We have seen the divine imperative to live lives of separation from sin and to service that honors and glorifies our Lord. For those who are truly saved, the keeping of this imperative is a joyous, fulfilling experience. Why? What motivates a Christian to put down the sinful pleasures he used to enjoy and gladly pick up the light yoke of service to Christ? It is something called love. 2 John 1:6…
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.
Love is the motivating force that brings about obedience in the form of the fruit of righteousness in the life of those who are genuinely born again. Phil 1:9-11…
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Let’s look at the importance of love as the motivating force in living separated lives for His glory.
Psalm 40:8 Psalm 119:47-48 Matthew 22: 35-40 Phil 1:9-11
1 John 5:1-3 2 John 1:6
When we study the need for love as we live separated lives for His glory… we must consider the reciprocal relationship between love and His commands:
- God’s people, motivated by love, walk in His commands.
- The greatest command He gives to us is the command to love God first and others second.
It is in these two principles that we come face to face with the interdependent relationship between love and the law of God. Matt 22:35-40…
Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying,
Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
(also please note Gals 5:13-14)
Please notice in these verses several very important truths:
- The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with our entire being (desires, physical life, and intellect) (Heb 8:10-13)
- The other great commandment is to love those around us as if they were us.
- ALL the law and prophets “hang” on these two commands. (in other words, the commandments are supported, established and held up through the exercise of love to God and man.)
To help is to further understand the interdependence of love and the commands of God…
- Keep in mind, based upon the previous verses in this study, we found that we are to keep His commandments using love as the chief motivating force.
- The two most weighty commandments are to love God and others. Remember the commands of God are aimed toward our relationships with both God and man. We can see this exemplified in the Ten Commandments where commands one through four speak of our relationship with God (Exo 20:1-11), while commands five through ten address our relationship with man (Exo 20:12-17).
What a blessing it is to understand this very simple yet, profound truth. We owe love to both God and man. It is through this same love that we then treat God and man as we should. In other words, it is through our love for God and man that we NATURALLY keep the commands of God. Let me give two examples just to help clarify and illustrate this truth…
If we love God as we should…. we will not take His name in vain. Thus we will be fulfilling commandment number three “ thou shalt not take the name of the Lord God in vain” (Exo 20:7)
If we love others as we should …. we will not take their lives maliciously. Thus we will be fulfilling commandment number six “thou shalt not kill” (Exo 20:13).
Because of our love for God and man we find ourselves NATURALLY obeying the commands of God. This is one of the reasons why, if we are loving as we should, His commandments are not grevious burdens for us to bear. 1 John 5:1-3…
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
If we love as we should His commandments are naturally fulfilled as we exercise that love. It is only when our love for God and man is deficient, or nonexistent, that we find the laws of God a heavy burden that we must bear as we try to force ourselves to keep them.
If we are genuinely saved, as an act of God’s grace, we will love others. Here is how it is presented….
- If we love God we WILL love other Christians “every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him”
- We can know we love others if we love and obey God. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments”
- We know we love God if obeying His commandments are not heavy burdens that produce drudgery in our lives. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous”
John is clearly explaining that our attitude toward God’s laws is a clear sign of our spiritual condition before Him. If we are saved, it is placed within us a love for God and a love for others. These in turn are shown to be in existence by our attitude towards His commands. If they are grievous, then we were never given love and therefore, are not saved. If they are obeyed naturally and are joyful to keep we have been given God’s love and therefore can be assured of our salvation. This principle is brought out in several other texts. John 14:20-24 & John 15:9-17…
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Also we find that when we love others and keep His commandments, these are signs that we have been given liberty over sin…
Gal 5:13-14 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
For those who have been made separate to His service by His wondrous grace….
Does obedience to our Lord and submission to His will give you delight and fulfillment? If so, this is a wonderful proof that you have been given a new heart and mind characteristic of one that has been saved by God’s grace….
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Psa 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Psa 119:47-48 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
For those who have yet to be separated from the bondage of sin ….
If you find keeping the laws of God, enslavement and bondage or if you find yourself unable to gain the victory over a lifestyle of sin, look to Christ and come before Him submitting to His Lordship and realize that He is the only way to receive forgiveness and liberty form the enslavement of your sin.
Rom 6:6-11Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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