Have you ever known someone who says they love you, yet their actions demonstrate that they do not love you? I know I have been guilty of such hypocrisy. Perhaps you have as well. Just as a living faith requires works, so too a living love requires action, “let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) If you asked the average religious person, “Do you love God?”, I venture they would say, “Yes.” Of course, there might be some question as to WHICH god they love, but for those who believe in a monotheistic Creator, most would likely affirm their love. But then the question becomes, “What does it mean to love?” Is our love for God merely a verbal expression, a warm feeling, a sentimental tear? How do we express our love for God? How does He want us to express our love for Him? If God is Your Father, You Must Love the Son
The Old Testament story of Joseph offers many wonderful lessons with one that is particularly relevant to our topic. Joseph, Jacob’s favored son, was betrayed by his ten brothers, sold into slavery, and reported dead to their father. While the brothers directed their hatred toward Joseph, they broke their father’s heart. While Jacob’s favoritism was certainly wrong, the brothers should have accepted and tolerated Joseph out of love for their father. In their scheming, they not only showed a lack of love for Joseph, they also demonstrated how little they loved their father. Any love for their father should have curbed their envy and vengeance toward Joseph.
In John 8:42 Jesus informs the unbelievers, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.” The Jews – Jesus’ brothers by national descent – claimed a relationship with God, calling Him their Father. Yet they rejected God’s Son as their Messiah. Jesus’ simply states if you love God then you must accept Me because God sent Me. To believe in a Divine Being yet reject the Son whom He sent does not demonstrate one’s love for that Divine Being. Furthermore, to seek a relationship with that Being by circumventing Jesus is impossible since, “No man comes to the Father except by Me.” (John 14:6) Do you love God? You must love the Son, Jesus.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. (1 John 5:1)
If You Love Me, Keep My Commandments
“Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved Me.” Does Jesus know you love Him because you tell Him in song or prayer? In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” When you say, “I love you Lord,” do you lend your words credibility by keeping the commandments of Jesus? To do otherwise is to love in word, but not in deed and truth. Jesus understands how easy it is to express our love verbally but fail to love in action. Just a few verses later, He explains, “He who does not love Me does not keep my words…” We can say we love Christ, but our failure to follow His commands makes us a liar. It is easy to say, “I believe in God,” or, “I love God.” But how many people say, “I obey God,”? Our love is proven by our obedience.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)
If you reject Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, do you REALLY love God? If you say, “I love God,” but do not keep His commandments, do you REALLY love Him? What personal sacrifices are you willing to make in order to prove your love for Him?
@Svetlana Hi, Svetlana. I am Kyle and am one of the contributors to this website. I too was born again when I put faith in Jesus and was submerged in water for the removal of my sins. I have tried by God’s grace to live as sinlessly as possible. However, I have found that my rigteousness, like the prophet Isaiah said, is “like filthy rags”. I have the same struggles that the Apostle Paul admitted to in Romans 7 where his desire to do good sometimes is not enough. Our Lord Jesus did say that the “spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.
We do need to strive against sin, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh and put on Christ. We will fail all too often. Even when we think an evil thought about someone we have fallen into temptation. Thankfully, we have a High Priest who was tempted in all points as we, yet without sin. He understands our struggle. He lived it and he has compassion on our weakness. Praise His Name!
I am reminded of the encouraging words of the apostle in I John 2:1 “…if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ THE RIGHTEOUS”.
Also read Romans 8:1-4. Hope my thoughts help. I appreciate your comments and pray God blesses you in your walk with Him.
Hi ,”Do You Really Love God” is very good question.Good questions are “Where Do I Find the ONE TRUE CURCH?” and “Which is the ONE TRUE CHURCH?”
In my opinion true christian-believer-disciple accept Father as God, love His son, and keep all God’s commandments. Keep and obey all God’s commandments is very hardly.The problem for all believers -Obey all commandments. For me who say I am Christian ,I am born again but do not obey all God’s commandments is not true christian, true believer and true disciple.
I often ask Christians do they obey all God’s commandments. Their answer is usually it is imposible. WHY?THey say: Humans beings are not perfect.THey say about forgivness.In my opinion forgivness only excuse for do not obey all God’s commandments.
I am was born in Serbian ortodox family.
all the best
@SvetlanaHi Svelana, thanks for commenting.
Yes, the “one true church” is difficult to find when there are so many choices in this world. This is why the Bible is our ultimate resource. An overwhelming majority of churches have allowed the traditions of men into their religious bodies, thus changing what God defines as the “one body”. Our only hope as human beings is to look to the Bible for instruction and guidance so that we might sort out the “true church” from that which is false. Sometimes this is a painful process because it requires us to break with our family or friends. Yet, as you rightly point out, obeying God is of vital importance. For when we obey God, we demonstrate our love for Him.
I invite you to investigate some of the videos we have available on this site. If you are searching for the “true church”, they might assist you in your pursuit. However, the Bible is your ultimate guide. Let us know if we can help you out.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Not an excuse but a warning. Commanded to CRUCIFY THE FLESH. My righteousness like filthy rags. Not an excuse. But a fact of my flesh. Command is to PUT OFF my righteousness and PUT ON THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST. I’m only human..is an excuse. We are all sinners, though true, can also be a cop out. No one is perfect, is a lie, for Christ is perfect. Satan defeats us by deception. Wounds us in our flesh. The fact is I CAN’T but CHRIST IN ME CAN. I CAN DO NOTHING – BUT I CAN DO ALL THINGS WITH CHRIST. This is true are it is not. Sinless perfection ? Nothing like that in me and my flesh. But Christ in me IS PERFECTION. Creating ALL THINGS NEW. The real problem in Christ is QUENCHING HIS SPIRIT. Only Christ can perfect me – I Can’t – But He Can. Do you love God ? Then keep His commandments. Crucify the flesh, Submit to the Spirit, Allow Christ to live in and through you – Abide in Him ! Let Christ rule. I Can’t – He Can – I take no credit – only He gets the glory in a life well lived in me. It is HIS SPIRIT, it is HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, it is HIS PERFECTION, it is by HIS POWER living in me. Without HIM I am nothing.
@jSMITH Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your perspective and agree with much of what you say. The key to righteous living is to, by faith, depend on the one who makes us righteous. We can overcome the weakness of the flesh by the strength of the Spirit and walk in complete newness of life. Whatever good comes in our life is credited to the Lord. Without Him we are nothing.
The only clarification I would add is that while we should not make excuses for ourselves, we also should not lose a sense of who we were prior to our life in Christ. For instance, I think of Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15-16: “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” Paul acknowledges that, in his life before Christ, he was a sinner in need of forgiveness. 1 Timothy was written some 20 years after his conversion yet he had not forgotten who he was without the Lord: the greatest of sinners.
Like you, I also perceive danger in failing to acknowledge the weakness of the flesh. While we remain in the body, we are subject to temptation. The possibility of sin remains, therefore we must remain vigilant. For example, I think of 1 John 1:8-2:3:
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. 3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”
I hear in the words of John a need for balance. We should commit ourselves completely to walking in the light while not deluding ourselves into believing we are invincible. Why else would he say, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”? While we are in the body, the body is subject to temptation. I don’t see this as a weakness of faith, it’s just a realistic picture of who we are. I think of 1 Corinthians 10:12-13:
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Like you, I think these are critical matters; they strike at the heart of what it means to be a follower of God. In Christ we are more than conquerors. Without Him, we a dead. Our victory depends upon Him and Him alone. Yet we should not lose sight of who we are and what we remain.