Mark 12:30-31, “30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
God’s two greatest commands are to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. First, to love God means to worship and adore Him with Spirit-led worship (John 4:24). Second, we love God by keeping all of His commands (John 14:15). The first way we are to love our neighbor as ourselves is to help them in their times of need like the Good Samaritan did in Luke 10:25-27. And the second way is by preaching the gospel to them so that they might believe and be saved (Acts 20:26-27).
When Jesus walked the earth He revealed the Father’s heart and perfectly completed the Old Covenant. Jesus did not come to abolish or do away with the 613 laws given by God to Moses (known as the “Law of Moses”) but rather He came to perfectly obey them, fulfill them and bring a new covenant with a new law (the “Law of Christ”), as revealed in Jeremiah 31:31 and John 1:17.
Though the Christian can gain understanding of God’s character from the many laws of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ is the full representation of God’s law in the flesh (Colossians 1:15). Therefore, the disciple of Christ is commanded to follow all that Jesus taught as the final revelation from God the Father and not try to go back to the previous covenant (Matthew 28:20). Though the moral commands of the Old Testament remain intact in the New Testament (for example murder and lying is still sinful); the civil, priestly, sacrificial, dietary and religious laws are no longer binding. God said in Hebrews 8:13, “By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
As a result, from the foundation of Jesus’ two greatest commandments (loving God and people) we should follow all the rest of Jesus’ teachings. For example, if you truly love God you will follow Jesus’ teaching on sexuality because Jesus taught that God only blessed sex between a married man and woman (Mark 10:7). Chuck Colson wrote, “Loving God – really loving Him – means living out His commands no matter what the cost.” Set your heart on obeying God’s two greatest commands and all the others will come naturally (1 John 2:15-17)!
- Repent of anything you love more than God (Luke 14:26-27).
- Repent for the times you did not love others as yourself.
- Determine to always love God and people!