What is love? It can be many different things, depending on what type of love we are talking about. There is erotic or romantic love, and then there is friendship (companionship or brotherly) love, and I believe there is also a special kind of love a parent has for a child, and then there is God-like love.
God-like (agape) love stands above all the rest, for it is unselfish, self-sacrificing, forgiving, compassionate, tenderhearted, full of grace and mercy, truthful, faithful, and pure, etc. It does no harm to its neighbor. And, it prefers what God prefers, i.e. what is moral, just, righteous and holy.
The Lord Jesus led me to read Ephesians 5 (Select vv. ESV).
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Did you know that when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, to be Lord and Savior of our lives, that we are, thus, created by God to be like God (in his likeness) in true righteousness and holiness? Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us in order that we might become the righteousness of God. And, He called us to be holy, i.e. separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ.
In other words, we were saved and called to be like Jesus Christ, who is LOVE, in all that we do.
Did you also know that when we believe in Jesus Christ, that we die with Christ to sin, and that we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, to be lived to his righteousness? And, that we then walk (conduct our lives) now according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh? And, did you also know that the Bible teaches that IF we walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh (our sinful passions) that we do not have the hope of eternal life with God? It is critically important that we understand these truths.
Jesus did not save us from our sins so that we would continue in them without conscience, without guilt and without remorse. He set us free from the power that sin and Satan had over our lives, so that we could now be slaves to his righteousness. Being born again means the old life has been done away with and that we now live and walk in the power of God’s Spirit living within us. We walk in love, which means to walk in the Spirit, and to walk in holiness, righteousness, purity and obedience to our Lord.
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Wow! How I wish that the church in America would get this. It just breaks my heart to see so many professing Christians living in immorality, in lifestyle, and without conscience that what they are doing is wrong, or without the fear of God in their hearts, so that they think they can continue on in their immorality and that God will do nothing about it. They think that because he hasn’t done anything yet, that it means he won’t do anything.
But, Jesus said that if we want to come after him, we must deny self, take up our cross daily, and follow (obey) him. And, he said that if we hold on to our lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives for his sake (die to sin and self), then we have eternal life with God. And, Paul reiterated this when he said that if we walk according to the flesh, that we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live with Christ for eternity.
Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
We, as followers of Christ, are not to be partners with those who are living immoral, impure and disobedient lifestyles, i.e. with those who regularly practice such sins. A partner is an associate, supporter or an accomplice (assistant). And, to partner with someone means to join and to unite with him. We are not to do any of that with immoral and idolatrous people.
We are not to willfully participate in immorality or impurity or idolatry in any form. And, we are not to hang out with people who do, for they are likely to influence us to disobey God in these areas, too. For, bad company corrupts good character. So, we need to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
And, I believe this includes not allowing ourselves to be entertained by what is immoral, impure, wicked or idolatrous, either, via TV, movies, music, the internet, or video games, and the like. There should not even be a hint of such things in our lives. Instead, we should expose such things.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Willfully and habitually sinning against Almighty God is just plain stupid. It is wrong, it is harmful to ourselves and others, and it destroys our relationships with God and with other humans. And, if this is how we choose to live our lives, it will result in death (not eternal life with God).
There is no true peace or joy when we are living out of fellowship with God. All these idols of the flesh will never satisfy the deep longings of our souls, which only God can truly satisfy. We will come up empty every time, and only wanting more and more of what is going to destroy us, and then going deeper and deeper into depravity. And, for what? A temporary fix? It is not worth it! I guarantee you. In the end, you will wish you had listened to the truth, and to reason.
Instead of living to please our flesh, which is a total act of selfishness, we need to walk in the Spirit, be filled with the Spirit, and be loving others and loving God with God-like love, which is self-sacrificial, and which cares deeply about those who are trapped in sin’s deceitfulness, and about those who have been wounded by the sins of others. It does no harm to its neighbor, but it reaches out to help, to heal, to forgive and to restore.
Do You Love Me?
An Original Work / July 24, 2013
Do you love Me now?
Will you seek My face?
I have given you
My love and My grace.
Will you walk with Me
Ev’rywhere I lead?
Will you find in Me
All of what you need?
Won’t you meet with Me
Down upon your knees?
Will you obey Me,
And do what I please?
Will you hear My voice
Speaking now to you?
I am couns’ling you
To abide in truth.
I have died for you;
Taken all your sins –
Crucified with Me,
You have been forgiv’n.
I have set you free
From your slavery,
So that you can now
Live in victory.
Sunday, January 7, 2018, 7:24 p.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from your word. Help us to love others and you like you love us. Amen!