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In the Gates

Free from the Fear of not Knowing How to Love

The Law of Liberty (34)

 The hallmark of true Christian faith is love – love for God and love for our neighbors (Jn. 13.34, 35; 1 Cor. 13.13; 1 Jn. 4.7-12).

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. 1 John 5.2, 3

The hallmark of true Christian faith is love – love for God and love for our neighbors (Jn. 13.34, 35; 1 Cor. 13.13; 1 Jn. 4.7-12). But what does that mean? Do I love someone simply because I wish them no ill? Am I being a true lover of God merely by going to church each week? Is love something that we primarily feel toward God and others? Are we free to define the terms of love according to our own “way of loving”?

We don’t have to be left guessing about the true nature of love. Jesus told us that the Law of God marks out the path of love (Matt. 22.34-40). Thus, if we want to walk in love, as Jesus did, we must “study the map”, as it were. The more familiar we become with the Law of God, as a kind of “starting-blocks” in the race of love, the greater is the likelihood that we will practice love in every situation at every opportunity.

It’s surprising how much the Law of God actually teaches about loving God and others. The first four commandments, in fact, pretty much summarize all that God requires of us in loving Him, while the last six commandments outline, in broad form, the way to relate to our neighbors in love.

But studying the Law of God is hard work. Some might prefer to say, “Oh, I’m just going to do whatever I think Jesus would do” when it comes to showing love for others. But that begs the question, “Well, what do you think Jesus would do?” Jesus said He would keep the Law (Matt. 5.17-19); and the Apostle John, who walked with Jesus for some three years, concluded that, if we want to love like Jesus, then we’re going to have to walk in the same commandments that Jesus did (1 Jn. 2.1-6).

Loving God and others isn’t a matter of guesswork, or of mere subjectivity. God has outlined the course of love in His Law, and He calls all His faithful ones to walk it gladly, in the full freedom and joy of their redemption.

Order your copy of The Law of God, a compilation of the Mosaic Law for contemporary believers, and The Ground for Christian Ethics, by T. M.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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