Love God, Obey God
Jesus IS love. The greatest commandment is to love God. Of course, Jesus loved the Father, and we are to be like Jesus. Our first priority is to love God... love Jesus, love the Father, and love the Spirit. But, what does Jesus mean by "love God."? How do we put His words into action? Love God... does that mean to have an affection for God? Does it mean you are to like God, such that God makes us feel good? What, exactly, does it mean to "love God"?
The answer is ALWAYS JESUS. He tells us what loving God looks like:
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." - John 14:15
"The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me." - John 14:21
"If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him." - John 14:23
Loving God means obeying God. Obeying God means loving God. Love is not a feeling... it is not an affection... it is an action. An action of obedience to God.
If you love God, you obey God.
If you obey God, you love God. You cannot do one without the other. It is not, "If you love me, you SHOULD keep my commandments." It is, "If you love Me, you WILL keep my commandments." How do we love God? Obey God.
You Have Not Obeyed God
You have a problem. You have disobeyed God. The standard is perfect obedience. You fall short. Far short of that standard. You have broken God's laws (commandments). You have done what He said not to do, and have not done all He said to do.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, - Romans 3:23
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. - 1 John 3:4
The penalty for breaking God's law is death. You have earned the death penalty.
the wages of sin is death. - Romans 6:23
...sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers [drug users], and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” - Revelation 21:8
No one can save you. Everyone has the same problem. Everyone has broken God's law and must pay the death penalty for their own sin. Except... there is one person...
Jesus Obeyed God Perfectly
Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. He never disobeyed God. He has no sin debt to pay. He is not under the death penalty. He is the only person who can die in your place. You have earned the death penalty. He died in your place. He paid the death penalty you have earned.
God (Jesus) Offers You Your Life
Jesus willingly went to the cross to die in your place. He died physically, AND He died the second (spiritual) death in your place. He now offers your life to you as a free gift.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. - John 6:47
For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16
Who lived a perfect life? The answer is always, only Jesus. Who can save you from the second death? The answer is always ONLY JESUS.
JESUS IS THE
LAMB of GOD
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! - John 1:29
Jesus is called the 'lamb' who takes away the sins of the world because He is the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for our sin. To understand this, we need to understand who we are.
We are made in the image of God..We represent the character of God to all of the universe. That is why sin is so serious. When we lie, or steal, or look at another person with lust, we represent God as a lying thief and an adulterer. When we break God's laws (the Ten Commandments), it is an offense against the perfect and Holy God... and the just penalty must be paid.
In Jesus' day, a lamb was sacrificed in the morning and another in the evening. Those sacrifices of animals could not save anyone, the blood of an animal cannot save a human. However, they pointed to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. He was as innocent as a baby lamb. Jesus never disobeyed God. Yet He sacrificed Himself, dying in your place so that you may live. The following was written 600 years before Christ:
All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the wrongdoing of us all To fall on Him.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. - Isaiah 53:6-7