Epistle to the Hebrews (13:1)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

 “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 13:1

Loving one another forms part of the central teaching of Jesus.  Loving God and people were explicitly described as being the greatest commandments.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Mat 22:37

In the Gospel of Mark 12:29, Jesus described love as a commandment for which there’s no greater than it.

We cannot talk about Christianity without mentioning love. It’s because God so loved the world that He gave His son.

John says in his letter:

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” 1 John 3:11

If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.” 1 John 3:14

Loving one another is not just a teaching but a command. Loving others is an evidence that we are children of light and passed from death to life. Why is love so central to Christianity?

Paul described love as a debt.

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” Romans 13:8, Gal 5:14

The entire law is based on loving God and loving people. If we love God we will not sin against Him and when we love people we won’t hurt them. If you love God, you won’t commit idolatry and if you love your wife, you won’t commit adultery. From love was the law derived. The laws given by God were to make people draw closer to Him and take care of others.

Much has been written and many will write on this very deep word – Love. The media twists love as being a feeling or sexual. But love is not a feeling but a commitment. Love is all about giving yourself for someone else.

Paul describes love as such:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor 13:4-7

When we love someone, we’re patient with that person’s weaknesses. When we are impatient, it’s probably because of selfishness. God has been very patient with me and it’s something I do not deserve at all. Love is also kind, it is gentle and caring. Love is not harsh or bullying but demonstrates tenderness. Love is not arrogant. Love is also not envious and jealous. When someone is envious, it is probably because that person compares what he has with what others owe and is unsatisfied. Love is not boastful or proud because it has nothing to prove. Love is either genuine or not. It is not conceited. This love does not look down on others. Love is humble and seeks not to be placed on a footstool and praised. It tries not to impress or is double-faced. Love gives without expecting anything in return. It does not boast at how much it did but naturally serves others. Love seeks not it’s own interest but that of someone else. Love is also not rude but respectful. Love does not insist on its own rights but rather gives up his rights to bind the relationship. It accepts to lose and sacrifice it’s ego for the sake of that relationship.

Let us look at a verse which describes Jesus’ attitude as giving up:
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.Though he was God,he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.Instead, he gave up his divine privilegesPhil 2:3-5

Love is quick to forgive and slow to get angry:

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Col 3:12-13

Love gets over an offense and seeks to heal the wounds quickly. Love forgives and forgets. It is not resentful. Love makes allowances for others faults and is slow to judge. Love is not irritable. It cannot be provoked to withhold good when wronged. It does not retort or aims to return wrong for wrong. Love never ceases to forgive and does not count how much forgiving or good it has been.  It will be ready to forgive wholeheartedly even – 70 times 7(Mat 18:23). It never says it has done enough or forgave much. It keeps on seeking to serve others. Love rejoices when good is done and does not tolerate injustice. It has no part in injustice but rather condemns it. Love is not suspicious but trusts. Love is innocent to evil. It is hopeful and will endure. Spiritual gifts will cease, heaven and earth will pass away but love will still remain as being the character God expects to see in us for eternity.  Love is a permanent command. Love faces adversity and storms but feelings are attenuated with them. Real love is a commitment and is long-suffering. The more love rubs with difficulties the brighter it shines.

Keep on loving others with this love.

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Posted September 1, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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