Love of God and then Love of Your Neighbor

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

My dear friends, whom do we serve?  The Lord exalts us to treat people the same way we want them to treat us, “sums up the Law and the Prophets[1]“.  In his holy teaching style the Lord repeats this same sentiment in The Greatest Commandment,

 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 3 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. [2]

According Meshua Yeshua, his followers are directed to live their lives in a simplistic manner. The cumbersome laws that were put in place by the Pharisees, do not apply to the gentile church. [3] Meshua Yeshua left his follower’s only 2 commands:

Command Number 1

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” [4]

Today, many people are being taught by their religious leaders, drink not, touch not, eat not, the keeping “the Law” as Moses gave it, some denominations have even gone above and beyond what the Mosaic laws dictated and have created their own laws just like the Pharisees.[5] Jesus is the embodiment of the Law.  He did not come to eliminate it, he came to fulfill it. So, when he taught his disciples about how to live their lives he knew that the mere fact that he was on earth he had fulfilled the promise that God made to Abram [6]

God told Abram that all nations of the earth would be blessed through him.  There is only one person who has ever lived whose life and death impacted the lives of all nations on the earth.  That person is Meshua Yeshua.  He is a direct descendant of Abram.  Note that his lineage begins with Abram (Vs 2).  It demonstrates God’s promise to Rahab the Harlot and Ruth the black Moabite woman (Vs 5.), the kingly line of Judah is represented by the mention of David (Vs 6).  His fulfillment of the laws pertain to the sacrifices and the celebration of holy days, and food laws.  

However, The Ten Commandments issued through Moses, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, to the nation of Israel gives us direction as to how we demonstrate Love to God and love to mankind.  Which commandments demonstrate that we are indeed showing our love to God?  The first four commandments tell us how God wants to be loved.[7]

“You shall have no other gods before me. [What do you consider a God? Anything that you put before your relationship with God has become your God. It could be your job, your business, our even your family or hobbies]

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; [This is very clear, you shall NEVER EVER bow down before any kind of statute, even one that depicts God.  You do not need to bow down before a physical representation of God.  You have a vertical/personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  You do not need to go before a priest to confess your sins.  Jesus is your High Priest.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” [8]

 for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. [This commandment is a sticky wicket for most people.  Here we can address modern ways of using God’s name in vain.]

The idea of “taking the Lord’s name in vain” is first found in Exodus 20 when Moses receives the Ten Commandments. The third commandment states, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7). What does this mean? How does it apply to terms like OMG and geez? Taking the Lord’s name in vain is to speak of God with irreverence or disrespect. Many have traditionally understood the exclamation “Oh my God!” to be sinful, because it has nothing to do with a proper, reverent use of God’s name. The same principle is true when a person uses an acronym such as OMG or a word like geez (the first syllable of Jesus’ name) or gosh (a modified form of God). If the intended meaning is to be disrespectful toward God and His name, the word should not be used. However, some people use OMG without any thought of its connection to God’s name, and that’s what makes this question difficult.  We could all use the reminder that our words carry meaning. As people who follow Christ, we care deeply about helping others and honoring God. We must ask ourselves, “Do these words help others and honor God?” If we are honest, we will probably admit that words such as gosh do not. It may not be easy to change a long-standing habit, but we must seek to speak words that build up one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and honor the Lord.

James 3:9-10 speaks of the tongue as a powerful part of the body: “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” Our goal is to be consistent in our use of words, so they would serve as a blessing to God and to others. Paul wrote, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). This stands as our basis for evaluating terms such as OMG and geez. Does using these words give “thanks to God the Father”? If not, begin working to remove these words from your conversations and texts in order to honor God “in word and deed.”[9]

From the above response to the question asked it is obvious that our modern expressions are indeed a violation of this commandment.  A more detailed explanation of what does it mean to take the Lord’s name in vain is available for readers.[10]

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. [This is one of the most controversial commandment of all.  Many Christians will declare that they are not Sabbatarians so they do not have to obey this commandment.  However, we cannot pick and choose what we will obey.]  The Apostle Paul addressed Sabbath observance, Sabbath observance is not necessary for salvation. He clarified this point for the Colossians, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you … with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ”[11]  Meshua rebuked the Pharisees for a making Sabbath observance fetish, by postulating “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”[12]

In summation, we can see that love toward God, which is the first part of the Great Commandment, is demonstrated by how we keep the first 4 of The Ten Commandments

The last part of this study will culminate with how we show love toward our neighbor, by keeping the last 6 commandments.

[1] Matthew 7:12

[2] Matthew 22:36-40

[3] Matthew 23:1-3

[4]  Matthew 22:36-40

[5] Romans 14:13-22

[6] Matthew 5:17

[7] Exodus 20:1-8

[8] Hebrews 4:14-16

[9] “Is Saying ‘OMG’ or Words like Geez Still Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain?,” GotQuestions.org, 2015, accessed May 10, 2015, http://www.gotquestions.org/OMG.html.

[10] “What Does It Mean to Take the Lord’s Name in Vain?,” GotQuestions.org, 2015, accessed May 10, 2015, http://www.gotquestions.org/Lords-name-vain.html.

[11] Colossians 2:16-17

[12] Mark 2:27

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bueller
    May 13, 2015 @ 23:15:09

    Loving God and then your neighbor is not necessarily the easiest thing to do…as far as neighbors are concerned. Loving God is as easy as breathing, however loving someone who does nothing but tell lies about you or actually calls police because they said you did something you didn’t do is a bit harder. Yep, we have a neighbor like that in our little part of the world. Unfortunately it is just one person, the wife who takes things into her mind that no one else who ever think. Her husband on the other hand is a nice guy and easy to love, she on the other hand is more difficult. I tell myself she has had a lonely life at some time and finds it hard to trust others so it’s important to treat her the same as her husband. As I said, easier said than done, but it comes pretty natural now and I stop people from making remarks about her and what she does. Even though her actions hurt people I care about, it’s all about forgiveness, whether you ever forget or not. If you can forgive, you can love.

    Reply

    • Joyce
      May 14, 2015 @ 11:35:25

      You are correct Bueller..
      It is more about how does God look at me when I sin. We all sin every single day – either in thought, in what we say, or what we do. He forgives us so forgiving others is a given.

      Reply

  2. Trackback: Part II of Love of God and then Love of Your Neighbor | You're Not the Only One

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