God created man and woman and saw that everything was good. Sin came into the world, and it was grave. Adam and Eve could not be in Eden anymore, they ended up far away from God. Cain killed his brother. There were lies, hate, jealousy, envy, pride, violence, adultery and many many many other sins. God hated sins, but did not hate the sinners. God loves his creation, God loves the world, but He hates sin. (Genesis and Romans 1-2)
A gift of love came to us when God gave to us his son, who was both man and God at the same time.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved”
1. Love. God’s love comes first. “For so God loved…” “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world.” Jesus, our savior, came to the world, because God loves us. God loves the whole world. He didn’t come to condemn us.
Jesus walked among people. He preached to everyone. Not everyone listened to him or would accept him. But he preached to every one. He ate with the outcasts, He ate with the sinners. Today he would eat (if they say yes) with the muslims, the murderers, the thieves, the addicts, the unemployed, the prostitutes, the skizofren, the disabled and the homeless and the poor people – all the people, who the world wants to forget and push over the edge.
When Jesus came to people, he called them, and said “Follow me” (Mark 2:14) and “come and see!” (John 1:29). Jesus didn’t command people so much as do this and do that, but He called them, preached the Word and was a teacher. One thing I noticed some days ago was that he healed people who came to Him and believed in Him, and those whose families believed in Him.
So God loves….and “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish”. People are justified by faith. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-25).
The commandments of love
Jesus did not erase the law, the 10 commandments, but taught people the essence of the laws: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself (Mark 12:20-31).
These commandments are inflicted and are two in one. You cannot separate them and only follow one of the commandments. You are asked to love God with all your heart, love yourself and love your neighbor. I believe that when you get to know God, you begin to understand that He loves you, and thus learn to love yourself and love your neighbor.
Who is your neighbor?