Tuesday, January 17, 2017

From the Pastor's Study by Rev. Jack Hulsey

Love Solves It All

Christ said all the world’s problems can be solved with love. Many today believe the world’s problems can be solved with loud. (That’s another article for another time.) Lets get back to love…When asked by a Jewish legal expert which of the 10 Commandments was the most important, Jesus without hesitation said to love God and love your neighbor. "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

The phrase "the Law and the Prophets" is how they referred to the Bible in Jesus's time: The Old Testament, in other words. He was saying that the whole message of God is love. If you love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself, you'll never have any desire to lie, steal, covet, curse, commit adultery, kill, cheat, idolize or dishonor – all those corrupt things that make up sin. With love, you would be a living Bible practicing righteousness, and acting justly before God and man.

The Jewish scholars of Jesus’ time thought God became clearer by complicating Him. For example, they had created a list of about 800 rules derived from the command to keep the Sabbath holy. Jesus went the opposite way. He summed up the totality of the law into simple concepts – love God, love your neighbor. This is why people intuitively understood Jesus knew more about the law than the lawyers did – he knew not just what it said, but what it meant.

Then, at the Last Supper, he told the eleven disciples (after Judas had left) that he was giving them a new commandment: "love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples." (John 13:34)

This is the passage of the Bible I believe tends to be greatly misunderstood. I have heard many people use this as if it means Jesus wants us to unconditionally accept everyone and everything, because that's what He did for us.

That command was aimed at Jesus’s loyal and committed followers – the tiny group that was basically the church. Therefore, it is aimed at those of us who still make up the church, meaning you and me, or to say it another way, meaning Woodlake Baptist Church (WBC). He said for us to let our love for each other be the face WBC shows to the whole world. How we treat each other within the WBC family could determine whether anyone desires to become part of it or not. Ultimately, the goal is to bring a lost world into God's family.

We can't out love Jesus because he loved us enough to die for us. We can return that love by living for him. And we can live for him by loving each other – not just with our words, but with deeds.

That is how Christ loved us. Not only by what he said to us but in what he did for us. We show our love to Him in the way we love one another.