Monday, January 23, 2006

What is Love?

"This is my commandment: love one another as I love you." (John 15:12)

Did you ever ask yourself, "What is love?" It's a daunting question that people seem to have different answers. We are all called to love one another. What does that mean? Am I supposed to love a stranger as much as my family? What does it mean to love my wife?

Well, we can look towards 1 Corinthians 13 for the definition of love but that really only gives attributes more than a definition. In my 36 years, I've been searching for the answer and I think I've found it.

God is love. (1 John 4:8)

He loves all people. How can He hate anyone? To have a God who hates is illogical. If He did hate anyone, they'd be dead. He loves us so much that He gave us the gift of free will. Why would He do that?

So that we can freely choose to love Him back.

When we are in relationship with people, we are called by Jesus to bring them closer to God. That's what love is. A husband is called to bring his wife closer to God. ("Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church...") And we are all called to love one another as Christ loved us. How? By bringing the people you meet closer to God. Sometimes through words but mostly through actions.

This is what Jesus Christ calls us to do throughout His gospel and it's hard.

How is this done? By placing God in the center of all of your relationships. You start with your spouse and work your way outward. And the people you care most about are the people whom you bring closer to Him. So, in answer to my earlier question, I can love my wife more than a stranger; however, I'm still called to bring the stranger closer to God through love.

Well, it's getting late and that's about all I can type for now. Until the next time.

4 comments:

Puritan Belief said...

God Is Love

Yes you are very right. And no where in scripture does it teach us to hate our brothers and sisters even if they are not born of His Spirit namely Jesus.

How can He Hate anyone?

Well the bible actually answers this questions and says He does. Not only that he hated him But God Hated Him before he was even born and had done anything good or bad.

Romans 9:13

The Older will serve the Younger. Just at it is writen

JACOB I LOVED BUT ESAU I HATED.

If you read about ESAU you will find him to be a nice bloke that just got tricked because of his deceiving brother. But this example is used for one sole purpose:

"So that God's purpose according to His choice would stand. Not because of works but because of Him who calls."

Please Sir, I beg you because it is hard to leave tradition and I know you to be doing this already. Search out the true God of the scripture the one that says.

"So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy."

May He lead you into the truth.

TheDen said...

Hello Puritan Belief,

I guess we view things differently. From what you stated, I guess it's easy to believe that God hates people.

That's not what Paul meant, however. First of all, in Romans, Paul is writing to gentiles and he's forming an argument. He is trying to show that Jesus is the savior of all men and not just the Jews. He's using the story of Esau and Jacob to show that God chooses who His people are. He's not trying to tell us that God hates people. That's really far out of context.

Secondly, the word "hate" in this usage is a Semitic translation of "Love less."

Please compare Luke 14:26 with Matthew 10:37 for a similar usage. I think we can both agree that Jesus isn't telling us to hate our parents in Luke (as it violates God's commandment) but rather to love Him more as in Matthew.

Honestly, I am pretty well grounded in the Truth and it is quite liberating but I genuinely appreciate your concern for my salvation.

May the Peace and Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you always.

Take care.

Daniel said...

Dennis,

I think that the comparison to Luke 14 is a great illustration of the meaning of Romans 9:13.

Let me add that context in the covenant. "To love" here means to accept and to give covenant blessings. To hate means "to reject and to not give covenant blessings."

That's how I take it.

TheDen said...

Thanks Daniel. That definitely fits in the context of Paul's writings in Romans.