Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were yet sinners. While we didn’t love God, nor did we regard Him. While we lived sinful, selfish lives. While we snubbed our nose at God and His Holy Word - He loved us, and gave His Son for us. This is true love. This is proactive love. This is love that man does not know outside of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Natural human love on its best day does not come close to this kind of love. If we are to truly know love, then we must know God - for God IS Love (1Jn 4:8)
The greatest abiding virtue in the universe is love (1Cor 13:13). It is called the “Excellent way” (1Cor 12:31). Spiritual gifts are wonderful and needful. God-given talent and ability are great blessings. Good works should be the natural fruit of the believer. However, as we read in 1Corinthians 13, none of it matters if it is not motivated by love. If you know all things, can literally move mountains, and even give your life for someone else - it means nothing if it’s not motivated by love. While Jesus commended the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2 for their faithfulness to God’s Word and doctrine, as well as not tolerating false teachers, He also said if they did not repent and remember their first love (Jesus) he would remove their church. This is an amazing statement. A church with solid doctrine, but no love, is a church Jesus doesn’t even want in existence. We need to think about that.
God’s love abides in us when we receive Jesus Christ as our savior through faith (Eph 3:17). The same love that God has for Jesus abides in us when Jesus abides in us (Jn 17:26). So, when Christ is in you, then God’s love is in you, and it is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5). Then, God teaches us to love each other (1Thess 4:9). Our ability to love others is received by first accepting Christ, and then cultivating a relationship with Him through prayer, praise, and reading His Word.
In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus tells those who did great works in His name to depart from Him, because he never knew them. But wait a minute: that whole section is talking about doing God’s will. So, why would Jesus tell people who did these great works He never knew them? The answer is in 1Cor 8:3. It says that if any man love God, then he is known of God. Jesus didn’t know these workers of iniquity, because they didn’t love Him. Again, you can do all kinds of good works, but if it’s not motivated by a love for Jesus Christ, it profits nothing. That’s why Paul said if any man love not the Lord Jesus, let him be accursed (1Cor 16:22). He wasn’t pronouncing a curse on them; he was simply stating a fact.
This brings us to the royal law. We have seen that when Christ dwells in us God’s love dwells in us. However, this love for God is not to be hidden away. It is to be poured out continually towards others. Brotherly love is one of the most repeated themes in the New Testament. Therefore, it is to be in the constant forefront of our minds; and demonstrated as a way of life. Here are just a few of the Scriptures on brotherly love: Jn 13:34-35, 15:12, 17 Rom 12:10, 13:8-9, Gal 5:14, Jam 2:8, 1Th 3:12, 2Th 1:3, Heb 6:10, 10:24, 13:1, 1Pt 1:22, 2:17, 3:8, 4:8, 1Jn 3:11, 14, 16, 23, 4:7, 11, 12, 21, 2Jn 1:5. Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word is to be established. When you have close to 30, there should be no doubt as to its importance. Love is truly the “Royal Law”.
We must keep ourselves in the love of God (Jud 21) through constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. Then we can be vessels God can use to channel His love towards others. This is our chief responsibility. This is the great commandment (M 12:30-31). This is our life as Christians. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!