“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’”
And above all things
The phrase “above all things” makes love first priority above all other virtues. We see the priority of love in other passages such as these:
I Corinthians 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Colossians 3:14 “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
Love is the most important virtue (Jn 13:34; I Jn 4:7,8; 3:14) and is indispensable for Christian relationships. Sacrificial love is the first order of importance of living out our relationship to others.
Love is more than simple emotional affection but a divine capacity to sacrifice self for others. This kind of love is at the very essence of the love of God (Jn. 3:16). The very essence of God is love (I Jn 4:8) for God loves us with an everlasting, an unconditional love. God loves without limit. Such love manifests itself in unlimited sacrifice for others.
Eph. 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
Sacrificial love is the highest priority of Christian virtues.
Sacrificial love is the preeminent virtue of the Christian life and is a prerequisite to all other virtues of the Christian life. Three great apostles agree that love is the highest virtue:
Paul said that Love was the greatest virtue (I Co. 13:13; Ro 13:8).
John said the same thing (Jn 13:34,35; I Jn 3:23).
Peter here in this passage.
All three apostles agree that love is the supreme qualification of character for the Christian. Love makes all other virtues of the Christian life what they should be. Love is a prerequisite to any activity of Christianity. Our love to God will show itself in sacrificial love for fellow Christians (I Jn 3:17).
Show me electricity without energy and I will show you a faith that does not produce the love of God. Show me fire without heat, then I will show you a faith that does not express itself in sacrifice for other Christians. As the sun shines its light so must a person who has come to Christ shine his love to others.