Sunday, November 20, 2011

And This Is Love?????

It's a simple concept or is it?

So....How do we love God?

How does God love us?

How do we share the love of God with each other?

Many of Gods children are dumbfounded by this question and their answers are varied.

I believe the answer can be found in what appears to be one simple verse.

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

Isn't this what it is all about?

What are your thoughts?


  1. To the point ND!

    As Jesus said, if you love Me then obey Me. (Can't remember the exact verse)
    So I guess love practically is found in what exactly Jesus commands of us. Turn the other cheek, treat others as we would like to be treated... even enemies! ouch.
    Love is not merely feeling, but action, duty and honour. Following the wishes of our beloved Lord.

    There're a few thoughts anyway.

  2. Isn't it neat how simple it is? I don't understand why people try to make more out of it. However, what is so great about is when we fall short, we have the blood of Y'shua.

    BTW, I envy you guys right now. We are going into winter and you have all the warm weather. :-)

  3. However, what is so great about is when we fall short, we have the blood of Y'shua.

    So awesome isn't it! I will hopefully pen an article on a similar topic soon which may be quite controversial but hopefully Biblical. Would love feed back.

    Yes the summer days are dawning! Being in NZ, we live near many beaches in the north so it will be happy days :) Bit worried about the lack of rain lately though :S

  4. "I will hopefully pen an article on a similar topic soon which may be quite controversial but hopefully Biblical."

    Isn't controversial another word for stretching our horizons? ;-) I look forward to reading it.

  5. Hi there No Doubt! Really nice to have you join us :) Looking forward to reading what you have to contribute!

    I find it interesting that the Greek language structure used here indicates that John is comparing two separate (but related) things, rather than describing the same thing in two ways. In other words, Loving God is NOT equal to obeying His commandments - they are not even 'part of' each other. Because of this you can only use obedience as a clue (not a surrogate) to the love behind it.

    The rest of the book describes what 'keeping his commandments' actually means. It means loving each other. This is actually a very flexible and vague summary of all of God's commandments - and I think that's deliberate. Because although love will lead us to value and pursue the commandments and desires of God, the focus should not be on particular commandments to obey (or not). The focus should be on a Person, and loving Him. 'Keeping' and 'Walking after' His commandments seems to mean valuing them for what they are - pointers towards the heart of God - and giving our all to loving and honoring Him. As you so No Doubt - its very simple :)

  6. Had a recent discussion on FB about this. Someone was asking what Jesus meant when He said 'If you love Me you will keep my commandments'. I answered we should keep all the NT commandments, but added a (long) clarifying note :) ...

    The way Jesus interpreted the Old Testament Law was as a pointer toward God - teaching about his Character, priorities, desires, etc. To 'keep' these is not to follow them legalistically, but to value them as they are (pointers) and to then try to genuinely please the Person behind them as well as you can with the strength He provides. He used this principle to both diminish the importance of some laws in people's eyes (e.g. washing hands, eating clean food, not working on Sabbath) while increasing the standard in other areas (e.g. adultery, hate = murder). The focus is completely different here - we are meant to understand God's heart BEHIND the laws.

    Paul teaches this as well - our death through our union to Jesus, has freed us from our marriage to the law (and its demands for to-the-letter obedience). We are now 'married' to a new Person. This is to be our focus, not any particular laws to follow (or not). They are valuable ONLY in that they teach us about the Person.

    So in a sense, we 'should' be following ALL the laws in the whole of Scripture - because they ALL describe God's heart. But in another sense, NONE of them should be constraining. It is a Person we are focussing on, and the entire Law finds its fulfillment in Him. He is our temple, sacrifice, High priest, and righteousness now. And this Person is full of grace and showed consistent and considerable flexibility (as all personal beings do) in adapting to express His character perfectly in all situations.

    The New Testament seems to be very good at re-phrasing the Old Testament Laws with this focus in mind. By contrast, it is very easy to focus excessively on the Old Testament laws with a legalistic attitude (toward yourself or others) and forget this focus. Which is why I answered as I did :)

  7. A rather good write up Josh, about the relationship between Christ and the OT laws.
    This point has been a struggle to explain for many christians. What I find interesting is that the OT laws are in idea actually pretty much what we do today; the difference is, is that the penalty of death etc is taken and placed upon Christ. So much mercy!
    Many others were from what I could see about cleanliness, which aren't necessarily sin. They were strong recommendations of ways to care for others around us, or am I incorrect in this?
    Like building regulations etc lol.

  8. I think you are right in part Dan, at least for some of the ceremonial laws.

    Also, others are meant to be symbols of the 'real' heavenly realities, which are found in Christ. I wouldn't be surprised, for example, if a big part of the reason God designed the food cleanliness laws, was so that He could make a parallel between them and the Gentiles later on. And it would make His grace all the more astounding and tangible to people. Dunno, maybe anyway...

    When I'm not sure of the heart of God behind some of the laws (is God really actually concerned that we don't mix cotton with polyester? Or was He making a statement about making clear distinctions between pure and impure?), I have to trust in the grace of Christ both to cleanse me from unknown sin, and to lead me by His Spirit into a deeper knowledge of God.