Treasuring God's Truth in Your Heart

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Matthew 22:36-40: Love In Action:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Christ’s commands in this passage are more than “situation ethics” and “mere legalism” because they demand “internalized love.” [1] Jesus requires love for God and neighbor because true obedience only happens when true love accompanies action. [2] Christianity is a religion that demands the whole person, affections and action included.

Why is it so hard to have love infused works? Many unbelievers have stories about Christians being heartless in their care, or polite believers without delivery on their promises. There are many reasons for this, but we will focus on two. First, Christians still sin and need grace as they grow in godliness. [3] This does not excuse sin in believers, but reminders us to look to Jesus Whose perfection shines in weakness. Just as you would not let car salesmen keep you from buying a vehicle, do not let growing believers divert you from Christ. Secondarily, displeasure with Christian ministry can be founded in misunderstanding “love.” Love is not blind acceptance, as some teach, but showing the love of God in Christ to someone. [4] God’s love is unlike our love, but is the love we need to begin living the commandments.

[1] Beale, G.K. and Carson, D.A. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Edited by G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007), 81-82.

[2] Calvin, John. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke Vol. 2. Trams. William Pringle. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1984), 59.

[3] Philippians 1:6, 1 Corinthians 6:11, Romans 7:7-25; 8:13

[4] 1 John 4:7-11, 19-21. Dunn, “That’s What I Like,” (Sermon: Emmanuel Baptist Church, Fort Lauderdale, FL, October 7, 2017).