The ethical teachings of the Jesus and the Bible often get a bad rap. God sounds like the ultimate “kill joy,” who is chiefly concerned with keeping us from having fun. THOU SHALT NOT seems to come to mind for a lot of people. I believe this misconception to be the opposite of how the Lord wants us to understand His will. And instead of focusing on the the “thou shalt nots,” I believe the Lord wants us to walk in an abundant life that begins with the “THOU SHALT LOVE” commandments.
In today’s podcast, I will talk about a handful of Scriptures that demonstrate this concept. About how God wants us to be rooted and grounded in love first and foremost as the cornerstone of all of our ethical behavior. And while the “thou shalt nots” have their place, they ultimately serve as mere guideposts to let us know when we’ve gone off the trail that God would have us to follow.
And instead of God being this monster in the sky who has us worrying about every little legalism of some arbitrary holiness code lest we sin against Him and offend Him, I believe God wants us to live a life of abundance in the land flowing with milk and honey. And that begins with a life in which we walking according to the ways of love. A way of living, against which there are no laws that suck the fun out of life or in anyway prohibit us from experiencing His abundance.
Listen to today’s podcast above to hear a full discussion of this important issue.
Passages of Scripture Discussed
34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him: 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 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.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the Law. 9 For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.