Demands of Eternal Life - Love God & Men

It is well known that the Laws and Prophets can be summarized as using the least number of words as "Love God & Men" or may be just "Love God" as loving men is contained in loving God because God love man even to die for them. Those that love men may not know God. But those that love God cannot don't love men for loving men is our expression of loving God. This post present related Biblical references to this famous verse of Luke 10:27 to give a better understanding of what that verse means.
Luke 10:25-28 described an incident when an expert in Moses Laws challenged Jesus. Jesus's behavior, like healing on the Sabbaths, reaching out the sinners seems to run contrary to the Laws of Moses. The expert wanted to expose Jesus seemingly disobedience to the Moses Laws. But in end, he was enlightened to the real meaning of Moses Laws .... not about separation of people and condemning them but about embracing and loving of people besides and in-spite of their sins. Yes, the sins are pointed out clearly by the laws but only loving the people and transforming their heart can help them breakout of their sins. The laws is to reveal sins and condemn the sinful deeds that man be awaken to their needs for salvation and for God. That was the passive ways of viewing the Laws. The positive way is to stress on the Love to break free from not only from sins but be empowered to do good.

The interesting point is that even this legalistic Laws expert recognized positive intention of the Laws that he summarized well with Jesus' approval.

Luk 10:27  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

It shows not even unbelievers can discover the truths. Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

It is such an important verse, the summary of all Laws and Prophets, that we should study it carefully. Here is mind-map with the verse broken down in parts and each part augmented with relevant verses to highlight the key teachings.

The Demand of Eternal Life
The demand of eternal life is to love God and men. It is easy to see that we have failed. If we don't know God, we fail immediately. If we know God and not love him totally as shown in v27, we also failed. So this statement just tells us we have no hope to have eternal life. There need to be another alternative way, as revealed in John 3:16. God have to intervene and gives us the eternal life separately from such a demand. So we receive Jesus as our Savior. Being saved, however, does not mean we don't love God and men but rather we are empowered to do more. The demand is just a reflection of what eternal life should look like. It should be something that we do naturally out of the new Zoe Life of God that we are re birthed to become.

(1) It Becomes Natural for the New Life Believers to LOVE
The evidence of our reborn nature is the ability and the urge to LOVE. We become sensitive to God and to the needs of others. Our mind has shifted from self only to awareness of God and of others.

(2) Yours - Personal
The relationship is not an indifference or a general love of some kind. It is 'your' God and 'your' neighbor. We don't say we love the people far away from us. That is easy because we will never meet the people far away. Our love is to be expressed in our direct relationship with God and those in our contact.

(3) God - Our God and the Lord
God is our personal God those God is the Lord of all including us. As God is my Lord, we should obey and worship Him. I have to internalize God's will as my will. Joh 4:34b My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

(4) How to Obey or Do God's Will - With My ALL
We obey and do His will with all of your heart of passion, our will of determination, our full body strengths and capabilities of our mind and thoughts.

(5) Love Neighbor as We Love Ourselves- Any in Need in Our Contact

  1. Our neighbor is not just those we know but those that have needs that arouse our heart. 
  2. How we love them begins with how we love ourselves. If we are in their position, what do we expect others to help us. Mat_7:12 "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
  3. Confucius teaching bring in additional light. "己欲立而立人,己欲达尔达人“ We must stand up to help others to stand. We must succeed to help others to succeed". So, our own growth is important. In our growth, we must also help others to grow up as well.
(6) God and Men are Together
The way we serve God is usually through serving men. In the judgement day, Jesus said that God is in the least of men! Mat_25:40b 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' and Mat_25:45b T... as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' We cannot say I love God but hate man! 1 John 4:20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

See also Christianity Rediscovered: Gospel in One Word

Lim Liat (c) 1 Feb 2013

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