in His love. We do not need to fear this command, for Jesus says: ‘I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete!’ (:11).