Summary: Love your neighbor, as yourself.
The Second Greatest Commandment
As Jesus approached the end of his earthly ministry, he gave his disciples a badge by which they could identify each other. He gave a uniform with which to clothe themselves that would indicate to the world that they were his followers. This badge or uniform is revealed in the following statement: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35)
Christian love has been defined in terms of a persistent, unbreakable spirit of goodwill. Jesus wants us to follow the royal law of love in all of our relationships.
I. The royal law of love (James 2:8)
If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF," you are doing well.
The royal law of love is the law of the kingdom of heaven. It is the law of the King. It takes precedence over every other law. To obey this law makes life royally happy.
a. Love God (Matt. 22:37)
And He said to him, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.”
b. Love wife (Eph. 5:25)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
c. Love neighbor (Matt. 22:39)
"The second is like it, ’YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
d. Love Christ’s disciples (John 13:34)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
e. Love enemies (Matt. 5:43-44)
"You have heard that it was said, ’YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
i. An unloving attitude is a boomerang that comes back on the person who lives by the principle of hate.
II. The law of love described
i. Not an friendly attitude without backbone
1. You cannot love like God and stand like a jelly fish.
2. There are times that you will need to be firm.
ii. Not an all-inclusive tolerance that allows the eternal distinctions of right and wrong to be violated.
1. When we love others, we are not to be blind to their sins.
2. In love we are to keep one another accountable.
i. A spirit that never harbors a grudge
1. If God can forgive us of our sins, then who are we to not forgive others.
ii. A spirit that always discovers the best in people because it can see inside.
1. We are to look for the silver lining
2. We should strive to be optimistic, not pessimistic
iii. An attitude that is full of understanding
1. Love understands that everyone is different
2. Not everyone is going to be like you.
iv. An attitude that is wonderfully patient
v. A spirit that is utterly pure
vi. An unselfish spirit of self-giving
III. The law of love demonstrated (Luke 10:25-31)
And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE." But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. "And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.