Life in God's Love

Sosoma Jr

JF-Expert Member
Aug 7, 2020
Life in God's Love.
There's only one thing God wants for humans: other centered love.

What Love Looks Like in Action.
Imagine a city with millions of people. In it, every married couple is deeply in love. They are always totally faithful to one another. People are happy with their own stuff. They have no desire to steal. You can always count on everyone to tell the truth. Everybody totally loves and respects their parents. Everybody values the life and well being of others. There is no pain of any kind. Nobody has a single broken relationship. Everybody knows God to be a God of perfect love. They all worship Him for who He is with free devotion.

Does that sound like a happy or miserable place? Of course, we all know that what we've just described is the best way for humans to live. But here's the thing. All we've really done is describe what life would look like if everyone lived in harmony with God's law, also known as the Ten Commandments. So, what kind of law is this? Well, from the community we've described, it's a law of faithful relationships. The first four of the ten show what love looks like toward God. The last six of the ten show what love looks like toward our fellow human beings.

Read Exodus 20:1-17 and Matthew 22:36-40. Talk about how the Ten Commandments show what love looks like in action.

"And God spoke all these words, saying: 'I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bandage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's' "(Exodus 20:1-17).

" 'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?' Jesus said to him, ' " You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets' "(Matthew 22:36-40).

Because " God is love, " God's law is love. And because God's law is love, it's basically a picture of His character. And because His law shows His character, it's as changeless and eternal as God Himself. Look at the following scriptures to find the changeless nature of God's law:

"For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob" (Malachi 3:6).

"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love" ( 1John 4:8).

"Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" Romans 12:10).

Law of Liberty.
Some people don't like the idea of God having a law. This is usually because they don't understand how the law works or its purpose. The word law makes them think of control and random rules that take away freedom and pleasure. But nothing could be further from the truth. James calls God's law "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25).

Our freedom and happiness grow within the large boundaries of relational faithfulness. They shrink within the small limits of relational wrongdoing. The law of God doesn't hold us back. It's actually extremely freeing. It doesn't take away our freedom or pleasure. Instead, it increases them to the highest and point possible. Who is happier: the person that's known to be honest and has everyone's trust? Or the person who lies, cheats, and is trusted by no one? Who is more satisfied: the couple that stay faithful to each other for life and experience deeper and deeper layers of closeness and trust? Or the couple who wrong each other by not being faithful to their vows? Who is freer: the person who is angry and hurts others? Or the person who feels no I'll for anyone?

Point made.

Moral Bankruptcy.
But there's a problem. The apostle Paul describes it perfectly: "The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. . . . For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do" (Romans 7:12, 14-15).

So there is nothing wrong with God's law, but there is something deeply wrong with us. Scripture uses the word "sin" to describe our broken state. "Sin" is defined as "transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4, KJV). The law is "love" (Romans 13:10). So , to say we are "sinners" is to say that we are bent away from love toward selfishness. Our selfish nature is nature is so say that we are bent away from love toward selfishness. Our selfish nature is so strong that Paul uses the language of slavery. He says we are "sold under sin." No matter how hard we try, we find it impossible to obey God's law of love. We have no moral power. We need something more than a self help book, a religious practice, or willpower. We need a Savior -- Jesus.

The New Covenant: Inside-Out Obedience.
God has provided a salvation plan through His Son, Jesus. The Bible calls it, "righteousness by faith" (Galatians 5:5). The prophet Jeremiah used a special name for Jesus: "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah 23:6). Here is an amazing idea. Righteousness is provided as a gift from an outside source. This is instead of humans making righteousness for themselves. It is the Lord's righteousness and, yet, it's ours. He, Himself, is "OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."

When we come to the New Testament, the apostle Paul expands this incredible idea. He teaches that God saves sinners by crediting them with the righteousness of Christ. Through the righteous life and atoning death of Christ, God does something remarkable. He "calls those things which do not exist as through they did" (Romans 4:17). God relates to us, guilty sinners, as if we are righteous and innocent even through we aren't. He treats us if as we've never sinned even through we have.

Paul calls this divine action "the free gift" and "the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ," and "the gift of righteousness" (Romans 5:15, 17). Then he summarizes the idea: "For as by one man's disobedience [Adam's sin] many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:19).

In other words, the obedience of Jesus is representative for us. He gives His obedience as a free gift to sinners. But God doesn't treat us as righteous so we can keep living in sin. Rather, He wants to lift from our hearts all sense of condemnation and the anxiety of trying to earn salvation. He wants to convince us of His unconditional love. He wants to show His vision for us and faith in us. Then, when the relationship with God is restored through grace, obedience to God's law begins to come from the inside out. It's faith responding to faith, love responding to love.

Which brings us to the new covenant. A covenant is a promise or agreement made between two people or groups.

When God gave Israel His law at Mount Sinai, the people misjudged their own moral state. They made the self confident promise to God, "All that the Lord gas said we Williams do and be obedient" (Exodus 24:7). What followed promises to obey God's law. But they committed sibs of every kind. This became known as the "first" or "old" covenant (Hebrews 8:7, 13). But God had something else in mind the whole time, which was the new covenant. This covenant is based on God's promise to forgive sibs and write His law in our hearts.

Read Hebrews 8:7-12. Talk about the specifics of the new covenant.

"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: 'Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days; says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, " Know the Lord," for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more' "(Hebrews 8:7-12).

In a new covenant relationship with God, we don't keep the law as a away of earning salvation. Rather, it's an outcome of love. This love comes as we realize and accept that God gives us salvation as a free gift in Christ.

In Romans 7:1-6, Paul uses marriage to show the difference between the old covenant and the new. If a woman has a husband, he reasons, she is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. If She marries another man, she is breaking the law. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry another man. Paul then likens the first husband to our effort to secure salvation through the law. He compares the second husband to Christ, who is the only means of salvation. He urges us to " become dead to the law" as a way of salvation. He says we should get "married" to Christ as our Savior. Then we are in a relationship with God in which we "serve in newness of the spirit and not in oldness of the letter" (verse 6).

In other words, in the old covenant we try to obey the law to earn favor with God. In the new, we know we already have God's favor through Christ. So we obey His law from the heart because we are empowered by His love.

It is the desire of my heart to be a new covenant follower of Jesus.

I confess I am completely powerless to live in obedience to God's law of love. I want to accept by faith the righteousness of Christ as my only hope. I want to ask Him to write His law in my heart.

God Blessing You.
2.Ndefu sana..
Kwa wale ndugu zangu wavivu wa kusoma dah..hapa wanapita hivii.....

Similar Discussions

Top Bottom