Scripture References – (ESV unless otherwise stated) Galations 5:1-6, 1st John 4:18-19, Luke 6:27, Romans 5:8-10
“For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,”
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
There is only one answer for the brokenhearted sinner, for the depravity of this world. That answer is the one weapon that God Himself used to bring salvation to the world. That weapon is love. A furious and violent love that penetrates the hearts of men. A love that knows no boundaries and sees all as God’s own sons and daughters. This love is what matters the most. Paul said that circumcision counts for nothing. He was showing us that the law, which shows us our sin, counts for nothing. He clearly states that only faith working through love is what matters. This passage when studied in the greek talks of this faith in love as a living energy. A weapon of warfare that has no equal. However, this weapon is not of mass destruction, but of mass construction.
Many of us have been raised in a religion of punishment and judgment. Yes, we believe and know that God hates the sin, but does He hate the sinner? I would suggest that He does not. The Apostle John states that there is no fear in love for fear has to do with punishment. The word punishment in the greek is defined by these three words, correction, punishment, and penalty. We know there is a penalty for sin but the whole reason God sent His son to the earth was for the repudiation of sin, the removal of it. He died so we would no longer be enslaved by it. Does this mean that we should hate people who live in sin? Jesus taught us to love our enemies. One might say that living in sin is to be an enemy of God yet Paul teaches that while we were His enemies He sent His son to die for us. Doesn’t this mean He was practicing what He would preach to us? To love our enemies? I believe the answer is an abounding YES!
This changes my whole view of how we should share the Gospel. Yes, we need to call people to repentance but it is the love of God that draws us to that place. I never heard Jesus say “I hate you, turn to me!” Almost always He healed them in their sin. Did He tell the people He healed to be without sin before He healed them? No. He showed them His love first then He said, “Go and sin no more.”
We must change our attitude toward those in sin, toward those in the world. God loves them so much and the best way to get them into the Kingdom is to demonstrate that love! There is no requirement for experiencing the love of God. John said God is Love. He can’t help but love His creation. He is not sitting up there with a giant stick and a magnifying glass waiting to burn and smack the sinner. Jesus Himself sits at the right hand of the father and intercedes for the sinner! We must love people. We must stop trying to be the moral compass and give them the love of God that of which will change an entire life!
I challenge you to look for opportunities to share the love of God through faith in love. People are dying and going to hell every day because we won’t share the most amazing gift we have ever received. The gift of love. People are in chains waiting for you to drop your self righteous rod of correction and love them like Jesus did. Love is the only answer. Love is the only weapon that will win this war. Go forth with faith in love!