The familiar words… “by this shall all men know” contradict our selfishness. Self interest takes precedence and our priorities must be preeminent. Someone gets in our way, slows us down, interrupts us or doesn’t act towards or respond to us in the way we want them to (i.e the way we think we are entitled to be treated) we insist on our rights & entitlements. We may not say it exactly, but the attitude is, “I demand you listen to me”, “You have no right to offend me”, etc.
When instructing Timothy, Paul said:
“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
1 Tim 1:5-12
The gospel demands that faith produces love, else our faith is not “sincere”. As John said:
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1 John 2:4
This fills out the gospel. It is not limited to Jesus’ death for my sins & forgiveness. It is also about being introduced to a community through which I demonstrate that forgiveness towards others. The gospel emulates Christ’s incarnation. He became flesh, dwelt among us and revealed God to us through his life and obedience to God’s will. As the Father sent Christ, he on-sends us: The call of Christ is to “wear” (i.e. incarnate) the gospel as an act of service in and for Christ to extend his kingdom.
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:12
A lack of forgiveness results in bitterness and is indicative of spiritual death, disbelief & disobedience.