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Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith… 1 Timothy 1.5
On Christian Doctrine
“The end of all divine Scriptures is the love for the Being in which we should rejoice and love for the being that can rejoice with us in that love. … Whoever … thinks that he understands the divine Scriptures or any part of them so that it does not build the double love of God and of our neighbor does not understand it at all. Whoever finds a lesson there useful to the building of charity, even though he has not said what the author may be shown to have intended in that place, has not been deceived.… But anyone who understands in the Scriptures something other than that intended by them is deceived, although they do not lie.”
We are wasting our time teaching the Scriptures if we are not teaching them to increase love for God and our neighbors. God has given us His Word to nourish and transform us for this “double love.” But how much of our preaching, and how many of our Sunday school and Bible study group lessons are consciously and pointedly focused on promoting such love? We are too easily content with content – with passing along Bible knowledge or “right doctrine,” as though the goal of instruction were nothing more than to make sure that what the preacher or teacher has in his notes, ends up in the students’ notes as well. Learning is not about assenting to what we hear. Learning – discipleship – is about growing in love for God and neighbors. A church is healthy where the emphasis on such “double love” is pronounced, persistent, and productive. We have to shape our thinking for love, to nurture our hearts for love, and to make love the priority in all we do. Thus the body, making increase of itself in love, will show Jesus to the world.
How does you church make sure that all teaching is directed toward increasing love for God and neighbors?
T. M. Moore
Prayer for Revival
How goes the work of shepherding?
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Quotations from Church Fathers are from the Ancient Christian Commentary Series, published by InterVarsity Press.
The Goal of Discipleship
- T.M. Moore
- December 7, 2017
We're either working for this, or we're failing.
Healthy, Growing Churches (8)
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 Essex Junction, VT.