The First Commandment
Overseer Sung-Hyun Kim
Love is the most important concept in the Christian faith. While mankind failed to love God, He save them by His love. He later taught them the method to love God and also commanded them what to love. In this manner, He opened the way for mankind to live forever. We should not confuse this love with what is commonly used in the world. Since this love came only from God, if we are Christians, we should never take it lightly.
Mankind repeatedly fails to love God because they yield to the innate desire to love themselves. The history of the Old Testament shows this clearly. Therefore, if we do not want to repeat the same failures, we need to look carefully at the events written in the Old Testament. But some people misunderstand that the Old Testament teachings (including Moses’ commands) are completely different from the teachings of Christ, so they disregard them. Since these people cannot understand the background and purpose of the work of Christ, it is easy for them to develop self-centered ideas and fail in their faith.
When the Sadducees and Pharisees continually failed to criticize Jesus, an expert and teacher of the Law came forward. Because he was prejudiced that Jesus’ own system of teaching was different from the Law of Moses, he wanted to draw a reply from Jesus to expose this and use as a reason to accuse Him. So this teacher of the Law asked, “Which command is the most important of all?”
Jesus then said, “The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength!’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself!’ There is no commandment greater than these!” Jesus’ reply amazed the teachers of the Law. This is because the words Jesus said were what the experts in the Law usually regarded as most important, and it showed that Jesus did not deny Moses’ commands.
When the commands of Moses emphasized obedience, the real meaning was to show love for God. This is not self-centered love coming from individual desire, but it is righteous love that we offer because He is God. God created the world, gave His life to save sinners, and blesses us. A God like this should receive love from all creation, and He is worthy to receive it – a love which ignites our devotion, emotion, will and actions. God also wants us to love our brothers and sisters like we love Him. He wants us to express and prove our love for Him by loving our brothers and sisters.
Love is the command given by Jesus Christ. He did not suddenly introduce something new, but perfected what was there since old times. No matter how much we love our brothers and sisters, our ability is limited. But if we try to love our brothers and sisters, the Lord said He would regard that eagerness as proof of our love for Him. We can sometimes stumble, but He clearly showed us the way to go. Let’s love God with the love we receive from Him. Let’s show the sincerity of love by loving our brothers and sisters.
ON 3Minute Sermon
(Lord’s Day Service on November 28, 2021)