Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




God is Making Me More


Meeting the genuine needs of others without expectation of return, motivated by the love of God.

For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.     
John 3:16
But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.      
Romans 5:8
And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.     
1 Corinthians 13:13

v.t. In a general sense to be pleased with; to regard with affection, on account of some qualities which excite pleasing sensations or desire of gratification.
We love a friend, on account of some qualities which give us pleasure in his society.
We love a man who has done us a favor; in which case, gratitude enters into this composition of our affection.
We love our parents and our children, on account of their connection with us, and on account of many qualities which please us.
We love to retire to a cool shade in summer.
We love a warm room in winter.
We love to hear an eloquent advocate.
The Christian loves his Bible.
In short, we love whatever gives us pleasure and delight, whether animal or intellectual; and if our hearts are right, we love God above all things, as the sum of all excellence and all the attributes which can communicate happiness to intelligent beings.
In other words, the Christian loves God with the love of complacency in His attributes, the love of benevolence towards the interests of His kingdom, and the love of gratitude for favors received.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Matt xxii.

Webster's 1st ed., 1828

Whatever love there is in man, whether it be toward God or toward his fellowman, has its source in God—"Love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (1 Jn 4:7 f); "We love, because he first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). Love in the heart of man is the offspring of the love of God. Only the regenerated heart can truly love as God loves; to this higher form of love the unregenerate can lay no claim (1 Jn 4:7, 19, 21; 2:7-11; 3:10; 4:11 f). The regenerate man is able to see his fellow-man as God sees him, value him as God values him, not so much because of what he is by reason of his sin and unloveliness, but because of what, through Christ, he may become; he sees man’s intrinsic worth and possibility in Christ (2 Cor 5:14-17). This love is also created in the heart of man by the Holy Ghost (Rom 5:5), and is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). It is also stimulated by the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, more than anyone else, manifested to the world the spirit and nature of true love (Jn 13:34; 15:12; Gal 2:20; Eph 5:25-27; 1 Jn 4:9 f)

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

God has given me the spirit of Love.

I am long-suffering and kind;
I don't envy those who prosper,
I don't pretend to be prospering when I'm not.
I don't exaggerate just to make others look up to me.
I am not rude,
I don't demand my own way, and
I don't get easily provoked.
I don't imagine evil against my enemies, and
I don't rejoice when it happens, but
I only rejoice in the truth.
God enables me to
    bear all things,
    believe all things,
    hope all things, and
    endure all things.
God has created in me a commitment to give to others' basic needs without having personal reward as my motive
1 Corinthians 13

Love is the Fruit of the Spirit
Love is the Fruit of the Law

Galatians 5:22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Romans 13:8-10
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another,
for he 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 bear false witness,”
“You shall not covet,”
and if there is any other commandment,
are all summed up in this commandment:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)
10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; if you want to love your neighbor, fulfill God's Law to him.

Pop Psychology teaches us that Love is an elusive, enigmatic, uncontrollable passion that can neither be developed nor tempered. "Love" either is or it isn't, and if I feel "love" when it is inconvenient, or don't feel "love" in a context where I have pledged to render certain responsibilities, there is nothing I can do about it. And to say God commands me to love someone when I don't "feel" like it, is a blasphemous obscenity to modern man, and will not be tolerated by the televised prophets of the modern age. "Law" kills "love," in this view.[1]

But God's Law indisputably commands love, and so for the Christian, love must be born, nursed, controlled, or killed by the power of the Spirit, conforming to the Blueprints of God's Law.

Jesus said that the greatest of all commandments is the Old Testament commandment to "love the LORD thy God with all thine heart. . . ."[2] The Second Greatest commandment is also from the Old Testament, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."[3]

We are commanded to "hate" the enemies of God[4] but Leviticus 19:17 warns, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart." God's Law commands us to feel God's feelings.

Only the one who has never read the Old Testament could conclude that it does not command us to love. As John writes in his first epistle, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous."[5]

Shouldn't the Christian be obeying God's Law?[6]

The True Christian

The word "Christian" is often used by those who have seldom, if ever, read a single book of the Bible. The wearing of a cross says more about one's tastes in jewelry than in one's commitments to Scripture. But the term "Christian" should mean "one who follows Christ." A true Christian, one who claims Jesus Christ as his Lord and therefore as Savior, is united with Him in obedient faith. In obedience, we grow in likeness to Christ, "to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ,"[136] and no one will deny that Christ's life was characterized by perfect obedience to the Law of God.[137]

Consequently, the life of a Christian is not characterized by flight from the Law of God, or renunciation of its obligations, but rather by progressive conformity to the character of the Savior, Who delighted in obeying His Father's Law. In the same way that Christ submitted perfectly to the will of His Father,[138] showing us that there is no conflict between the Law of God the Father and the Law of God the Son, the true member of the Kingdom of Christ is a willing subject of the King, not a lobbyist or legislator in a theological participatory democracy.[139]

Union with Christ, which underlies the Christian's salvation, entails the requirement of sharing His righteous character; of identifying with His delight in obedience.

Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, Who . . . humbled Himself by becoming obedient.
Philippians 2:5,8

Christ, Who was completely submissive to the Law, has left us an example that we should follow His steps, by following the Law.[140] Those who have been saved by Christ's obedience must strive to imitate the same obedient Spirit.

Hereby we know that we are in Him; he that saith he abideth in Him ought to walk even as He walked.
I John 2:5ff.

Love and Law

Some in our day suggest that in the Old Covenant people were bound by a code of law, whereas in the New Covenant commandments are replaced by love. But we are taught throughout Scripture, no less in the New Testament, that love is identical with obedience to the Law. Christian Love, as Biblically defined, is so far from being opposed to God's Law that this Law is actually the pattern and content of Love. The Christian's duty to God is not "to love Him" if "love" is defined as something less than obedience to His Word.

God's Law is the pattern of life which heals us and makes us truly human, which is God's great wish for us, an expression of love to us. Obedience to God's Law is the test of genuine Love for Christ. Our Lord clearly states that if we love Him we are to keep His commandments; obedience to His commandments evidences our love for Him.[141] The wise man and the brother of Christ is the one who does His Word.[142]

Abiding in Christ's Love is dependent upon keeping His commandments.[143] The one who does not do whatsoever Christ commands is not the friend of Christ, and if he claims to know Christ he is a liar.[144]

Owe no man anything, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the Law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law.
Romans 13:8-10

Here is one of the strongest affirmations of the abiding relevance and validity of God's Law. It is summarized in Love, and Love is the Christian's perpetual duty. Certainly a summary does not nullify the content of that which it summarizes! The Law of God is the standard of Christian Love, so that one who does not follow the Law really does not love.

What is true of our Love for Christ is true of our Love for the brethren; Love is the observance of God's commandments:

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the Love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not grievous.
I John 5:2-3)

In Romans 13:8, Paul teaches that Love does not replace, dispense with, or disparage the Law; on the contrary, love allows the Law complete sway; Paul sees no incompatibility between Love and Law. In fact, the commandments of both the Old and New Covenants are the norm for Love's activity; the Law shows one how to love one's neighbor. Love is the summation or recapitulation of the Law. This is parallel to what Christ taught in Matthew 22:37-40; on the commands of radical love to God and neighbor hang all the Law and the Prophets. Love enforces the full details of God's Law.

The Law is the perfect expression of true Love. Love does not provide direction for life when taken by itself. Men live by altogether different standards when allegedly under the sole guidance of "love." "Love" without Law is situation ethics. The Word of God tells us that genuine Love is the keeping of God's Law:

This is Love, that we should walk according to His commandments.
2 John 6

Thus, those who teach that the only commandment men need to obey is "to believe" are on very thin ice. Those who teach that the Law is replaced by Love are also in error. Christ commanded us to "love one another as I have Loved you,"[145] and Christ's Love was manifested in perfectly obeying God's Law.

Shouldn't the Christian be obeying God's Law?


(1) In so many ways we are taught by the secular humanist culture around us that there is a conflict between Love and Law. Certainly there is a conflict between man's law and Love. It is against "the law" for a policeman to love his enemy and cover a multitude of sins. Man's "law" commands him to engage in violent vengeance. Knowing more about man's law than God's Law, we tend to impute the qualities of man's law to God's. This is always dangerous.

Since God is love, every act of Law-making by God is an act of love. His Law is in our best interest. Since God's Law is comprehensive, there is no need for man to make any laws. When man makes laws, it is out of a desire to destroy God's loving Law. Thus, every act of law-making by man is an act of violence and hatred - hatred of God and hatred of Man, His Image-Bearer.

The relationship between Law and Love is so important we have covered it in more detail in a separate section below.

(2) Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37.

(3) Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39.

(4) Psalm 139:21-22; cf. Luke 14:26.

(5) 1 John 5:3.

(6) The sounds of the overthrow of the Old World Order are not the sounds of clashing swords and exploding bombs, but rather the sounds of love, in every relationship, in every household, in every area of life.

(136) Ephesians 4:13,15; cf. Galatians 4:19.

(137) Hebrews 10:4-10; Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46; 15:10.

(138) John 4:34; 5:30-31; 6:38; 7:16; 8:28; 12:48-50; 14:10-24.

(139) Luke 17:10.

(140) 1 Peter 2:21.

(141) John 14:15,21,23.

(142) Matthew 7:21ff.; Luke 8:21.

(143) John 15:9f.

(144) John 15:14; 1 John 2:4.

(145) John 13:34.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
-- Romans 8:28-29

I have remembered Thy Name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept Thy Law.
-- Psalm 119:55

This isn't that New Age "Positive Thinking" stuff, is it??

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