Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why Is Love The Greatest?

Paul emphasized over and over that loving was the greatest thing for a person to do. Of the three, faith, hope, and love, he says, love is the greatest. He goes through a list of things that love embodies, and it's patience, gentleness, kindness, etc., as well as a list of things it does not do, such as delight in wrongdoing.
Paul was a man that had formerly been known as Saul of Tarsus, a man who was versed in the Law of the OT (Torah), and was adamant about punishing those who disobeyed it (to the point of killing those who professed Jesus as the Christ).

This man, who had for so long ignored what the love of God is, became outspoken that love was the greatest, even over faith (faith would imply obedience to the Law). It's not that we're to disobey the Law, or to disregard it, or to see it as anything less than crucial.
As Jesus said, the greatest of the commandments is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second being to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus, not just Paul, placed love above any other legislation of the Torah.
Love covers a multitude of sins. Love never fails. Love delights in truth. Love obeys.
In Romans 13, and likewise in Galatians 5, Paul says that all the Law is fulfilled in loving others as we love ourselves.
The reason is because if we love someone, we won't steal from them, we won't murder them, etc. The whole of the Torah is obeyed if we love God with all we have and if we love others more than ourselves.

Jesus said something along the lines of “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. It's the one who loves Him that does keep His commandments.

That is precisely why love is greater than obedience to the Law; a fruit of love is obedience to it. Which is greater, a tree, or one of its fruit? Surely, the tree.
Not to mention 1 John 4, I think it is, says twice that God is love . . .

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