The power of love
Fulfilled, not obsolete.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfil them.”
Our vision of helping people know Jesus and his power in their lives is about equipping believers to integrate faith and works. What is the connection then between LAW and discipleship? How do the 10 Commandments help us integrate faith and works?
To me, it gives substance to three fundamental questions in life:
How do I love God?
How do I love people?
How do I love myself?
For “substance” we now use the 10 Commandments as a framework for discipleship. It helps us understand how to understand those three fundamental questions. The reason is anchored in the Great Commission: “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Each of the commands provides substance to the authority of Jesus who gave us the Great Commission and gives meaning to the core of the Great Commandment. Jesus summarised all the works of the all the commandments, all the ‘what to do’s’ into one commandment: “Love.” How? “Love wholeheartedly.” Wholehearted love is relational. Wholehearted love is a Presence before Principle. Wholehearted love disciples an unconditional demonstration of God’s love for mankind expressed through us. It all points to Him. He restores our souls. He brings peace to our shortfall. He fulfilled the LAW. He is Love At Work. He enables us to Work At Love.
We serve God not for what He has done, but for who He is. However, we cannot serve God for who He is without knowing what He has done.
Jesus, in obedience to the love of our Father, came and fulfilled the demands of our shortfall to the LAW on the Cross. And in fulfilling the demands of the LAW, he made the curse of the LAWobsolete. The curse is not the LAW itself. This was done so that no-one could stand excused for not accepting the free offer of Jesus Christ to have an intimate relationship with our Father. ,The gift of Jesus’ death is grace. Paul helps us understand the relation between the LAW and grace in Romans 5: 20 where he said: “The LAW was added so that the trespass may increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through the righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This love of our Father is summarised in 1 John 4: 18:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The ones who fear are made perfect in love.”
Love precedes principles. Love invites. Love unites. It leads us to encounter the Presence of God first. The Presence of God, presented in love, helps us to help others know Jesus and his power in their lives.