Monday, April 30, 2012

A Thought

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  John 15:13

“Love” is another of those four-letter words that is so casually tossed about as carelessly as the more obscene and vulgar words we sometimes use when we lack the fullest clarity of our thoughts.  “Love” is an important word and is central to our theology as it is expressed in our doctrines, yet we often fail to equate what “love” means with the essence of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross.  We have mistakenly come to believe “love” to be an emotion when it is actually, and especially within Jesus’ context, an act of the will independent of emotion; a “willingness” to put one’s own life aside for the sake of another.  “Love” perfected (that is, “sanctified”) is that love expressed toward someone from whom we can reasonably expect nothing in return.

An interesting element of the old doctrine of “predestination” is expressed in such a way that the Lord would do what He did on the Cross while knowing many would not respond.  Yet He chose to go through with it anyway.  This is the fullness of what it means to “love”.  It has nothing to do with an expected or even hoped-for response.  “Love” acts for its own sake.

The sooner the Church embraces this reality and teaches and preaches it without exception and without compromise, the sooner the Church can go about its business “doing” that love expressed and perfected.  There will still be rejection from the many, but we will persevere because the Lord loved us first.


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