Matthew 22:37-40 ESV
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Love is the fulfillment of the law. But, this is not the kind of love based on feelings. This is not the kind of love expressed in just being “nice” (agreeable, pleasant, polite) to everyone, either. This is God-like love which is based in the character and will of Almighty God. This kind of love, thus, prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, just, righteous, godly, pure, honest, moral, upright, and humble, etc.
So, if we love God with this kind of love, with our whole being, we will give ourselves wholly to God, holding nothing back. We will surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our lives, and we will live for him and no longer for ourselves. We will walk in fellowship with the Lord, doing what he says, daily putting sin to death in our lives, by the Spirit. And, we will walk in his righteousness, all in his power and strength at work within our lives.
And, this will carry over into how we love one another, too. Our love for others also will not be based in feelings or expressed in just being nice to everyone. For, this love takes on the character of God, of Jesus Christ. And, Jesus is our model, too, for how to love one another.
So, if we love others like Jesus loved (and loves) us, then we will be much more concerned about the legitimate needs of others then we will be about our own selves and our own comfort. We will be much more concerned about their salvation from sin and their eternal destiny than we will be concerned about our own reputations, too. In fact, when we truly demonstrate, by our lifestyles, this kind of love to others, we should expect to be hated, and even accused falsely, and mistreated in return.
Luke 6:43-45 ESV
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
When we truly love others with Jesus’ love, not only will we do good to them, even to those who hate us and who mistreat us, but we will speak the truth in love to them, too, for this is also for their good (their benefit, their welfare). Thus, we won’t tell them what they want to hear, but we will tell them what they need to hear. For, this is what Jesus did all the time.
For, it isn’t love to lie to people just to make them feel good. It isn’t love to avoid telling them the truth they need to hear, either, because we don’t want to upset them or make them feel bad. Most of the time, if we do this, it isn’t because we are really concerned about their feelings, but it is that we are afraid if we tell them the truth that they will hate and reject us, or that they will gossip about us to others and will turn others against us, too.
So, if we truly love others as Jesus loved (and loves) us, we will put ourselves aside. We will put our own reputations aside, too, just as Jesus did. And, we will say what they need to hear. And, what they need to hear is not that they can have some nebulous faith in Jesus Christ that guarantees them heaven when they die regardless of how they live their lives from this point forward. And, they certainly don’t need to hear that God says that they don’t have to stop sinning and that he says they don’t have to obey him.
They need to hear the truth, for their eternal destiny depends on it, as well as does the quality of life they have while they still live on this earth.
They need to be told that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). We need to tell them that faith in Jesus Christ is from God, and thus it submits to God, and thus it dies with Christ to sin so that it might live with Christ, daily walking in his purity, holiness and righteousness. For, this is the righteous life that God requires for us in order for us to have eternal life with Him (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17).
If we want to be followers of Christ, be saved from our sins, and have eternal life with God in heaven, then we must give up our lifestyles of living for sin and self, and we must surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, and then walk in his ways and in his truth. For, this is not only what scripture teaches us, but this is true grace which just doesn’t just forgive us our sins, but which delivers us from our slavery (addictions) to sin (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Matthew 15:17-20 ESV
“Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
So many people get caught up in externals and in religious performance, and they think or they deceive themselves into thinking that they are serving the Lord if they do these certain good things. In fact, a lot of them will even go so far as to try to make others feel as though they must follow the same religious rites, and if they do not, then they will try to convince them that they are out of God’s will or that they are disobeying God.
Yet, none of us are considered righteous before God because of religious performance. We are not saved by externals, nor can we appease God by religious acts, either. Yet, many people today, just like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, will do “good deeds” hoping to find approval with God and with other humans, but while they are hiding secret sins inside. In fact, many of them will do “good deeds” as a means to cover-up their wicked deeds, hoping that the good will outweigh or will mask their evil deeds.
And, this is not just the legalists who do this, either. These are also those who hold to the cheap grace gospel who do this, too. For, they believe deep down inside, even if they confess something different with their lips, that they can live in sin and still have heaven guaranteed them. But, they don’t want people to know about their secret sins, and so they do “good deeds” as religious performance to try to look as though they are following the Lord, when, in fact, they are living like the devil.
Then, when the light of the truth is shined into their hearts, they will often resist the truth, and they will fight against it, and they will fight against those who are proclaiming it, too. For, they don’t want to give up their sins, even if they will verbalize that they do.
So, when they are confronted with the truth, they will sometimes lash out at those who are speaking the truth, and they will viciously attack them. Yet, they may or may not do this to their face. They may, instead, maliciously gossip about them behind their backs in hopes to destroy their reputations and in order to shut them up, too. And, this is being done in spades!
For, not only are many people today convinced of, and are spreading this cheap grace gospel absent of the cross of Christ in people’s lives, but they are coming out against those who are teaching the truth, and with lies they have made up in hopes not only to shut them up but to discourage others from listening to them, too.
And, so the big lie that is being spread is that, if you teach repentance, obedience and submission to Jesus Christ as Lord (owner-master), then you are teaching works-based salvation, and thus no one should listen to you. And, they have convinced a lot of people this way to reject the truth and to follow after the lies, being convinced that they can make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but that they can still live in their sins, and that it will not impact their eternal security. And, this is of Satan, who wants us to remain enslaved to sin.
But, the scriptures oppose that philosophy. And, they teach that, if we walk (in lifestyle, in practice) in sin, according to our flesh, that we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. And, in fact, we will reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. So, know the truth, and live the truth (Gal. 6:7-8).
And, if you are on the receiving end of these false accusations, and this malicious gossip and vicious attacks because you are teaching the truth which delivers people from the bondage to sin, then be encouraged! Don’t be afraid!! Keep speaking the truth!! For, many need to be saved.
An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard, but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.
They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.
He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.
By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.
Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.
Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.
Monday, February 25, 2019