The essence of our calling is summed up in a single word: Love. In a world that has romanticized and sexualized love, the church has a beautiful opportunity to show the love of God Himself. Yet, each local church must ask, “Have we confused being ‘nice’ or ‘neighborly’ for being truly loving? Do the people of our community see us as a loving people? Are we dependent upon the Spirit to live His loving fruit through us?”
What does Love in our lives look like? What if it looked like a Starbucks coffee shop?
Did you see the love of Christ here?
Here are the scriptures I will be looking at for the next few blogs.
Matt. 22:34–40; Luke 6:27–36; John 13:34–35, 15:9–17; Rom. 5:5–8, 13:8–10; Gal. 5:6, 13–14, 22; Eph. 3:14–19
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength, but faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6 MKJV)
What led up to this verse? Let’s put it into context by reviewing the first five verses in chapter five.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. (Galatians 5:1-5 KJV)
Paul was talking about the law, here called “the yoke of bondage”. The sign of a Jew was circumcision, and had become the symbol to follow the whole law. If we are following the law to be right in God’s eyes then what did Christ die for? Jesus died to fulfill the law and the penalty or wages of sin which is death. We are justified by faith in Jesus’ sacrificial death.
We see in these verse faith, hope, and love. Ring a bell?
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV)
These three are instilled in infancy. A child reaches his/her hand towards the parent’s finger in hope and trust which produces faith in love not harm. The more these simply action produce a positive result the more faith, hope, and love builds a secure bond of trust. This is why you can throw your child up into the air and catch them and the will laugh and exclaim, do it again!
Faith works through love. Trust works through love. Hope works through love.
Circumcision which was related to keeping the law was not considered to be profitable. Think about it. Can you keep the whole law? We are told, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. God is perfect, honorable. Glory is the pinnacle of honor. So, to say we are upholding the law and know we would fall short of perfection after accepting Jesus’ sacrificial death to justify us from sin would be falling from His grace. It would be saying, I can keep the law by my own works. I know that I cannot do this, I fall short of perfection, and therefore my failure would be unprofitable. My righteousness is as filthy rags compared to God’s. I put my trust in nothing less than Jesus Christ and His righteousness.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
Jesus Christ loved us first for, “No one has greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 MKJV)
Christ gave His all so you can have hope and trust in Him by “working faith through love.”