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The qualities of a good Christian are spelled in the word love – that is love to God and love to man. But how does a Christian receive God’s gift of love? There are two steps that a Christian must go through to have perfect love. These steps are justification and sanctification.
Jesus confirmed that love is the greatest commandment. When the lawyer asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment in the law, Jesus answered: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Notice that these two love commandments are simply summed up in “all the law and the prophets.” All the law and prophets hang upon these two principles of love. If one loves Christ supremely with his heart, soul, and mind, he will obey the first four commandments that have to do with his duty to God. He will not take God’s name in vain, worship other gods, etc. If one loves his neighbor as himself, he will obey the last six commandments which relate to his duty to his fellow men. He will not be able to steal from his neighbor, lie about him, etc. Love will lead to obeying or fulfilling all the law. Therefore, Love underlies all the qualities in the Christian’s life.
But God gives the gift of love. When a Christian accepts the Lord by faith, God pours His love into the his heart “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:10).
In His service,