(Article for publication week of 2-15-2012 AD)
"Jesus said unto him, ‘thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment’ " (Matthew 22:37-38).
It is the duty of all men to love God. We owe our very existence to Him. We depend upon Him for every breath. He gives us our daily bread to sustain us. All men ought to love God.
It is the duty of all men to love God for His perfections. There is no reason why everyone should not love God. He is perfectly holy, just, and good. There is no flaw in His nature.
The love of God is a summary of all the commandments of God. All the commandments of God may be reduced to one general head- love God with all your being. “Love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). If you will love God, then keep His commandments. Worship Him, and Him Alone, and as He has regulated in His word. If you will love God, then reverence Him and His name. If you will love God, then love Him with your time. If you will love God, then keep the second great command which is like unto the first, love your neighbour as yourself. If you will love your neighbour as yourself, then respect his place, and stay in your own. If you will love your neighbour, then respect his life, chastity, property and name.
Now dear reader, I want to ask you, have you loved God with all your being? Have your affections for Him been perfect? Have your thoughts been centered in Him? Have you perfectly obeyed God, all your life? Have you kept the First Great Commandment, and the Second which is Like Unto It, outwardly and inwardly? Have you done all God requires? Have you refrained from all He forbids? If not, you stand condemned by the just and holy law of God as a lawbreaker and traitor to God. You stand condemned for not loving God with all your being. The sentence of the law is “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). The strict and inflexible justice of God says, “tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil” (Romans 2:9).
There is only one hope for those who have failed in our duty to love God, that is, that the record might be made right. Somehow, we must be able to stand before God with a spotless record of loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Poor sinner, this is an impossibility as far as you are concerned. But praise God! The things that are impossible with men are possible with God!
There was One Who did (and does) love God with all His Being, that is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God. He is the only Man Who has ever truly loved God with all His Being. And the good news of the gospel is that all who believe in Him are counted as having loved God with all their being. Shortly, and Lord willing, I will begin a series on the glorious doctrine of justification, and we shall see all the details of how Christ is the Righteousness of the believer. But first we must show you all God requires and how you have miserably failed. You will never come to Christ until you have given up on yourself. But perhaps this short article has convinced someone of the exceeding sinfulness of their sins, and you are crying out even now, “what must I do to be saved?” Well, the good news is you don’t do anything, you just believe in Christ for your whole and sole righteousness. Believing in Him, God counts you as righteous as His Son. What a glorious gospel!