That's not a general, 'Oh yes, The Church worldwide is grand.' No, that's those people to whom I was joined on believing and meet with locally to encourage each other in the Lord. It's those with whom I sit under God's word and seek to live it out together. It's the local body of which, with all my failings and lovelessness, I'm an inseparable part.
We love because he first loved us. 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. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. John 4.19-21'Love me, love my church.'
And the love isn't just a fluffy feeling, either. It's called service. And what a joy!
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. John 3.16-18Love me, love my church.