Love and Law


1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:7-15 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. {8} He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. {9} In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. {10} Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. {11} Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. {12} No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. {13} Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. {14} And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. {15} Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: {8} But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Romans 5:8-10 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. {9} Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. {10} For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. {30} Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

2 Corinthians 5:19-21 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. {20} Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. {21} For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Titus 3:3-5 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. {4} But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, {5} Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Romans 3:25-26 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; {26} To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

"Commanded Love"
By Edith Schaeffer
From Christianity Today, Vol. 19, November 08, 1974, pp. 32-34

(Part One of Three Parts)

Love is sometimes pictured as a meeting of personalities in some
mystical blending of baseless emotion. The intellect is put on the
other side of a high stone wall, and a chilly grey atmosphere is
contrasted to the riot of colored flowers and warm sun-filled
grasses on the "emotion" side of the wall.

The impression is given that one needs to make a choice between
"mind" and "heart," and that to choose one is to deny the other.
"Come away from the harsh use of logic, you over there on the cold
side," shout some. "Love, feel, experience -- don't question. Just
let yourself go." Is love there? Is it not there? Don't ask. The very
asking may drive it away. Jump into experience and FEEL."

Is this true? Human love, though limited and imperfect can grow
and deepen through the years. How does this take place?

Loves grows through deepening understanding, a better knowledge
of the other person. It grows through expression. If one discovers a
new reason to admire, enjoy, and be stimulated by the other
person, he should verbalize the discovery: "I love the way your
mind works…I love the compassion you have for minority
people….I love your sensitivity to my need of music right
now…Thank you for getting those concert tickets for tonight…How
nice of you to think of making those tapes for Johnny in the
hospital. I love you for that." Concrete reasons for loving another
human being need to be expressed to that person, and the
expressing will help the person who is doing the verbalizing also.

Dwelling in one's mind on reasons for love does not diminish the
feelings of love; it increases them. Making new discoveries of
qualities in the other person's character through recent things he or
she has done adds to the content of love. And verbalizing these
discoveries fixes in the memory things that increase love. Love will
grow as reasons for love are discovered, thought about, expressed
verbally, and remembered.

The question is asked: '"How can I experience love for God? I want
a flood of warm love for Him, but He seems so far away, and I feel

nothing." Is the answer to be one of urging each other to wait for a
mystical, spiritual experience during which we will be plunged into
a riot of color and sunlight on the emotion side of the wall? Are we
to put away intellect and logic?

(Part Two of Three Parts)
(Note: Any words in CAPS were in italics in the original article)

Listen as Jesus speaks in Matthew 22:37. Jesus is being asked
what the GREAT commandment is. What is the basic and first
commandment? "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul and with all thy

The whole man is to be involved in loving God. This is a command.
The command is not only to love God, but to love Him with heart
and soul and mind. The whole person is to be blended together in
this love, not divided into compartments.

The mind is to have an important part in this. How can we
experience a growing love for God? By discovering logical,
reasonable, understandable reasons for loving Him. And then we
can verbalize our discoveries and express our love to impress upon
our memories the reasons we have for loving God. "God, I love You
for Your compassion to Nineveh in sending Jonah to make truth
known, to warn the people in time…How I love You for letting
people come to know Jesus personally day by day, so that they
can also know You, the Father…Thank You, Father, for keeping a
record of the many prayers You answered in detail centuries ago,
and just a hundred years ago as Hudson Taylor went to
China…Thank You for Your gentleness in supplying our need for
food and for adding the roses yesterday." Love for God increases
as the reasons for love are considered, spoken aloud, written on

Love for God sometimes burns low, like a dying fire of pale pink
and gray coals. Reading His Word, looking for fresh understanding
of what He is like, acts as a breeze to fan the dying fire into a
warm glow. "Love the Lord they God with all thy mind."
(Part Three of Three Parts)
(Note: Any words in CAPS were in italics in the original article)

How foolish we are in human relationships when we dwell upon
each other's weaknesses and mistakes. How easily the fire
dimmed with a dash of cold water when the sensitive deed, the
proffered rose, the cup of tea, the concert tickets are ignored and
instead a stream of criticism blasts the air -- "Why did you forget
to mail the letter?…Why did you drop that dish?…Why have you
brought mud in on your feet?…Why didn't you tell me first?"

Searching for reasons to express love, thinking about them, and
formulating appreciation into words, takes time. Dwelling on each
other's mistakes can absorb the time together so that there isn't
time to increase love. Emotion needs a base if it is to be a solid,
continuing experience. We can ourselves to have a continuity in
our relationships when we come to recognize that there is no wall
between intellect and love.

There is a danger in constantly dwelling on things we find in God's
Word, or in the abnormal universe that distress us. God is perfect.
God's love and compassion, His wisdom and holiness, His
creativity and diversity, and His gentleness and kindness, are
perfect. When we come up against anything that causes us to feel
like screaming with annoyance at another human being, we can
know that we have not understood the thing that bothers us.

Of course, we must be honest in our thinking. But if we allow the
things that bother us to absorb a large part of our time, if we read
and reread lines we do not understand that bring feelings of fear,
criticism, coldness, and uncertainty, the effect will be one of
throwing cold water on the embers of our love for God. Our minds
can be occupied with thoughts that distort the reality of the
character of God.

We are commanded to love. We are commanded secondly to love
our neighbors, but first to love God. That command has within it the
key to increasing that love. That command shows how to pull down
the false wall between intellect and faith, reason and trust,
understanding and feeling, mind and love. "Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
mind." Search for ways to fill your mind with thoughts that will give
continuity to love -- before you are in His presence.
(end of part three and article)

In the Lamb,
Friends of L'Abri

Preaching God's Love in Acts?

