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Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:43-44
The Ten Commandments were a perfect standard by which to judge outward actions, however this covenant was not faultless, in that it was not a perfect standard by which to judge the heart. The Ten Commandments did not teach us to love our enemies, or to be forgiving, merciful, longsuffering, patient, and gentle. They did not teach us to not be bitter or resentful. The Ten Commandments did not teach many Christian virtues which the New Covenant law of LOVE does.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. Luke 10:27
Jesus said if we love Him we ought to keep HIS commandments. When the great commission was given we were told to teach the world what HE TAUGHT! The teachings of Jesus are HIS commandments. We ought to define HIS commandments by Jesus what Jesus commanded, not by the book of Exodus! It is important that we define what Jesus said within the CONTEXT of what He said, and not to merely assume upon his words the definition given in the Book of Exodus. Within the context of Jesus statement, if you love me keep MY commandments, he defined EXACTLY what his commandments were. “THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT! Love one another! John 15:12. (John Chapters 14 & 15 are an unbroken and uninterrupted statement by Jesus).
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34
Love is not a lesser commandment to the Ten, rather it is THE GREAT COMMANDMENT! It is the Royal Law, James 2:8.
The New Covenant law is superior when compared to the Old Covenant Ten Commandment law. Not only does love teach us to refrain from adultery, it teaches us not to lust. Not only does love teach us not to murder, it teaches us not to be angry with another without a cause, or to hate. Love does not only teach us not to covet, it teaches us to esteem the needs of others as greater than our own Philippians 2:2-4.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:8-10
Love is truly the GREAT COMMANDMENT. Not only did it teach us not to lie, and to steal, it teaches us what the Ten Commandments did not. To be forgiving, merciful, longsuffering, patient, and compassionate. To have empathy, to give food to the hungry, clothing to the desolate, and shelter to the fatherless and widow. Love teaches us to do no harm to our neighbor.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Galatians 5:14
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Ephesians 4:2
The rich young ruler obeyed the Ten Commandments, but his heart was still selfish. He still cared for his own needs more than that of others. The early church was transformed by the commandment to love others and demonstrated their conversion by selling their houses and lands and giving everything they had to bring the gospel to the world. The love of Christ did for the Christians what the Ten Commandments could not do for the rich young ruler.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and EVERY ONE THAT LOVETH IS BORN OF GOD, and knoweth God. 1 John 4:7
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:11
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12
The Old Covenant was a standard which men could judge one another by. The New Covenant law is a standard by which only God can rightly judge. The Old Covenant had rules which could be judged by law, and one could be found guilty or innocent by.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians 5:13
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 1 Thessalonians 3:12
But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
The New covenant law pierces the heart and divides the motives and even the most outwardly obedient person can still be found to not be converted by it. A morally right person can refrain from breaking the Ten Commandments, he can refrain from committing adultery, from stealing, from lying, and can even keep the sabbath. An unconverted morally upright person can keep them.
And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 1 John 3:23
I have also known Christians who outwardly were keeping the Ten Commandments in every particular including the Saturday sabbath, who were given to gossip and back-biting, and possessed critical dispositions towards others. They were quick to judge whether or not this one or that was truly a Christian or not. And all of those things went unchecked and rebuked. All of those things went by almost completely unnoticed. Since the sabbath was greater to them than the command to love one another. However these actions were against the GREAT COMMANDMENT to love one another.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20
Regardless of which church we are speaking of, they all have people like this. However my point is, even if someone is outwardly keeping the Ten Commandments and inwardly they do not possess a loving heart towards others it means nothing! Jesus said you will know them by their fruits, were these people who outwardly kept the Ten Commandments in every particular, and yet demonstrated a lack of love towards others truly born again?
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and EVERY ONE THAT LOVETH IS BORN OF GOD, and knoweth God.1 John 4:7
I have had the pleasure of visiting most every major denomination out there. I have met countless Christians who are GENUINELY kind, and merciful, and forgiving and patient. Those who demonstrate all the fruit of the Spirit consistently, not just once a week at church but also in their daily lives.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Romans 12:10
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Hebrews 10:24
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1 Peter 1:22
On the other hand I have also known a great deal of morally right and even friendly people in church too. Jesus said, even the tax collectors love their friends. We are not talking about being friendly. Sure there is a lot of friendly activity for two hours once a week at church. What we are talking about is genuine Christian love!
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 1 Peter 3:8
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: James 2:8
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 1 John 3:11
If Bill Gates offered a devout Christian-hating-atheist $1,000,000,000 if he can live for one year without stealing, and committing adultery and tell him he must rest from all secular labor every 7th day, and give him absolutely no Christian motivation whatsoever, rather he only offered him one billion dollars. Do you think he would be able to do it? Of course he could. The point is even unconverted people have values against stealing and lying, it does not prove you are converted.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35
Paul said if I give all I have to feed the poor and have not love it means nothing. If I give my body to be burned, and have not love it means nothing. If you keep the Sabbath and you have not love it means nothing too! Anyone can rest from labor one day in seven. That takes no Christianity to do something as simple as that. An atheist can do it. In fact unconverted people who have the weekends off from their jobs do it all the time.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12
These things I command you, that ye love one another. John 15:17
And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning (See Lev. 19:18), that we love one another. 2 John 1:5