Summary: Loving God is the first and great commandment.
Thou Shall Love thy Neighbor as Thyself
Man that is not born again is spiritually bankrupt an unable to love his neighbor. He cannot fulfill the first and great commandment of the law. Yet he is morally responsible, working in a threefold relationship, with God, himself and with his neighbor. This is plainly indicated in our Lord’s summary of the Law.
In answering the lawyer Jesus said, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” That was the first commandment, and the second is, “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. And on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
As we live our life we must have a keen understanding of self, knowledge of who we are serving. We must know that God is the foundation of all things pertaining to life, in the past, presence and the future.
How you display your life will determine the out come of your relationships with God and man. You will find it hard to have a life that is complete unless you have a love for self, and then loving God will bring you into a relationship with your neighbor.
We know that the in Christian doctrine, God is sovereign in every sphere of life. He deserves and demands recognition and obedience in education, politics, business, recreation and in religious circles. But in many circles of life God is not recognized.
I have watched Christians as they move about in the circle of life, and many times you would never know they were born again. But placed them in the church circle, their learned behavior kicks in, they know how to speak, act, dress and look spiritual.
The bible instructs us to, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.” And this is not just on Sunday but should be a part of our every day life. There in no space in life which permits us to designate as strictly privatae, our life is an open book for the world to see.
The THOU SHALL represent an absolute and unimpeachable authority upon which we can set no limits. We must remember that God is God! His sovereignty is the first and last truth of all things.
He is the Alpha, the only Being who can start from Himself and becomes the only reason why other things should be. Time and eternity belongs to God and to Him alone.
We must understand that time does not belong to us, our money is not our own, our talents and abilities they all belong to God. He is supreme in all things and everywhere at all times, making Him the gate keeper of all things created.
He is supreme at the council table as well as at the communion table, in the seat of customs as well as in the seat of the church. He cannot be regarded as an ever changing Deity. So, when we speak of our duties in relation to ourselves and others, we must keep in mind we are not separated from the life which is in God, in other words, God must be included in our daily day life.
When we love our neighbors as ourselves, we are also sharing in the God kind of love. Loving God is the first and great commandment that covers all other commands.
When Jesus spoke to the lawyer, the lawyer was left speechless because that was not what he wanted to hear. To love the Lord with all his heart, soul and mind was one thing but to sell everything and give to the poor, now that’s beyond the pale.
James stated, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
This can only happen when our relationship is right, God must be first, and then we seek to serve others. Man will not always do right apart from God. There is none righteous, no not one.
A person can be a good Hindu and be very immoral at the same time. One can be a good Conformist and be a member of the village gang. Or you can be a Buddhist and a first class liar. But you can’t be a Christian if you don’t love your neighbor.
Religion among the heathens is very much self-contained. The believer’s relationship with God is outward; we love God and our neighbor as our self, thus fulfilling the great commandment.
We have been given the guide lines for proper living. The scripture says, “Brethren you are to follow me, and mark them which cause division among you, follow not after them, withdraw yourselves from every one that walks disorderly and avoid them.”