By Gregory Koukl


What was the emphasis in the evangelistic preaching of the Apostles as recorded in the book of Acts? Does the record of Acts support the notion that the central focus of Christianity is one's love relationship with God and personal life enhancement? Or did these disciples of Christ focus on something else?

The list below includes every instance of evangelistic preaching in the book of Acts, a summary of content, and an analysis of emphasis.

1. Pentecost, Acts, 2:14-39

Peter notes the manifestations of the Holy Spirit that all had been witnessing, then ties them to the fulfillment of prophecy of Joel about the last days. He then preaches Jesus as the Messiah--attested to by miracles and by the resurrection which was prophesied by David--and the guilt of the crowd for the crucifixion.

The emphasis is on forgiveness of sin by Jesus the Messiah. There is no mention of God's love or a relationship with Him.

2. Peter at the Gate Beautiful, Acts 3:12-26

After Peter and John healed a man lame from birth, Peter placed the blame for Jesus' death on the shoulders of the listeners. He then appealed to fulfilled prophecy and told them either to believe and return and thus receive forgiveness and times of refreshing, or be destroyed.

The emphasis is on forgiveness of sin by Jesus the Messiah. There is no mention of God's love or a relationship with Him.

3. Peter before the High Priest, Acts 4:8-12

Peter attributes the healing of the man lame from birth to Jesus the Messiah, whom the Jews had crucified, but whom God had raised from the dead. He quotes prophecy and says there is no other means of salvation but through Jesus. Peter then refuses to be silent about the Gospel.

The emphasis is on forgiveness of sin by Jesus the Messiah. There is no mention of God's love or a relationship with him.

4. Peter's Defense a Second Time before the Council, Acts 5:29-32

Peter proclaims the resurrected Christ as Prince and Savior who brings forgiveness of sin and gives the gift of the Holy Spirit. He accuses the Council of putting Jesus to death. They are so infuriated they want to kill the Apostles. Instead, on the advice of Gamaliel, the believers are flogged and released.

There is no mention of God's love or any kind of tender relationship with Him.

5. Stephen's Defense before the Council, Acts 7:1-60

Stephen recounts the history of the Jews in which they constantly rebel, rejecting God's deliverer. He accuses the Jews of being stiff-necked, resisting the Holy Spirit just as their forefathers had. He accuses them also of betraying and murdering the Righteous One, the Messiah. They are so filled with rage they murder him.

Emphasis is on the guilt of the Jews. There is no mention of God's love.

[Note: When God speaks to Saul about his future during the events surrounding Saul's conversion (Acts 9), there is no mention of an intimate relationship, only that Paul would suffer much for the sake of Christ.]

6. Peter's Message to the Household of Cornelius, Acts 10:34-43

Peter talks of the ministry of Jesus, His miracles, death on the cross, and resurrection. Peter tells the Gentiles it is his job to solemnly testify that Jesus is the One appointed by God to judge the world, that Jesus' coming was prophesied, and that belief in Him brings forgiveness of sin.

The emphasis is on Jesus, the prophesied Messiah who either brings judgment or forgives of sin. There is no mention of God's love.

7. Paul's Message to the Jews in the Synagogue at Pisidian Antioch, Acts 13:16-41

Paul preaches Jesus as the anticipated Savior, affirmed by John the Baptist, crucified by the Jews, who rose from the dead in fulfillment of prophesy. Paul then proclaims forgiveness of sin and freedom from the Law for all who believe.

Paul proclaims Jesus the prophesied Messiah crucified and resurrected. His emphasis is on forgiveness amidst warning.

8. Paul at the Areopagus in Athens, Acts 17:22-31

Paul discloses the nature of the "unknown God," One who is responsible for all creation, and in whom we all depend for our very existence. He calls all men to repent, because God has appointed a judge, a man who has risen from the dead.

Emphasis is on the nature of God, and the reality of judgment. There is no mention of relationship or God's love.

9. Paul's Defense before the Jews in Jerusalem, Acts 22:1-21

Paul gives his testimony, detailing his persecution of Christians motivated by his zeal toward God, his conversion on the road to Damascus, and how his sins were washed away in Jesus' name. When he mentions his mission to the Gentiles, however, the Jews protested violently.

Emphasis is on Paul's personal encounter with Christ, his own forgiveness from sin, and his subsequent mission. There is no offer of personal relationship with God or mention of God's love.

10. Paul's Defense before the Sanhedrin, Acts 23:1-6

Paul says he is on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead. There is no mention of the love of God.

11. Paul's Defense before the governor, Felix, Acts 24:10-21

Paul establishes his innocence regarding the Jews' charges, then affirms the Law and the Prophets and the general resurrection of both righteous and wicked, a belief for which he says he is on trial.

There is no mention of God's love or even of forgiveness.

12. Paul before Felix and Drusilla, Acts 24:24-25

Paul speaks of righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come which frightens Felix who then sends Paul away. There is no mention of God's love or of a personal relationship with Him.

13. Paul's Defense before the Agrippa, Acts 26:1-29

Paul gives his testimony, noting the importance of the resurrection. He tells of the commission Jesus had given him, proclaiming the Gospel with a goal of deliverance from Satanic darkness to receiving forgiveness and an inheritance from God. Paul claims his message is the same as the prophets regarding the Messiah's suffering and resurrection.

Emphasis is on the resurrection of Christ, prophetic fulfillment and forgiveness, and Paul's responsibility to preach the Gospel. There is no mention of love or a relationship with God.

The love of God is never mentioned a single time in the entire book of Acts.

Stand to Reason- Preaching God's Love in Acts-