Wednesday, March 27, 2013

So what's the big deal about love? Part 2

Here is the link to first part.

After I finished that post I kept on thinking of more examples of God's love throughout the Bible, but that will have to wait for another time.  This time I want to look at how the love that we have been shown transforms us.

Romans 5:7-9 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

The greatest expression of God's love toward us was Christ's death.  God's righteousness, holiness, and justice required a punishment for sin.  That punishment was death, an eternity separated from God, it was a heavy price, it was a price that we in our limited capacity as humans had no way to pay.  We had no hope of ever being able to escape the punishment or to pay the price; it was hopeless. But God is his love offered to us his Son.  His Son, Christ on the cross received the punishment that each of us deserved.  God's righteousness, holiness, and justice were satisfied, the price for sin that no human could pay was paid by Christ.   There is no way in this world that I would ever think to offer my son up  for the payment of someone else's debt, but that is what God did for us.  We often forget the significance of that love; do we even have a grasp of what that love is?  The big deal about love is that without love we would still be dead in our sin.  Without love we would be destined for eternal separation from God.  That love is the very foundation of our faith, without the love of God there would be no hope.  

Three separate times in the last lesson that Jesus taught to his disciples before his death he instructed his disciples to love one another.  

Jn 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Jn 15:12-14
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Jn 15:17-18
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

In the prayer that Christ prayed before he went out into the garden he even prayed that his disciples would have the love that his Father had toward him would be in his disciples.  It was how he finished his prayer.

Jn 17:24-26
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

In the life of a Christian love is one of the most important attributes that should be exhibited.  Christ said that the two great commandments were to love the Lord and to love your neighbor.  He said that on these two commandments hung all the law and the prophets.  If you love your neighbor then you will be kind, you will treat others correctly.  You won't lie, steal, or cheat etc. if you are loving your neighbor.  The importance of love is that without love you will ever be able to be a Christ-like Christian, because love is integral to his character.

Up next will be a look at I Corinthians 13.

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