God is love, and all that He has ever wanted is that we love too.
Jesus said, “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 neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40. These two commandments are a summary of the Ten Commandments which Christ wrote with His own finger on two pieces of lasting stone. The first four commandments describe love to God, and the last six describe love to our neighbour.
Love is keeping God’s law
“...love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10). Self-sacrificing love is the law of life in Heaven and Earth.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Exodus chapter 20 (summary)
LOVE TO GOD
1. Have no other Gods.
2. Don't make, bow, serve idols.
3. Don't take God's name in vain.
4. Keep holy the 7th day Sabbath.
LOVE TO OUR NEIGHBOUR
5. Honor father & mother.
6. Do not kill.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not bear false witness (lie)
10. Do not covet.
Selfishness (or sin) is breaking God’s Law
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1John 3:4; Romans 7:7). Sadly, none of us have always kept God’s law of love. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). Those who continue to choose selfishness will not live forever. “The wages [or penalty] of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23).
Satan, and the self..ish, are unwilling to obey God’s Law
“The carnal mind [the selfish mind] is enmity against God [hostile to God]: for it is not subject to the law of God [does not submit to God’s law of unselfish love], neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7. But thankfully, there is hope; our hearts and minds can be renewed.
The Promised Saviour
When Adam and Eve broke God’s law of love by coveting and stealing the forbidden fruit, they were to die, and we would never have existed. But Jesus, our Creator, loved Adam and Eve so much, and wanted us to exist so much, that He willingly took upon Himself the penalty of Adam and Eve’s sin, and died to satisfy the just demands of the law. (John 3:16). As the Life-Giver, Christ’s life was worth more than all of our lives, and by His death He ransomed the whole world, giving us all another chance.
A temporary law of sacrifices
To keep before His people the promise that Christ, the innocent, would die to pay for our sins, God introduced another law which required people to sacrifice an innocent lamb if they sinned. God really wanted people to stop sinning rather than kill innocent animals. This system of sacrifices, and its associated offerings and annual holy days, foreshadowed, or pointed forward to, Jesus, the “Lamb of God” who was to die to pay the penalty for sin that we deserve. When Jesus died He did away with the law of sacrifices, so we no longer need to sacrifice lambs. (Colosians 2:14-16)
When we consider what God has done for us we are moved to become like Him. We no longer want to do those things which required His death in our place. We seek pardon and purity of heart. “Blot out my transgressions ...create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:1, 10.
ForgivenIf we “confess and forsake our sins” (give them up) (Proverbs 28:13), then Jesus credits His perfect life, and death, to us, and we are forgiven. He then asks us to “go and sin no more.” (John 8:11).
We cannot be perfectly loving on our own, but Jesus promises to give us power to obey His law of love. He saves His people from their sins - from the penalty and power of sin. (Matthew 1:21) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation...” Romans 1:16. Jesus turns law breakers into law keepers - selfish people into loving, giving people. He “is able to keep you from falling [into sin], and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” Jude 1:24. Those who wish to overcome sin have the promise, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. Whatever temptation you struggle with, Jesus can set you free. Victory is only a prayer away. Allowing Christ to make us obedient is our loving response to what He has done for us.
This change from selfish law breaking to law keeping is called being born again. We receive a new mind and new desires, and begin to love God’s law (Psalms 119:97) - we love God and other people.
Living under grace
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:14, 1-2. Grace is not a licence to continue in sin. That would be a dis-grace.
No longer ‘under’ the Law
Christ‘s followers are no longer under the law, that is, they are not condemned by because they no longer continue in sin, but willingly “follow His steps: who did no sin,” (1Peter 2:21-22).
Knowing God - loving forever
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” 1John 2:3 Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12. Those who are willing to love always will live forever. And LOVE is the fulfilling of the Law (Romans 13:10) The wages of love, the fulfilling of the law, is eternal life. The wages of sin, the transgression of the law, is death (Romans 6:23)