Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev19970316.htm
MATTHEW: JESUS AS ISRAEL'S MESSIAH AND HIS MESSIANIC KINGDOM
Part XI. The Crisis Of The Messiah's Offer Of The Kingdom
F. Understanding That GOD Views Love As Adherence To His Righteousness
(Matthew 22:34-40 with Exodus 20:1-17)
Lesson: Where ideas of love today imply love to permit yielding to personal hedonistic attractions, or avoiding conflicts with others by promoting ecumenism or radical revisions of family order, God's idea of love implies that man's drives and rela tionships be HELD IN CHECK by BOUNDARIES that honor the TRUE Creator, and the rights of other individuals established by God! Thus, true love adheres to a CODE of ETHICS set by the CREATOR, cf. 1 Jn. 2:4-5; 5:3.
- What it means to love others is often confusing today. Some say "love" can rightly produce a sexual relationship w ith another that departs from the traditional roles of marriage, or keep one from holding to only one religious belief in favor of ecumenical unity and worldwide brotherhood.
- Jesus taught that man should love God with his complete being and love his neighbor as himself in Matthew 22:37-40. Looking deeper in the text, we note that He defined what that love really IS:
- Understanding That GOD Views Love As Adherence To His Righteousness, Matt. 22:34-40.
- When asked what was the greatest commandment in the Mosaic Law, Jesus responded with the twofold reply that it was loving God with all of one's being, and his neighbor as himself, Mtt. 22:34-39.
- In fact, Jesus concluded that the entire Mosaic Law and the prophetic writings after Moses all hung on these two main, unified concepts of love as their central idea, Mtt. 22:40.
- Well, the Ten Commandments can be arranged to fit these two concepts mentioned by Jesus, Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 73.
- We now review the Ten Commandments in light of how they show true love for God and love for one's neighbor to discern God's view of true love and test man's views in light of that view as follows:
- True love for God keeps one from indiscriminately honoring various gods in an ecumenical manner: God wants us to love and serve and believe in Him only above all other gods, Ex. 20:3.
- True love for God does not tolerate one's creating his own idea of a god to worship and then worshipping it; rather, true love for God accepts the BIBLICAL God as the ONLY God to heed and to worship, Ex. 20:4-6.
- True love for God will not allow one to use liberty in making an oath with God's name when the oath is faulty; true love honors God too much to tie His name in with what is deceitful in any way, Ex. 20:7.
- True love for God promotes Him as the only Creator as opposed to false religious beliefs of other gods or sources causing the universe's origins, Ex. 20:8-11:
- God's order for the solar Sabbath Day rest was based upon His having rested on the Seventh Day following His creative works of six consecutive solar days recorded in Genesis 1:1-2:3, Ex. 20:8-11.
- The Genesis record critiqued paganism that taught the universe came into being by a force or source within it (like evolution) rather than by a transcendent Creator, Waltke, Creation & Chaos, p. 57.
- Thus, Israel's keeping the Seventh Day rest was a testimony to belief in the transcendent Creator, a critique and witness to a lost, pagan world that needed to change its theology and believe in God.
- Thus, true love for God was witnessing of the Genesis Creation account to pagans who denied it.
- True love for man promotes respect of one's heterosexual, monogamous, permanently united mother and father as a respect for the order of family established by God at Creation, Ex. 20:12. Thus, it critiques other false ideas of "family", especially those that disrespect traditionalist origins of the home.
- True love for man holds human life as valued so that one cannot be allowed to murder another, 20:13.
- True love for man will not allow one to meet his lusts by adultery, but honor the institution of marriage and respect the rights of another of the same gender as we have to keep his partner, Ex. 20:14.
- True love for man will respect his right to keep what he owns, now matter how rich he is, Ex. 20:15.
- True love for man will always honor the truth regarding another's reputation, Ex. 20:16.
- True love for man will always keep one from coveting what another possesses no matter how it appeals to one's own desires or appetites, Ex. 20:17.