What is the greatest commandment?
The Greatest Commandment is this, that you love God with all you heart, soul, strength and mind and the second is like unto the first, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
I. The Greatest Commandment Is Based Upon A Reciprocal Response -In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His Only Begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is Love, not that we believed In God but that He loved Us and Sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins... We love Him because He first loved us. I John 4: 9,10, 19
Propitiation - an offering or sacrifice sufficient to win forgiveness for an offense. Simply put; Jesus died for our sins. " The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord." Romans 6:23
The Beneficent Lover -God ( God initiated contact with us after sin alienated us from Him )
The Nature of Love -For God So Loved ( while we were still in our sins Jesus died for the ungodly )
The Object of Love -For God So Loved The World ( every human being is worth the death of Jesus because God loved us all while we were alienated from Him be sin. )
The Proof of Love -For God So Loved The World That He Gave (of Himself for us )
The Gift of Love -For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Begotten Son ( Who became on of us and chose death on our behalf rather than cling to being God. )
The Recipients of Love- For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Begotten Son That Whosoever ( Unrestricted sin offering given to whosoever )
The Opportunity of Love- For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Begotten Son That Whosoever Believeth in Him ( trusts, relies upon, not just a mental assent to a set of facts about Him but making Him Lord of your whole life; body, mind and spirit )
The Promise of Love- For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Begotten Son That Whosoever Believeth In Him Should Not Perish But Have Everlasting Life. ( Not a cosmic cop waiting to punish but a loving father wanting to give life. )
II. The Second Greatest Commandment Is Based Upon A Reciprocal Responsibility -Beloved if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. I John 4:11
The Reason For Love -Beloved, Let Us Love One Another, For Love Is of God and Everyone That Loveth Is Born of God and Knoweth God. He that Loveth Not Knoweth Not God For God Is Love I John 4:7,8
The Reward of Love -No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us... Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement, because as He is so are we ( Those who love people to life) in this world.
I John 4:12,17
The Responsibility of Love -If a man say, I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also. I John 4:19,20
Walking In The Spirit:
" But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23
The foundation of a person's Christian life is love. The kind of love that is unconditional by nature and does not expect anything in return for what it does for the object of one's love..
The Fruit of the Spirit is love:
Joy is love smiling or maybe even laughing.
Peace is love resting ( Not the absence of conflict but an inner calmness from the Prince of Peace. )
Patience is love waiting ( Longsuffering toward people who sometimes are insufferable. )
Goodness is love living ( the good life laid out by God in His word.)
Faithfulness Is love trusting ( No matter what, trusting God to carry you through.
Gentleness is love sharing ( Dealing with people not from a position of power but from humility)
Self-control is love disciplining ( Re-educating our lives in simplicity and sobriety )
Partaking of The Divine nature
" ... applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence (virtue), and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control; and in your self-control, perseverance; and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness;
and in your brotherly kindness, love. ( 2 Peter 1:5-9 )
Peter builds the structure of love from the top down instead of the bottom up like Paul did in Galatians. Either way the bottom line is Love.
Love is of God ( for God is Love )
Brotherly kindness is love recognizing God ( is seen in the least of these my brethren )
Godliness is love imitating God ( One who loves God much, loves others much. )
Perseverance is love waiting for God ( Standing up under whatever life throws at us )
Self-control is love disciplining itself for God
Virtue is love modeling the nature of God. ( You are a sermon in shoes. )
" Agape(Agaph) is understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill toward all men. Agape (Agaph) is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. Theologians would say that it is the love of God operating in the human heart. When you rise to love on this level, you love all men, not because you like them, not because their ways appeal to you, but you love them because God loves them. " Martin Luther Kins, Jr.
Hope is love expecting
Obedience is love understanding
Worship is love adoring
The prayer that we all should practice combines the essence of both of these important aspects of love and was written long ago by a man grateful to God who had brought love to him when he so desperately sought it.
" Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy "
O Great Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is dying that we are born to eternal life. " St. Francis of Assisi
Go and do likewise!