It’s popular today for people to say “Love is all we need.” “If it’s done out of love it’s okay.” “If love is our motive, anything is all right.” Is it true that if we have love, anything goes?
It is true that as Christians we are to be marked by love (John 13:34-35). Loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves are two of the greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-39).
Yes, love is important. If we do great works without love they are useless (1 Corinthians 13:1). The church at Ephesus was in great danger because they had left their first love (Revelation 2:1-7). They did good works, but since they weren’t motivated by love for Jesus the works amounted to nothing. Yes, love is very important. But is love alone enough? If we have love for God and others, but our actions are selfish and sinful, does the love make it all OK?
Any married couple can tell you that love alone is not enough. It takes commitment, communication, forgiveness, patience, sacrifice and service to make a marriage work. Love must be backed up by actions to be effective. Husbands are commanded to love and sacrifice for their wives. wives are commanded to love and respect their husbands (Ephesians 5).
Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Love produces obedience. 1 John 5:3 says “This is love for God, to keep His commandments.” Love without obedience is empty. Obedience without love Is legalism. Both obedience and love are necessary to live a Christ-like life.
Yes, we need love. But to use that as an excuse to not know and obey the Bible is totally wrong. It is God’s Word that sets the standard for what love is and does. We are commanded to love, but we are also commanded to obey, to give, to pray, to serve, to teach, to evangelize and to forgive. Doing these without love is empty, but love without these is hollow and self-focused. It takes both to live a godly Christian life.
John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.
How is your balance between love and obedience? Are you stronger in one than the other? Which one? What is the danger in that imbalance? What should you do, starting today, to have the right amount of both?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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