LOVE WHOM WITH ALL YOUR HEART?
TAKEN FROM SAVIOR OF THE WORLD WEB SITE
BY: BRAD EDWARDS
Does everyone remember the two greatest commandments of the Jewish law? Of course the confrontational, religious Jews of Jesus’ day threw Jesus a real “softball” to hit with this question. Jesus answered them this way:
MT 22:37 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38] This is the first and greatest commandment. 39] And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Jesus told them exactly what they wanted to hear. He told them the “short” version of the Law because the Jewish Law contained hundreds of commandments- many of which were punishable with death. But do you notice what Jesus adds to the recital of these Old Testament words? He says, “ALL the Law and the Prophets HANG on these two commandments.” They “hang” means they DIE on these commandments. Why, you might ask? Because the Law given to Moses was the Law of death and a curse to mankind.
GAL 3:10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.
As Believers should KNOW, Jesus Christ put an end to this Law of sin and death!
RO 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2] because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
GAL 3:23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24] So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25] Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
Now if Believers can TRULY accept that, in Christ, we are now set free by the New Law of the SPIRIT OF LIFE, listen closely to what I am about to say. The first and greatest commandment to love our God will all our hearts, minds and strength has been transformed in Christ! This old command was IMPOSSIBLE for the natural man. This old command is no longer for those in Christ! It was part of the law of sin and death. This SHADOW has been removed and NOW the first and greatest commandment has been revealed in its TRUE and FULL GLORY! Jesus does not ask his followers to “love God with all your heart, mind and strength.” But he does tell them this:
JN 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
That is it nothing else! THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO LOVE GOD! We are called to love each other AS Jesus did. But understand that this Love we give to others ONLY comes from God who is Love. This Love being expressed is the Law of the Spirit of Life! There is nothing left for us to do to fulfill the Perfect Law. We are no longer commanded to love God with all our hearts, minds and strength. Let me ask you Truth Seekers something. How would YOU love God with all your heart, mind and strength- by following the Law to the letter? Do we fast, tithe or do “good works”? Can man EVER become justified by the LAW or by his works in the flesh? Certainly not!
We must understand that the manifestation of fulfilling the Law is LOVE and is what Jesus told his followers to do. LOVE EACH OTHER with God’s perfect love. This is exactly what Jesus did for us! He gave us everything He had. He surrendered his body, soul, spirit and all of his strength to save us! Jesus knew that he must love us to do the will of God. He loved us because he was led by God. The natural man can not love a spiritual Father in any real way. So the Law given to the natural man is not for the spiritual man who is born of God and NEITHER is the “first and greatest commandment.” That was the shadow that no man could do, but God, in Christ, reveals the Truth of Whom we are to love completely and why.
I know this may ruffle a few religious tail feathers, but hear me out. First, we must realize that the Law given to the Jews is OVER- ALL of it! Jesus said, “it is finished.” It was given to the natural man to TRY and live godly. Guess what? Man failed miserably as God knew he would. The purpose of the Law was to lead us to Christ- the Savior of ALL. The Law was/is for the natural man, not the spiritual man. The natural man had to understand that he was unable to be like God, but with Christ we will become the fullness of God (EPH 3:19). This means that we will love ALL UNCONDITIONALLY like our Father. Jesus told us that we would become Perfect like our Father in heaven (MT 5:48). When we are born of God, our NATURE begins to change. We are transformed into our Father’s Nature, which is Love. So we don’t love to BECOME God’s children, but we love BECAUSE we ARE God’s children and are taking on His essence which is love! It is inevitable and absolute that we become like God WE ARE HIS IMAGE! Being God’s Image we reflect God’s love. God is the Only Source of Love. The Christ or Image of God is the only One who can EXPRESS that love. The Logos or Expression of God is Love. Our True Life and being is in the Logos, the Christ. The Son of God is Perfect – the Image of the invisible God.
So the Law is dead for the spiritual man in Christ. So what remains? LOVE. Yep, just LOVE. Don’t believe me? Let’s read a little about love. 1JN 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Now, I know that many Christians will deny that EVERYONE who LOVES has been born of God. They will say, “There is NO WAY that this Muslim or that Hindu has been born of God because they are not Christians.” I know in my heart that many Hindus or Muslims have been “born of God” and have more LOVE in their little pinky than a whole congregation of religious Christians! Do some believe that John is just delusional or perhaps in a real giddy mood when he wrote this? Oh, COLD HEARTED CHRISTIANS who no know nothing of the Kingdom! It is YOU that does NOT KNOW GOD! You do not know God, nor that GOD IS LOVE! You know ABOUT Jesus- the man of flesh. You know the Bible – the LETTER that kills. You know the Law – the curse to mankind. How many Christians are still living by the Law of death with rules that say, don’t do this or that? There is no more old law of sin and death. It was a shadow! Does everyone hear what the REALITY, the New Law is? Let’s have John say it again: 1 JN 4:16 God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17] In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him.
