Monday, December 6, 2010

The Law of Love, Part 2 of 2

Yet even the believer who has nothing to show for his faith will be preserved by God, though all his works will be burned up before this judgment seat, 1st Corinthians 3:11-15. Paul realized that he could have his works burned before the judgment seat, if he was found to be disapproved in what he did, 1st Corinthians 9:24-27. Let all that we do be done in love, we are told. Love is the motivator that undergirds the Christian faith. First, it was God’s great love toward us, in that He sacrificed His own Son to redeem us, John 3:16-17; 1st John 4:19. Such love, we are told, should find a response in our hearts that purifies our walk, our works, our lives, 1st John 3:3.

Do I walk in love? Not always. I have been critical when it was unnecessary; I have split hairs on doctrines that should not affect fellowship. I have been more “theological” than “spiritual” toward brothers in Christ and unbelievers at times. Theologians may have learning, but a head full of the Bible does not replace a heart full of Christ’s love for the lost. Do I have this? God give me the maturing love that is patient toward the weak, and bears with the faults of those who waver and falter. Brethren, we are dead to the claims of the law! Sin, with all its power to kill and to condemn has been taken by our risen Lord and nailed to the cross, and our old man died with Him. We are married to Christ, and unless Jesus signs a writ of divorce to do away with us, we are most safe in His arms. Perfect love casts out fear! Jesus called to those weary and hurting souls in His own day, “Come unto me and I will give you rest…he who comes unto me I will in no wise cast out," Matthew 11:28; John 6:37.

How wonderful it is to be known by God. “Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth,” Psalm 113:5-6. Do you ever stop to consider the worms underground? We never pay attention to things “beneath us.” Yet God stooped infinitely low and noticed man, “humbling” Himself not only to heed us, but to come as a Man so He might die for us. Knowing this great love, let it motivate us to live for Him. No one else is worthy; and no other cause is worth our time, energy, prayers, and most of all, love.

We read, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or tinkling cymbal,” 1st Corinthians 13:1. Read and re-read this chapter that embodies godly love, and allow the Holy Spirit to humble us. Do we speak, act, and live out of a love that acknowledges God, and the needs of our brethren and the lost? I sound more often than I would like as sounding brass. The law of love has liberated us; Christ has liberated us from fear of eternal separation, so we might serve Him faithfully and without anxiety for ourselves. Freed from eternal condemnation, our focus can be on the kingdom of God and His righteousness, rather than our dutiful endeavor to live a life of strict obedience. Obedience by the letter kills, 2nd Corinthians 3:6. We are ministers of the new testament, Paul tells us. The law carried the letter, which killed; but the Spirit brings life, which saves. At the risk of sounding blasphemous, we are not here to preach obedience unto Christ for life, but faith in Him that grants us life. We cast our faith upon Him, and trust in the virtue of His promise.

I seldom ponder the depths of the liberty we have been given, and how it may be abused toward both legalism and license. One, I must say, neglects God’s love in favor of His justice; the other ignores God’s love in favor of hedonistic freedom, since all things are legal to a believer. The middle road is narrow indeed and hard-trodden. But as God loved us, and walked that hard road to Calvary, let us also follow Him in love, bearing His reproach, Hebrews 13:13. Brethren, if I haven’t said it clearly, I love you for Jesus’ sake. If I do not meet you in time, we shall see one another in eternity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

3 comments:

  1. John tells us that the evidence of our knowing him is our love. Too many of us have thought that our dress, or doctrinal stance, or even a Christian symbol was the key. Thanks for a great post.

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  2. Brother great post. Really like that last comment. we are not here to preach obediance to Christ but a faith that produces life. That is good stuff. Always enjoy keep up the good work. :)

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  3. Thank you Ian for such a well written and clear understanding of God's love for His greatest creation. Blessings, Lloyd

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