Monday, September 22, 2014

Walk in Love | Ephesians study

Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Walk in Love
As a believer, we should also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25), in wisdom towards those who are without (Colossians 4:5), and in truth (3 John 1:4).

Walking in love is reiterated in 2 John 1:5-6, "And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it." 

John 15:8-12 helps us to understand the connection between walking in God's commandments and walking in love: "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." This passage seems to give a clear outline: Bear fruit by keeping Christ's commandments, which is love. 

Another clear example is Matthew 22:37-40, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." and again reiterated in Romans 13:8-10, "Owe no man any thing, 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 neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

Christ's offering
"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:12-13)

"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:4-8)

Jesus Christ proved His love for us by giving "Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." (Ephesians 5:2) He provided the greatest example of love. As followers of God, we should be willing, in return, to love others. This love is not a self-love of "what can I gain from this?" but a love that is first rooted in God ("What can I give Him?") and secondly rooted in others ("What can I give them?").

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;" (Romans 12:10)

"For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another." (Galatians 5:13)

"And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:16-18)
{These verses just scratch the surface of loving others}

It is important to notice that we cannot make ourselves love someone - but we must surrender to God and follow Him; for He is the One to give us the strength to obey Him and love others.

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What is something that God has shown you from His Word recently?

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