The love of Christ
Sometimes, you don’t take note of some things, until someone points them out to you. I have read today’s passage several times, especially verse 22 without taking note of what the Lord wants me to share with you today. Just few weeks ago, one woman, among those who had travelled with me to the Holy land, sent me a message on WhatsApp that says, “Sir, what does the statement in 1 Cor. 16:22 mean? I quickly went to look at the passage and there, I saw the importance of loving Jesus Christ, the sin of not loving Him and the penalty for not loving Him. Many of us are happy and proud of Christ’s love for us. But do we really love Him in return? Do we realise that it is a sin not to love Him in return and that sin makes one to be accursed? Let us briefly look at what it really means to love Christ.
Loving Christ: The Description.
Love, they say, is reciprocal. No doubt, the love Christ has for us is so deep and we cannot fathom it. (1 John 3:1, Ephe.3: 17-19) But what are the acceptable qualities of our love for Him? Our love to Christ must be:
• Sincere- Our love for Him must be free from pretence; it must be genuine. Our love for Him might be because of what He has done for us, but not because of what we want to get from Him. It must be sincere.
• Supreme- Our love for Him must be without any rival. His love must have the first place. It must be love so supreme that every other love looks like hatred. (Luke 14:26) Christ’s love has no place in our lives, if He does not have the first place. He must have the first place in our affections and whatever stands opposed to Him we must hate. Our love for Him must be supreme.
• Strong- Love undoubtedly has levels of strength. Our love for Christ must be ardent and sublime. It must be strong enough to consume our lives like fire. The moment there is a spark and the spark is blown, it may rise to a intense flame, which lots of water cannot quench. You only have to neglect it for it to expire. Rather, we must stir up the flame of our love for Him.
• Steadfast- Jesus is always the same yesterday, today and forever more. Therefore, our love for Him must be constant. It must stand firm and unbending at all times.
• Sensible- Our love for Christ must not just be in words. It must be practical and pragmatic and evident in our actions. Loving Him is keeping His commandments. (John 14:15) Practically, we love Him by loving His word (His love letter), His day (the Lord’s Day), His house, His servants, His brethren and love His return. Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.
If you don’t love His return, you don’t love Him. Your daily desire must be “maranatha.”
The penalty of not loving Him according to our passage is grave. “Let him be accursed: our Lord is coming.”(vs. 22b) This form of expression is said to be taken from the practice in the synagogues, when excommunicating offenders. They had three forms of excommunication, the highest of which they used this expression, which was always understood to imply the sentence of final and irrevocable ruin. Now, says the apostle, this is the doom of all who do not love Christ. But this curse does not fall now but at His coming. A better reading says, “Let them be accursed at the second coming of the Lord.” There is a curse, which rests upon the head of every man by nature as a breaker of the Law of God (Deu 27:26), which Christ died to deliver us from. (Gal 3:13) To those, therefore, who receive Him and rely upon Him, the curse of law is turned into blessing (Rom 8:1). But they who
“love not the Lord Jesus Christ” remain under that curse from which He died to set them free (Joh 3:36; 1Co 15:17).
To reject Him as the Saviour is an aggravated sin that deserves aggravated condemnation. (Hebrew 10:28-29). “The curse of the law” is terrible, but “the wrath of the Lamb” will be more terrible. For us to love Christ correctly, our love for Him must be sincere, supreme, strong, steadfast and sensible. Do you love Him? Shalom.
Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.
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