Blessings to you, the readers of this page, in Jesus Christ our Lord. May He guide you and protect you always.
The Bible states it very clearly, so there can be no possible misunderstanding:
_____________________________________________________________ For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14 RSV) _____________________________________________________________And who is your neighbor? Everyone is your neighbor. This is shown in the parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
But what about love for God? Doesn't that come first? Yes, but God accepts our love for others as if it were love for Himself. So when we love others, we are loving Him at the same time. This is shown in the Parable Of The Sheep And The Goats (Matthew 25:31-46).
But what about The Ten Commandments? Aren't we supposed to obey them? Yes, but The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-20) are only an approximation of what God wants from us. The Pharisees obeyed all of the Ten Commandments, yet God was very displeased with them because they did not have love. The exact thing God wants from us is that we should love all people as we love ourselves. Everything else is subordinate to this.
Most Christians will recognize The Great Commandment as "Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself." If we realize that everyone is our neighbor and that God accepts our love for others as if it were love for Himself, then we find that "LOVE ALL PEOPLE AS YOURSELF" now has become the simplest and clearest expression of God's basic law for all Mankind!
"Okay," you might say. "It is fine to feel love toward others, but what must we actually DO in order to follow God's basic law?"
The answer is, "TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED." This is known as The Golden Rule, and it puts God's basic law into effect. By following the Golden Rule, you are following God's basic law, because by treating others as you would like to be treated, you are loving others as yourself! See! It all fits together!
But what about holiness? Aren't we supposed to avoid improper sex, etc. and be pure and chaste? Aren't we supposed to deny our physical selves in order to strengthen our spiritual selves? Yes, maybe. But our feeble attempts at being holy do not even come close to God's high standards. To Him, they are like filthy rags and polluted garments. (Isaiah 64:6).
But if we have love for others, God will overlook a multitude of our sins (1 Peter 4:8). And if we forgive others of their offenses against us, He will forgive us of our offenses against Him (Matthew 6:14-15). Love makes everything holy, since God is love (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16) True holiness comes from love, not from following rules made up by some humans trying to control the behavior of other humans. And love comes from God, as we seek to find Him and fill ourselves with Him.
So all of God's laws boil down to this one command: "YOU SHALL LOVE ALL PEOPLE AS YOURSELF." If you truly do this one thing only, it is enough. It then doesn't matter if you fall short on some of the dozens of others. But if you do not do this, all of the others together are not enough. This is the big one, more important than all the others combined.
_____________________________________________________________ If you really fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well. (James 2:8 RSV) _____________________________________________________________(. . . remembering that everyone is your neighbor.)
First Corinthians 13 emphasizes the primacy of love, even over faith itself.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 - The Supreme Importance Of Love 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing. 13:4 Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, 13:5 Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; 13:6 Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 13:7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 13:8 Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. * * *
Please see also 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (RSV)
"But how can we love all people as we love ourselves?," you may say. "It goes against Human Nature, doesn't it? Most of us want to love ourselves first, and our loved ones second, and everybody else not at all, right?"
Yes, it does go against Human Nature, which is seriously flawed to begin with. And this is the root of all the problems we encounter in the world. But God has provided a simple way for us to upgrade our flawed Human Nature, by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and filling ourselves with His Holy Spirit. When we do this, our own desire is transformed into God's desire, and we naturally want to do all things in accordance with His basic law.
You can find and accept Jesus Christ right now at http://www.loveallpeople.org/jesusdirect.html
May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.
Blessings to you, whoever you are. May the One God Who created all things, and Who gives whatever He wants to whomever He chooses, guide you and protect you and be with you, now and forever.
Rev. Bill McGinnis <><
See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.
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May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.
Rev. Bill McGinnis <>< firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessings to you. May God help us all.
Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - LoveAllPeople.org
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God's One Law For All Mankind: "Love All People As Yourself."