This is all there is in Christ. There are no traditions, no rules, and no religion. There is only Perfect Love. GOD IS LOVE. ANY who love as Jesus did have GOD and GOD LIVES IN THEM. They are motivated by Love, which is God. All they do is for the good of others. Jesus told us that a tree is known by its fruit. In other words, a child of God is known by the LOVE that is given and NOT by the happenstance religious beliefs. Have Christians considered the “fruit” of those calling themselves Christians throughout history? There is some very BAD FRUIT from even the highest and most pious Christians of Christendom- yes even the so-called saints. On the other hand, there have been those of other religions who have produced the Fruit of the Spirit without the religion of Christianity. Do we all recall what the Fruits of the Spirit of God are? Refresher time!
GAL 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Did you catch that last line? If I may paraphrase, against the motivation of the Holy Spirit of God there is no LAW or rules. If we are doing it by the will of Love, anything goes. We can heal on the Sabbath, knock over tables at church, or whatever the Spirit calls us to do. Understand that I am not condoning violence or rioting, but if God calls you to do it then it is absolutely the RIGHT thing to do. This is living by the Law of the Spirit of Life. The Spirit of God who is Love and is ONLY motivated by love.
Now, let’s go back to what the Old Law commanded us to do. The #1 Law was to love your God with all your heart, soul and strength. Guess what? That law was the part of the shadow too. It is gone for those in Christ. You will not find Jesus or any of the apostles teaching us to “love God with all your heart, mind and strength.” Go ahead and look; you won’t find it. It was a shadow of a HIGHER reality, a mystery hidden in Christ that has been revealed.
The key to this great mystery is where is God? Is He in your churches? Is He in your sacraments? Is He up on the clouds? Dear Truth seekers, God lives in those who have been called out and awakened. God LIVES in him who loves. GOD LIVES IN US. We are God’s image; we are like Him in this world. This is the key to unlock this mystery.
1 JN 4:12 “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
ACT 17:26 “From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27] God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28] ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring.”
Here Paul was speaking to the pagans in Athens. All men have been created by God through Christ and for Christ. All of mankind is destined to become the image of God, which is Christ. Jesus was the First man to do this and gives us His Spirit of Sonship that we may also overcome our natural, evil natures and become like our Father in heaven- PERFECT!
MAL 2:10 Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?
MT 23:9 And do not call anyone on earth `father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
LK 17:20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21] nor will people say, `Here it is,’ or `There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
God lives in His children, His Kingdom that is in us. This is true of the pagans and even of the Scribes and Pharisees that Jesus called sons of the Devil. They followed the spirit of the world, spirit of their flesh. Because of this deception, the Devil was their current, but false father (god). They were unaware of God’s Spirit in them and were called blind, deaf and dumb. Many are still asleep, dead and unbelieving.
2 COR 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4] The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
If we love each other, we ARE loving GOD. If we serve each other, we are serving God. If we die for each other, we are dying for God. The ONLY WAY to love God is love everyone you meet. Yes, even our enemies are to be loved. So, am I saying that all we have to do is love? That this is the ONLY LAW there is? EXACTLY!
GAL 5:14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15] If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
ROM 13:9 “The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10] Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
LOVE, which is God, fulfills the law. This INCLUDES loving those who don’t know God and are enemies to God. Have you not read? MT 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, `Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44] But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45] that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Here Jesus is saying the Law is bogus and not the Reality of God or His love. We have heard via the Law that we should love our neighbors, but it was okay to hate our enemies. THIS IS THE LAW OF DEATH! The New Law of LIFE says that we should love our enemies too! Why? Because God lives in them! To love God we MUST love our enemies like ourselves because we were also once ENEMIES to God! By loving our enemies we are fulfilling the Law. We ARE loving our GOD who also loves His enemies.
Loving unconditionally is the nature of God and so it is the nature of God’s sons! It is nothing that we strive to do, but comes naturally as we mature in Christ. Jesus said that whatever we did to the least of his people, we did to him. This is saying that I, Christ, am in ALL of God’s creation. Any unconditional love given to the “least” is in reality given to the ONE who gave it to begin with, God! The only True Love comes from God. We, being the image of the Father, return that Love back to the Father by loving ALL as he does.
Further, Jesus says that we do this BECAUSE that is what God, our Father is like. He also tells us that God wills that the Sun (Christ) rise on the evil and the good. Also, God sends rain (gifts of the Spirit) to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. So to REALLY be sons of God and love God, we must give our God-given love back to God by loving ALL of mankind. Understand and remember that Jesus left us with only ONE command. This perfect command is what the sons of God live by. This perfect Truth reveals God and His Kingdom and exposes this world and the spirit of this world. Remember and understand WHOM we are to love with all our heart according to our Lord Jesus.
JN 15:17 “This is MY command: Love each other.”
May God’s peace and understanding be with you,
LOVE WHOM WITH ALL YOUR HEART [Brad Edwards] 1