Free to Love in the Manner of Christ

Nothing compels the Christian like the love of Christ (2 Cor 5:14). We love because He first loved us (1 Jn 4:19). He poured out His love in our hearts (Rom 5:5), when He gave us the Holy Spirit as a gift (Acts 2:38; 10:45), a pledge of betrothal (2 Cor 5:5).

The wedding day of Christ and His beloved bride is the Day of the Lord (Mt 24–25; Mk 13; Lk 21; 1 Thess 4:13–5:11), when He comes again for the ones He died for on the cross (Jn 10:11, 15; Rom 5:8; Eph 5:25). These are the ones to whom He gave His Spirit to indwell (Rom 8:9, 11), promising to never leave nor forsake them (Heb 13:5).

God’s love for His chosen people is an everlasting love (Jer 31:3) bounded by an everlasting covenant (Is 61:8; Heb 13:20), which was secured (“cut”) by the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God (Mt 26:28; Jn 1:29; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:19; Rev 5:6. 12).This was God’s demonstration of love (Rom 5:8) toward those He predestined to adoption, in love, before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4–5).

God’s love never fails (1 Cor 13:8). He always accomplishes what concerns us (Ps 57:2; 138:8), assuring those who love Christ that all things will be worked out by God for their good (Rom 8:28). This is a comfort and a blessed assurance to the child of God (1 Jn 3:10), loved by the Father (1 Jn 3:1), the Son (Eph 5:25), and the Spirit (Rom 15:30; 2 Cor 6:6; 13:14), which manifests in love for the brethren (Col 1:8; 2 Tim 1:7).

If the Christian is to pursue love with his neighbor (1 Cor 14:1), he must begin by speaking the truth (Eph 4:15). If God is love (1 Jn 4:8) and Jesus Christ is God (Jn 1:1; 10:30; Tit 2:13), then we must preach Christ to those we say we love (1 Tim 1:5). He is God’s indescribable gift (2 Cor 9:15), given by God through us. when we speak of Him and do good things in His name.

Christ shows us His way of love by His laying down His life for us (1 Jn 3:16). He gave Himself up for us (Eph 5:25), a ransom for many (Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45). Following in His steps (1 Pet 2:21), we see our brother in need and we open our heart to him (1 Jn 3:17), thus, making friends for everlasting habitations with the mammon of unrighteousness (Lk 16:9), so there might be equality in the body of Christ (2 Cor 8:13–14). By faith, we know God will resupply us for every good work (2 Cor 9:8, 11). God’s economy of love is a fantabulous one.

Seeing that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), we deny ourselves the security of building bigger barns in this world (Lk 12:18). As the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.” Words and actions must both be the language of the believer in Jesus. Both are good works prepared beforehand, by God, for us to walk in by the Spirit (Eph 2:10; Gal 5:16), which is in the manner of our calling (Eph 4:1), as children of light in the world (Eph 5:8; Phil 2:15).

The light we shine before men (Mt 5:16) is the marvelous light of Christ (1 Pet 2:9), the light of the world (Jn 8:12; 9:5). We are a city set on a hill, in a world of darkness (Col 1:13). People who walk in darkness will see a great light (Is 9:2), although they may not comprehend it (Jn 1:5). Still, some will have their eyes opened to the truth (Jn 9), to see the truth as it is in Jesus (Jn 1:14, 17; Eph 4:21), who is Himself the truth (Jn 14:6).

If God is true and every man a liar (Rom 3:4), then it must be the Spirit of truth who guides us into all truth (Jn 16:13), which is the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18), which is of surpassing value to all other things (Phil 3:8). Our Teacher, the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26), gives us the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:15–16) to know the things freely given to us (1 Cor 2:12), as adopted sons (Rom 8:15, 23). As objects of our Father’s love, He made us to be vessels of mercy prepared for glory (Rom 9:23).

God bestows mercy upon whom He wills (Rom 9:15–16). And by His will, those appointed to life receive Jesus (Jn 1:12–13; Acts 13:48). Because salvation belongs to God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1), nothing can separate God’s elect, redeemed, regenerate people from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:35–39). This blessed assurance releases the Christian from the cares of the world that so easily entangle him (Gen 4:7; Heb 12:1).

Free to love in the manner of Christ, the Christian denies himself, takes up His cross and dies to self (Mt 16:24; Mk 8:34), by dying with Christ and being raised to new life (Rom 6:1–11), which is abundant (Jn 10:10) and eternal (Jn 17:3; 1 Jn 5:11–13).

Life, in Christ, is a life of faith, today (Gal 2:20), and a life of hope for the remainder of our days that all the promises of God are “yes” and “amen” in Christ (2 Cor 1:20; Col 1:27). It is also a hope for our future, an eternity spent with the One who loves us (1 Thess 4:17). Faith…yes. Hope…yes; but the greatest of all His gifts to us is love (1 Cor 13:13).

What kind of love is this? It is unfailing, unchanging, eternal, trusting, personal, ever-present, a token today, a marriage for eternity, and it is filled with intimate knowledge of the holy that requires an eternity of discovery. It is pure pleasure to know of such treasure, with infinite value far beyond sliver or gold.

Christian, rejoice in that which is seen, albeit dimly, today (1 Cor 13:12). Fix your eyes on Jesus and set your mind on things above (Col 3:2; Heb 12:2). He is seated in the heavenlies and your place is with Him (Eph 2:6). Compared to the glory to be revealed to us, the pleasures at His right hand, forevermore, this present age can only be called, “suffering” (Rom 8:18). The world is fading away, but your eternal home is a mansion in glory, prepared by Him for you (Jn 14:2–3). Give thanks and get ready. Behold, He is coming (Rev 22:20). Love well…speak of Him.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

January 31, 2021

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher