The Lifestyle of Love

He who loves another has fulfilled the law…you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love works no ill to his neighbor (Romans 13:8-10). Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother (1 John 3:9,10). God is a merciful God, but sin has no mercy, and the wages of sin is still death which is eternal separation from God. Many people adjust to a lifestyle of sin, of living in strife, hatred, malice, unforgiveness and grudges. With a religious experience under the belt, we can fully justify living in sin by going back to our religious experience for security. We might do that, but Jesus told us that many will come before him and say “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?” These people had religious experience, but Jesus went on to say, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23). It is the same end result for the person who holds unforgiveness, hatred, and malice in their heart as the person who publically renounces the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Both receive no forgiveness from the Father.

We think we can live outside the lifestyle of love and righteousness and still be right with God with a future of eternal bliss. That finds no support in the Word of God. That is just natural thinking, hoping, and wishing. Oh yes, we can justify our corruption by the way others have treated us, but that also finds no support in the Word of God. We can persist in our unforgiveness and ill will toward others – for whatever reason. But the Word still says “if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:26). Jesus himself told his followers “your Father” will not forgive you if you do not forgive others. That might not fit your theology, but I’ll guarantee you, the Word of Jesus will be the final Word, even while you say “Lord, Lord.”

The good news is that we can all turn from our sin and make it right. The blood still cleanses completely. The love of God is still shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). The only freedom and eternal life we find in the Word of God is the lifestyle of love by the Spirit of God in Christ Jesus the Lord. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

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