Seeking Jesus First - Aug. 29, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - Aug. 29, 2023

I submit to you today that a major aspect of “holiness” is “love”. We understand that holiness is taking on the divine nature and character of our Creator. Let’s look at the two New Testament “MUSTS” or “COMMANDS”.

  1. Believe in God, The Father, and in His Son whom He sent. John 6:29
  2. Love one another as I have loved you. John 13:34; 17:3

Whatever God IS can be received by faith, hope and love, the greatest of these being love.

God overcame our sin when Jesus Christ became sin on our behalf. Love conquers all. Love overcame sin. Love applied a substitutionary sacrifice for all the sin of the whole world. Love forgives. Take a look at love in 1 Corinthians 13.

Apostle John goes into great detail in the First Epistle of John bringing the church back to the beginning with Christ Jesus. He restates these two commands and reminds us that those who abide in love, abide in light. Read 1 John with the understanding that John is talking about the two commands listed above: faith in God through faith in Christ Jesus and loving one another as Christ Jesus has loved us.

Let’s check out a couple of teachings of Jesus Christ.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43–48, NKJV)

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”” (Matthew 22:36–40, NKJV)

In the Old Testament, the greatest commandment is the one that translates into the New Testament: Love God completely and love others as you love yourself. All of those holy laws of the Old Covenant could be fulfilled by keeping this command to love God completely and love others as yourself.

Jesus makes a statement in Matthew 5:48 that points to perfection as walking in the love of God with all people, even our enemies. “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Now understand the word “perfect” means to be complete and mature.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NKJV).  May the God of Peace (YHVH SHALOM) Himself, sanctify (make you holy as He is holy) you completely (in every way and every part - spirit, soul and body).

that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17–19, NKJV)

What makes it possible for you to be filled with all of the fulness of God? His love makes it possible. The more of His love that we receive and walk in, the more of His fullness we will be filled with.

Last point:

But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. “I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”” (John 5:36–47, NKJV)

The very thing that kept the pharisees from seeing and believing in The Son of God was that they did not have the love of God in them. When we receive the love of God, we can receive all that He sends us and all that He IS.

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, NKJV)