In my last post I wrote about the definition of love and the definer of love- Jesus Christ. Without Him we can only experience an imitation of what it is supposed to be. Mankind's version is a sadly inferior and superficial sort that ends in disillusionment. God's love is forever because it is His essence. He's an unchanging God.
The first concept of love usually comes from our parents. When we were babies they were ready to meet all our needs. We were protected by them and comforted too. As we grew a little older and more independent, our parents had to set up some boundaries-like baby gates- to keep us from wandering out into dangerous areas where we might be harmed or injured. In like manner, God gave us the commandments to help us navigate this sinful world.
We can climb over the boundary lines and get into trouble but by His grace we'll eventually learn our Father knows best. Even Christians often believe God's punishments are severe. Just as every human father(and mother) has been accused of the same thing when their rules are broken. But His rules (commandments) are given for our good always. They show what a mature child of God is supposed to look like. Love is the motive for our Father's chastisement.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? Hebrews 12:5-7
Despite what some so called 'progressive Christians' teach, God's moral laws are still in force. Adultery, abortion, hatred, homosexuality, stealing.. are still wrong (Matthew 5:17,18) Yet, apart from Jesus' grace and sacrifice we'd have no hope of overcoming sin. What's more the Holy Spirit was given to us as a guide into all truth and righteousness. Our minds need to be renewed every day because we still live in a sinful, fallen world where our old nature fights against the new nature. Even Paul, the Apostle, struggled with the flesh. (Romans 7:23-25)
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4
Our Father's love needs to be what motivates us to listen to Him. As born again believers we are called to conform to Jesus' image. We are given the power to become the sons of God by repentance and by placing our faith in His Word-which reveals Jesus' true character. When we do this we are no longer under the law of sin and death(Old Covenant). Instead, we are under the law of the Spirit of life(New Covenant). Let us therefore live in the New Covenant, by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit and the new heart of flesh.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:14-18
Fulfilling of 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 neighbor as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40