10 comments

  1. Good point, Todd.

    Of course, this begs a couple of questions, the first being how to evaluate one’s own love for Christ.

    According to I John, we can evaluate this based upon our love for “our brother, whom we have seen.”

    Which raises the second question, that of love for those who are in our lives in here and now, to include everyone with whom we have any contact whatsoever. And this question, of course, brings us to I Corinthians 13 and Matthew 25:31-46.

  2. Good point FrGreg,

    Another way we can evaluate ourselves is how we keep Jesus’ commandments.

  3. Of course the question that runs alongside that is just as important. Just saying “I love Jesus” without knowing who Jesus is means nothing. I know that all too well from my former days in mormonism. The name of Christ can be used the way the Bible does, describing the eternal Son of God, or it can be used to describe an idol in our own minds as so many have done throughout the centuries from the earliest heretics to Joseph Smith to David Koresh. Many have lessened the divinity of Christ in their own minds to make Him more palatable and in doing so are as guilty of idolatry as the Israelites with their golden calf. Who we say He is as important as saying we love Him.

    Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. (Mat 16:13-20)

    Lots of people talk about Jesus but there is one, and only one, correct answer to the question “Who do you say I am” Ultimately that is where the truth of a person’s convictions are found.

  4. All true scriptural data, Arthur . . . true confession . . . but on the side of human responsibility, my profession or confession is not my sure mark of assurance that I am a Christian. John Wesley interjects a very provocative thought:

    Orthodoxy, or right opinion, is, at very best, a very slender part of religion . . . There may be a right opinion of God without either love or one right temper toward Him. Satan is a proof of this.

  5. Todd,

    Isn’t the true mark of a believer by the love they have one to another? Didn’t Jesus say: by this shall all men know you are my disciple if you have love one to another. I also realize that in order to love with that kind of deep ‘agape’ love that God loves us with — we really need to know God deeply. I struggle at times with loving people. Some people are hard to love to be honest, but as I pray and seek the greatest of all – which is LOVE– I see something happen…. God fills me with that agape love. I know it’s all Him because it sure isn’t me! I just think that is so awesome how God just fills us up with that kind of love.

    God bless,
    gloria

  6. AMEN.

    The 2 greatest commandments that Jesus encouraged us to keep was : 1. to love God with all our heart and to 2. love one another.

    LOVE is really at the heart of it.

    Lord, fill me with that love that you love me with, I pray.

    Amen,
    gloria

  7. It is interesting that I John interweaves a call to right belief (orthodoxy) with the call to love both God and “brother”; therefore, one has to wonder if such love is completely possible outside a context of right belief. (It is certainly not possible outside of some level of communion with the triune God, the source of all love and communion, whose Life is Love itself.)

    OTOH, the Byzantine Rite Liturgy turns this around. Leading into the Confession of the Faith, the Creed, the Deacon calls out:

    “Let us love one another, that with one accord we may confess:”

    To which the people respond: “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Trinity, one in Essence and undivided.”

  8. I would say that you cannot really have the Truth without love nor can you truly Love without the truth. They are absolutely interwoven and essential.

  9. Ah, yes. I like your statement, Arthur.

    To truly love is to truly believe. To truly believe is to truly love.

    I Peter 1:8 is my verse for heart meditation this week.

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