Mark 12:30-31 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ 31“The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Why is holiness so desirable? In today's blog we will show yet another reason in addition to the previous three reasons we've noted over the past several blogs: namely holiness is essential to Christian love.
When Jesus was asked what He regarded to be the most important commandments, His answer summed up the entirety of the Law of God revealed in Exodus to Deuteronomy. The Jews had divided up God's law in to 613 commands, and yet Jesus summed up these commands into two succinct statements:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength
2. Love your neighbor as yourself
This two-fold answer is what is called: "The Great Command". What makes Jesus' answer of interest to us is that in the second part of that answer, He evoked Leviticus 19:18, which states - You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your
people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:18, which lies at the heart of the larger context of Leviticus 18-22, tells us to love our neighbor amidst our pursuit of holiness. In fact, this truth is so central to what it means to love with Godly love that it is quoted elsewhere in the New Testament: Mattehw 5:43; Matthew 19:19; Luke 1:27; Matthew 22:37-39; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14 and James 2:8.
To not include holiness as your desire means you will not be able to excercise Christian love. Why? Because the type of love being demanded by God for Christians requires Him as their chief concern. Love without holiness will never accomplish transformation of the one giving love nor the one receiving it.
Truly this reason for desiring holiness goes back to the first reason we gave several days ago: Holiness focuses us on desiring God.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Holiness is essential to Christian love
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