The place of love in humanity is so preeminent, so defining, so encompassing, such that we can or ought to be able to say, to love is to be human. Except that, it would be wrong. The reality of love is so etched in our being that it could only be otherworldly. Of course, we are not at this time dealing with the counterfeit that has come to be our human experience, with its selfish and self-centered tendencies, having hypocrisy as an appetizer. We are presently dealing with the real stuff, the divine stuff
In the letter to the Romans, we find a quiet instruction:
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
We are told that we essentially are indebted to every man, and that debt is the debt of love. This seems a bit easy, for we tend to think it means to be nice to people, courteous, helpful, and reasonable. Perhaps so, but then much more. This might even seem easy and plausible for some people but all men? We think not.
Then we find our Lord Jesus Christ:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
He says clearly and plainly, love your enemies. This was to the disciples, to those willing and committed to their high calling. This makes it clear that the believer will have enemies, in fact, they may his family members, neighbors, acquaintances, colleagues. People he knows are his enemies and they know and express as much. Even these we are told to love. If this was not Jesus speaking, we might have assumed the person was trying to sound somehow or merely painting a very good picture for us as an example. So what did Jesus do in his own example:
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
This was a summative account of what Jesus did for his enemies as his own expression of Love.
This is our example. What will be our practice?
We’d endeavor subsequently to consider the Principle, Profession and practice of Love in specific reference to our fellow man by God grace. Thank you.