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pray_hands.GIF (680 bytes) Prayer & Spirituality
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Cross

Christianity

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Love God and Then the Neighbor

by Dr. George Jacob

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment," 1JO 3:23.

Let us consider what Jesus commanded His dear children: "...love one another, as he gave us commandment." Do you realize the importance of that command from the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you understand the authority with which He spoke?

Our observance of the second table of the law of love is the highest evidence of our observance of the first table of the law. The first table of the law is to love God with our hearts, souls, and minds.

Can we say we love God with our hearts, souls, and minds and disobey the very first and highest commandment that He has given to us? That commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Do you see the importance of that command? It is the golden thread that is woven through the entire gospel message. Why? Loving our brother as ourselves accomplishes several things; not only does it remove strife from the church, but it is the process of picking up the cross and following Christ.

When a person loves his neighbor as himself, the very first thing that happens is, self is crucified. "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me," LUK 9:23. That means that self is crucified, and we prefer others ahead of ourselves.

Every right that we have is put in the hands of the Lord; we are able to forfeit every one. We don't need to stand up to defend our rights for we have crucified self because we prefer our brother ahead of ourselves. That is the gospel.

The law of love begins with loving God above all; if we disobey His highest command to love our brother, we cannot say we love God. ROM 13:8-10 says, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

The law is the law of love, and loving one another requires us to fulfill both tables of the law. 1JO 3:16 says, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

Every violation of the last six commandments is the sin against the second table of the law. Our reverence for the authority of the Son of God to command us to love one another is required to fulfill the first table of the law because the very first commandment given by our Saviour tells us to love our neighbour as ourselves as our evidence that we love Him.

Our blessed Saviour taught the need of brotherly love for spiritual prosperity in JOH 15:10-12. "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."

The Lord Jesus Christ tells us He has given Himself, crucified everything of Himself in perfect obedience to His Father's command, to abide in His Father's love; therefore, we abide in His love by crucifying self and doing everything to serve our neighbour. How has He loved us? He shed His life's blood to cover our sins! Do you love your brother as He loved you? Are you able to cover your neighbour's sins with your life's blood? Or is it your greatest joy to blare them like a trumpet to all around? Do you love your brother as Christ loved you?

This often hits so very close to home. We see how we fall short; even though we might have meant well or were blinded by the pain of a brother's action: we did not cover the sins of one who has offended us. This commandment of "His Son Jesus Christ" calls for the crucifying of the old man of sin and self.

JOH 15:12 says, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." This takes a crucifying process: this is the commandment of the Father in our text. Do you really believe what He said? Do you believe in His authority? Then obey and do what He says.

See Also:

Why We Shouldn't Worry
God is our Heavenly Father who cares for us. So, we donít have to worry, struggle to figure everything out, or even try to make things happen.

Christ Coming vs. Christ Crucified
If we believe Jesus, we begin living gospel Christianity. But many believe a futuristic rhetoric that has no revelation of the gospel of the finished work of the cross.

Loving God Alone
God has endowed the soul with two main faculties: the understanding and the affections. We have been given a sound mind, which means that we can understand the difference between right and wrong and can pass judgment. Our affections incline us to do or not do.

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