At the core of our salvation is the Love Jesus Christ poured out for us on the cross as he took the penalty of our sin upon himself and then rose from the dead to usher us into eternity. We did not earn it. We cannot do enough good things to outweigh the debt in our ledger that we are sinful people. Yet we are a sinful people who are loved by our creator, adopting us into the family and imputing a righteousness upon us as we are ushered into to everlasting.
Love is relational, plain and simple. In Michael Reeves’ book Delighting In The Trinity, Reeves describe God as being in the very nature of love BECAUSE of the fact that God is Three Persons in one. God is love because of the relational aspect of the various parts in complete and indistinguishable unity with one another. Love cannot be one object expressed into the abyss and void of nothingness but rather there must be an object that receives that same love.
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. – 1 John 4:19-21
We find two things at work; God loves us and we are to love one another.
God Loves Us
In the previous Core of Love posts, we have discussed the nature of love and the nature of God’s grace poured out on us. Love is the ultimate factor in our lives and our guiding star insofar as we are chasing after the perfect love that comes from God. We are loved by God who loves us despite every reason we have given Him to not, yet he loves us all the same.
God does not allow our actions to determine his feelings for us but instead, through Jesus Christ, gave us the grace of deliverance and redemption to provide us with a means of salvation from our sins. We deserve death for our treason against a Holy God. By love, we do not get it.
Loving One Another
Having established that God loves us, the command is for us to reveal the love that God has shown to us by showing it to each other. In essence, we become a lighthouse for the love of God in our lives. We do not produce love but allow the love to flow through us. God extends his hand through ours to touch those around us. Often times the person has done nothing to deserve or earn it and in fact they may have even wronged us or may even be living in sin. Yet we are to separate the thing people do and the person they were created to be, just as God does for us.
We do not have to agree with a person, their life choices, or their decisions in order to show a person love. In fact, the separation of the things people do and the thing people are is vital to our display of the love of God.
We can love those who reject God while simultaneously stand firm in our faith and knowledge of God. We can love homosexuals while at the same time disagreeing with homosexuality. We can hate drug use but love those who struggle with it. We can hate the things that people do, even ourselves, while showing the grace and love to them that God shows to us.
So get out there. Love people and show them the love of God. Stand by those who sin and realize that you are not only one of them but that God loves you both. Disagree with someone, but disagree in love. Spur each other on towards our goal of holiness for a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, never stop pushing towards that righteousness, but do so with one another and out of the outpouring of grace and mercy from our Heavenly Father.