Who can define and express love? When you live as a human the most important is not food, not shelter….but love. Everybody wants to be loved. Anyone who assumes that he is not loved by others, lives in despair or commits suicide, because he has no hope. But we are hopeful because we are loved!
The Bible says ” Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8). What we understand from the above verse is that, God loves us! His love is eternal because He loved us when we were sinners (He loved us unconditionally).
What is our response for this love? God wants us to receive Jesus Christ as our personal savior so that we will be saved from eternal damnation. This is a gift for us just because He loved us.
How about us, can we love our enemies, just like the Christ loved us while we were sinners? The Bible states: ” God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy-Spirit, whom He gave us.” (Romans 5:5) Therefore there is a poured love upon us which is Gift from God. Have we accepted this gift? If we have accepted this, we can love our enemies !!!
Explanation of Psalms 23
– “The Lord is my shepherd.” In these words, the believer is taught to express his satisfaction in the care of the great Pastor of the universe, the Redeemer and Preserver of men. With joy he reflects that he has a shepherd, and that shepherd is Jehovah. A flock of sheep, gentle and harmless, feeding in verdant pastures, under the care of a skillful, watchful, and tender shepherd, forms an emblem of believers brought back to the Shepherd of their souls. The greatest abundance is but a dry pasture to a wicked man, who relishes in it only what pleases the senses; but to a godly man, who by faith tastes the goodness of God in all his enjoyments, though he has but little of the world, it is a green pasture. The Lord gives quiet and contentment in the mind, whatever the lot is. Are we blessed with the green pastures of the ordinances, let us not think it enough to pass through them, but let us abide in them. The consolations of the Holy Spirit are the still waters by which the saints are led; the streams which flow from the Fountain of living waters. Those only are led by the still waters of comfort, who walk in the paths of righteousness. The way of duty is the truly pleasant way. The work of righteousness in peace. In these paths we cannot walk, unless God lead us into them, and lead us on in them. Discontent and distrust proceed from unbelief; an unsteady walk is the consequence: let us then simply trust our Shepherd’s care, and hearken to his voice. The valley of the shadow of death may denote the most severe and terrible affliction, or dark dispensation of providence, that the psalmist ever could come under. Between the part of the flock on earth and that which is gone to heaven, death lies like a dark valley that must be passed in going from one to the other. But even in this there are words which lessen the terror. It is but the shadow of death: the shadow of a serpent will not sting, nor the shadow of a sword kill. It is a valley, deep indeed, and dark, and miry; but valleys are often fruitful, and so is death itself fruitful of comforts to God’s people. It is a walk through it: they shall not be lost in this valley, but get safe to the mountain on the other side. Death is a king of terrors, but not to the sheep of Christ. When they come to die, God will rebuke the enemy; he will guide them with his rod, and sustain them with his staff. There is enough in the gospel to comfort the saints when dying, and underneath them are the everlasting arms. The Lord’s people feast at his table, upon the provisions of his love. Satan and wicked men are not able to destroy their comforts, while they are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and drink of the cup of salvation which is ever full. Past experience teaches believers to trust that the goodness and mercy of God will follow them all the days of their lives, and it is their desire and determination, to seek their happiness in the service of God here, and they hope to enjoy his love for ever in heaven. While here, the Lord can make any situation pleasant, by the anointing of his Spirit and the joys of his salvation. But those that would be satisfied with the blessings of his house, must keep close to the duties of it.
Source: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
Today people quote verses from the laws which were given to Moses by God in the Old Testament in order to support their argument that believers should observe the laws. But should believers observe the laws?
God gave Moses 613 laws, laws concerning the tithe, the Temple, the Sabbath, sacrifices and offerings…etc. However, the question is, are we Christians bond to these laws in the New Testament? People throughout the world are mixing the Old Testament laws with the Gospel of Grace, and this has led to confuse a lot.
People ask if we should keep this or that part of the law? Or do we need to keep all of the laws?..etc. But if we are still living in the laws and we are still thinking and acting in terms of the laws, then what is the value of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ?
In this age (The age of the New Testament (covenant)), we are not obliged to follow all the laws which were given to Moses. There are however few laws which we need to watch out; these few laws are the only laws which were given by the Apostles to the gentiles who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
These laws are; To abstain from:
1-Pollution of idols,
3-Things strangled and;
4-Blood. (Acts 15:20, Acts 15:29, Acts 21:25)
In addition, Lord Jesus has told us;
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’’ (Matthew 22:37-39)
Lord Jesus added; “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:40)
The Apostles, taught the believers to observe the above laws only. But as to the rest of the other laws, the blood of Jesus Christ has set us free. If we were supposed to follow all the laws of the Old Testament, then Jesus Christ died for nothing. Keeping the law is nullifying the death of our Lord. But the fact is,
John 1:17” For the Law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
What about the activities which are not written in the Bible, how are we to judge them? Should we keep on doing them or stop doing them? Like smoking for example, the bible doesn’t say anything directly about smoking. There is no verse which says,”You shall not smoke!” So what are we supposed to do? The answer is, the Holy Spirit will lead us to judge such matters. He tells us whether a specific act is of God or not. He is here to lead (direct) us, so that we might change into the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 5:18 “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under Law.”
In conclusion, the blood of Jesus Christ has set us free and we are not bond to the laws so that we have to stone those caught in adultery or to keep the Sabbath or to rest on the first day of Passover…etc. From all of these, the Blood of Jesus has set us Free!
Galatians 5:1 “Then stand firm in the freedom with which Christ made us free and do not be held again with a yoke of slavery.”