Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I am sure I shocked a few readers yesterday when I said that a Christian can do whatever he or she wants, that doing the things that get us called "hypocrites" are not forbidden, and that Christians are not bound by the Law. So, if anyone is still out there reading this, thank you for either understanding what I was saying, or for your tolerance. For those who stopped reading at that point, I went on to say that just because ALL things are lawful (1 Corinthians 10:23) does not mean we can actually do as we choose; it means that our choices must be motivated by love for others (the rest of the chapter). But, what exactly is love?

Love is choosing to live a life of self-sacrifice for others at ALL costs. Biblical examples abound, the chief of which is the love of the Father sending His Son, and the Son's willingness to come (John 3:16; Philippians 2:5-8). Stephen's prayer is another (Acts 7:60). Jonathan loved David. The father loved his prodigal son. Paul loved the Jews, and he wrote an entire chapter on the subject (1 Corinthians 13).

In my life, the person who stands out was my grandfather. For the last twelve years of my grandmother's life, she was bedridden from Parkinson's Disease. He clothed, fed, bathed, and changed her, totally without help, never leaving her side. When she died, in my ignorance, I thought she was certainly better off, and at last, he could go to church, go to the store, visit friends, etc. Instead, he literally died soon after from mourning over his love of more than fifty years. And, love is seen in the examples of Sister Theresa, in five missionary families that continued to love those that killed their husbands and fathers, and in the wounded soldiers who refuse to return to the States because of their love and concern for those in their unit.

The Law of God is the definition of love. Jesus said that the entire Old Testament could be summed up as defining love (Matthew 22:40). Paul said, "For ALL the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Galatians 5:14). John said love is the total message (1 John 3:11), it is THE commandment (3:23; 4:21), we love by obeying the commandments (5:2), and he declares that living by the commandments is the very definition of love (2 John 1:6)! The commandments are no longer legally binding on me, but obedience to them is how we love God and our neighbor. I am free to love.

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