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|Love in Our Hearts||MAY 13|
THE GOSPEL OF LOVE AND OBEDIENCE—2
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, l know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 1 John 2:3-5.
John warns against preaching the gospel without obedience. All over the world the law of God is being silenced. People are being fed a type of gospel with little or no appeal to obedience. One of the most frightening perils of our day is the spread of the climate of compromise between sin and moral standards. There is an abundance of cheap Christianity and religion with just enough prayer and church attendance to get by. Salvation is free, but it is not cheap. Much religion is in name only. Ours is a time when it is counted a virtue to be so broad-minded as to say a good word for everything. The eternal antagonism of God against sin is easily dismissed.
Finally, we can believe and live with the conviction that the gospel and obedience to the Ten Commandments go together. Throughout the Bible great emphasis is placed upon obedience. Salvation by grace means that God gives Himself to us before He requires anything from us. Our response to Him is always within the framework of a personal relationship to God. God commits Himself to us with compassion, patience, love. Therefore God seeks true obedience from us. God is always true to us. We are to be true to Him. Our response for His gift of salvation is expressed in terms of loving obedience born of a grateful heart. The law of God is no longer a power outside of us. We now have the inner resources for doing God's will and keeping His commandments. Christ does not give us a new law, but a new power.
The spirit of Christ is the spirit of love. The very genius of Christianity is that of compassion, patience, conciliation. In Christ we apprehend the infinite love of God. We are made to understand somewhat our mighty debt to that love. Christ envelopes us in an atmosphere of love. It is impossible to be a true disciple of Christ so long as we are disobedient to Him.
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