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Archive for September, 2011

Romans 13:8-10 – Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

To love others is to fulfill the law.

The Old Testament law was given as a guide to show people that they could not measure up to pleasing God. If anyone could keep all of the law, then they were perfect. Unfortunately, we humans cannot live a perfect life. The law showed us that we could not do it.

When Christ came in bodily form and lived on earth, He lived a perfect life. He became the perfect sacrifice that would once and for all make a way for us to be considered ‘perfect’ in God’s eyes and be able to receive the gift of salvation.

When we live in love, we are fulfilling the law. We no longer do ‘things’ out of obligation, or out of a need to earn God’s love and favor. We no longer have to keep the 10 commandments to earn our salvation. Salvation is now a gift given to us. When we love others as we love ourselves, our lifestyle will be one that actually fulfills the law by the way we live and love.

Am I saying that we shouldn’t try to live by the 10 commandments? In a way yes. We can’t. When we live in love we will be living a life that is pleasing to God without trying to live by laws and regulations. If we are depending on the law, regulations, doing things to earn God’s love, then we are wasting our time. Once we are living in grace (God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense), only what is done out of love for Christ will make a difference.

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Love

Colossians 3:12-14 And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

It seems these days so many of us Christians want to condemn people for what they do, who they are, for not believing like us, going to church, not going to church, and so on. We need to stop and re-read what God has said on the matter.

We aren’t called to be God, we are to be people who allow God to live in and through us. We are IN Christ. Our lives should be in the process of being transformed into the life of Christ. Basically we are to be Christ’s body on earth today. We are The Church, not a building we go to once a week, but His body living in love day by day.

Remember, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin. God is the judge, but we are called to love others.

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Hell…No?

Rob Bell, the pastor who enraged Bible-believing Christians with his book ‘Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived’, has resigned from Mars Hill Bible Church. Bell, who argues that hell does not exist, says God is calling him to pursue a “growing number of strategic opportunities.”

Love is the main theme of God. God is love. I’m not sure I am ready to say that God saves everyone and that hell doesn’t exist, but I do know that no matter what, God loves us all.

True, love is how Christians should be known. God loves everyone and has made a way for everyone to receive the gift of salvation. But God doesn’t force this gift on anyone and those who choose not to take it may one day have to take the consequences for it.

Now, is hell a real place of eternal torment or was it a dumping ground near Jerusalem that has nothing to do with punishment? There is a very real debate over this issue and I certainly don’t have the answer. The thing is, trying to get people ‘saved’ with the threat of spending eternity in hell is not the way to do it. People are truly changed by God’s love, and by God’s people living out that love to everyone they meet.

God does not want anyone to spend eternity in a place of torment. He has provided the way of escape if there is a hell. But we want to focus on the fact the God loves us all, and we want to accept and enjoy his love, not just escape the thought of eternal punishment.

When we love someone, we want to do things that please that person and make them happy. Same with God, we want to be pleasing to Him and do things for Him. We don’t do these things out of obligation, or because of rules and regulations. That’s law. We do them out of love and that is the way we should help lead others to Christ, through love.

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