Christianity: The Essentials Part 4 – Love

The Beatles were wise men. Stoned men. But wise men nonetheless.

In what is the third to last post of this series (unless I think of something else absolutely essential to write about, but I’m trying to keep it slim), I’d like to discuss love.

If I had to summarise Christianity in a word, it would be love. When Jesus was asked to summarise Christianity (not that it was known as such back then), He said to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as you love yourself. “Do those things and you will live.” “live” meaning live in the eternal sense. All you need is love.

The reason for this is simple. Everything comes back to love. I’m sure anyone who’s been to a remotely Christian wedding has heard at least some of 1 Corinthians 13. If I speak with tongues of men and angels, but don’t have love, I am nothing.

Think of everything good you can think of. Take the fruit of the Spirit for example. Galatians 5 tells us the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Well there’s love as one of those already. And it’s the first, note! But what about the rest? Why should we be patient? Because it’s loving. Why should we have joy? Because God loves us. Why should we be faithful? Because it’s loving! What about the ten commandments in Exodus? Why should we not kill or steal or lie? Because it’s not loving.

Love is where it’s at people! The hippies got that much right. Love is essential. It’s often said that God is love. Grammatically, it’s a bit of an abstract phrase. God is love. You might say it would make more sense if it read: “God is love personified.” But then you could also argue that love is God verbified (I’m pretty sure that’s the second time I’ve said verbified on this blog now. Should get it officially coined…).

Something to think about anyway :) Make sure you love! Don’t exempt anyone. Don’t exempt any occasion. We’ll all fail far more often than we’d like, but God is gracious :)

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