Wake Up and Love Others

Romans 13:8-10 ESV

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

We have many misconceptions today about what real love is. Romantic songs and movies and books and stories abound which give us a fake notion of what love is, especially if they include extra-marital affairs, sensuality, and pre-marital sex or adultery, and even if all they do is just allude to such situations. And then there is the institutional church which teaches love as though it is just a feeling or as though it is just being “nice” to people.

But true love, the kind that comes from God, who is love, is not about what we feel. We love others regardless of what we feel. Feelings come and feelings go, and feelings are so uncertain. They fluctuate. And they are not trustworthy guides as to what is love. For true love is based in God and who he is, not in our feelings. So true love does for others what is right and godly and morally pure and honest, and not just what feels good at the moment.

And so this means we are not going to just do for others what makes them feel good, for that is not how God loves us. Jesus died on that cross and rose from the dead to deliver us out of our lives of addiction to sin and to empower us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to him. So when we love others with that kind of love we are going to do for them what is for their best, as God determines what is for our best.

So, this means that we are not going to do what we know is going to harm others. Now this is not saying that we will refuse to offend them with the truth, for the gospel, the message of the cross, does offend people. So, if we are teaching the truth of the gospel, it is loving people with the love of God in its highest form, providing we are living what we preach and that we are not doing so hypocritically. For we are giving them a message of true hope.

But we are not going to do deliberately and habitually what will cause others harm by sinning against them via committing adultery, murdering, stealing, lying, cheating, slandering, abusing, manipulating, and/or tricking them, etc. For love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore pure (righteous, morally upright, honest, trustworthy, unselfish) love is the fulfilling of the law.

And this includes not lying to them with what people call “white lies,” which are intended to make people feel good about themselves and/or about the person lying to them. Loving others as we ought also does not include withholding from them the truth they need to hear in order to not offend them. If all we do is be “nice” (charming, appealing) to people, which often includes lying and deceiving (fakery), then that is not true love.

True love will tell people the truth about their sins and the truth about what it means to be saved, just like Jesus did, because true love is concerned about the other people living lives which are free from slavery (addiction) to sin and which are empowered of God to live holy and godly lives, and which then bear much fruit for the kingdom of God. For true love also wants to see people in heaven one day and not spending eternity in hell.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 10:26-27; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-10; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Romans 13:11-14 ESV

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

People who are spiritually asleep are mostly those who are not of genuine faith in Jesus Christ whether or not they make a profession of faith in Jesus. But they can also be those who have walked with the Lord for a period of time but who have since become spiritually lazy and so have slacked off from their pure devotion to the Lord. They may also include those who have fallen back into sin and who need a spiritual revival to rejuvenate them.

The point is that they are not spiritually awake (alert), either through unbelief or via falling back into sin, and so they are not actively following the Lord Jesus in obedience to his ways. And so the encouragement here is to wake up from your spiritual slumber and to be actively involved in your salvation from sin in walks of obedience to the Lord and in the daily practice of putting sin to death and of walking in holiness and in righteousness.

And then we need to get what this says next. It says, “For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” Now many people are preaching that once you profess faith in Jesus Christ that you now just “got saved” (one-time, done deal), and that heaven is now guaranteed you when you die, regardless of how you live your life on this earth.

But that is not biblical salvation. That is man-created salvation. For the Scriptures do not teach salvation as something that happens once in our lives and is done with and now we just live our lives and one day we get to go to heaven. The Scriptures teach progressive salvation/sanctification which involves us walking daily in obedience to our Lord and in the putting to death the deeds of the flesh, by the Spirit, which won’t be complete until Jesus returns for his bride, and providing we continue steadfast in faith.

For, if we continue living in deliberate sin against the Lord, and against other humans, in practice, and if obedience to the Lord and righteousness are not what we practice, then the Scriptures teach that we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God. We will not enter God’s heavenly kingdom because we refused to submit to him as Lord and to walk in his ways and in his truth, and to forsake our sins and to obey his commands.

[Matt 7:21-23; Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24; Jude 1:1-25; Lu 9:23-26]

So, please know the truth, believe the truth, and obey the truth from here to eternity so that you can have the hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God when Jesus returns. And the way you learn the truth is through studying the Scriptures in their context. I suggest reading from Matthew to Revelation word for word, prayerfully, seeking God’s face for truth, and then walk in obedience to that truth.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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