If we love the God of the Bible, we will do our utmost to function according to His expectations, working as His stewards to a humanity which He created to operate best under His standards. If we love our neighbor, we will instruct him and strive to give him a society in which he will be safest, happiest, and most prosperous. The two greatest commandments, to love God and love our neighbor, Jesus says, are that upon which the Law of God hangs (Matthew 22:40). This, beyond equivocation, is the Ten Commandments, with their statutes and judgments, which are righteous altogether (Psalm 19:9).
Holy, godly love is not described in Scripture as a warm feeling or any kind of emotion. It is an action. A feeling or emotion cannot be commanded, but an action can be immediately carried out in full obedience. When we are commanded to love, we are commanded to act. To “love” would be a very ambiguous command if God had not specifically told us how to love. According to the apostle John, to love is to walk in the commandments of God (II John 6). James says faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Faith and love are meaningless and empty without obedience.
Without Law, “love” becomes a mere emotion, or a primal urge. Faith becomes inactive belief, a mystical experience with no substance. Without Law there is no direction, and those who hold to such lawless vanities are just as lost as the agnostic or the atheist. Jesus speaks of these people coming to Him, seeking entrance into the Kingdom, crying, “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?” To which He coldly responds, “I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity [literally, lawlessness].” Indeed, I John 2:4 makes clear that whoever claims to know Him but doesn’t keep His commandments is a liar. Deuteronomy 7:9 tells us, “Know therefore that Yahweh thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.”
To claim that we don’t need the Law of God is to claim that we no longer need His love, and that we no longer need to love one another. It is a message of anarchy and hate, whether its proponents realize it or not.
The Law of God hangs upon the two greatest commandments, ie, to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). In other words, the premise of loving both God and man is the basis for the entire moral Law. II John 6 tells us that to love is to walk in His commandments. We can therefore conclude that to hate is to fail to obey those same commandments. Paul said in Romans 13:10 that love fulfills (or establishes) the Law. Jesus Christ echoed Exodus 20:6 and Deuteronomy 11:1 when He said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). There is no escaping that, in both the Old and New Testament, adherence to God’s moral Law is the only legitimate way to express love for both God and man, as well as to accept His love. Just as to sin means to transgress the Law (I John 3:4), so to love means to apply the Law – hence, sin and antinomianism are hatred of both God and man.
Our nation is in desperate need of love. After the Supreme Court ruling legalizing sodomite “marriage”, the hashtag “#LoveWins” began popping up on social media, bumper stickers, shirts, signs, and more. Finally, people cried, love has overcome the obstacles of bigotry and hate!
No, I argue. Love did not win in this case. It sustained a hard blow. Our society is going to suffer because we have lost the definition of love and embraced hate. Our children will curse us for our foolishness and destruction. But one day love – true love – will indeed win. The Law of God will reign supreme, and its detractors and haters will find themselves crushed under the weight of the glorious Kingdom rising up in her fullness. If we truly love God and love our neighbor, we will not rest until His Law becomes the only Law wherever our influence can reach.
God is love (I John 4:8). It is not only His nature and tendency, but it is the essence of who He is. Anything He does or says, every decree from His Divine mouth, is love. Because He is love, He should also be our definition for love. Man has many differing ideas of what “love” is and should be, but because God is love, we should look to His example and His commandments in order to learn love.
Christ came, not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill or establish (Matthew 5:17). “Think not that I have come to destroy the Law or the prophets,” He exclaimed. By saying “think not” He was telling His listeners to not even entertain the idea, that it was the furthest from His intentions. Indeed, He established the Law and His love by sacrificing Himself on our behalf in an act of ultimate love (Romans 5:8). He did not come to abolish the Law. He came to establish it through an act of love nobody else could rival in scope or perfection. His perfect love came through perfect establishment of the Law. If His death abolished the Law, then His death abolished the love of God – to which idea the apostle Paul would doubtless have responded, “May it never be!” If Christ came to establish the Law through His death, then to reject the Law today would be to reject the Messiah!
To whom God gives His Law, to them He gives His love. From this it is a simple step of logic to understand that as to receive His Law is to receive His love, to reject His Law is to reject His love. As a woman spurning a man’s love rejects the man, so does he who rejects the love of God reject God himself. To obey His commandments is to love Him – therefore, to reject His commandments is to hate Him (Romans 1:30, Exodus 20:5). Nobody can truly understand, experience, or give true love if they reject God’s Law either through outright paganism or antinomian doctrine. Antinomian Christians are, at best, a rebellious wife. They can only teach a bastardized love created in their own minds, because only God can teach love in its true sense. To divorce love from Law is to take the lifebreath out of the Christian faith and never truly understand God or the sacrifice made on behalf of His people.
To delight and revel in His Law is to delight and revel in His love. Antinomianism declares His Law, and thus His love, to be burdensome and of none effect, thus declaring Christ and His death to be empty and meaningless – thus rejecting Him as Messiah – thus being antichrist (I John 2:22)!
God’s love as laid forth in the Law pertains to Israel (Romans 9:3-5), and the New Covenant Promise hinges firmly on the Law being written in the hearts of Israelites (Jeremiah 31:31-33). To whom God gives His Law, He gives His love, as a husband gives his love to his wife. Knowing this, to know who the real Israelites today, all we have to do is trace the nations who have kept the Law, recognized the New Covenant, and embraced the Messiah throughout history. Find those people, and you find true Israel, the Bride of Christ. To them, and to them alone have been given the Law of His love. Adherents of Talmudism (Judaism, the modern manifestation of Pharisaism) do not in any way fit this criterion, but rather embody the exact opposite in their reviling of Christ and the upending of His moral Law in their Talmudic traditions. Antinomians who reject the Law join the Talmudists in spitting on Christ and subverting His Law. Let us not be found among their ranks!