Have we sacrificed truth on the altar of love?
We are a “love” obsessed society. Anything is permissible as long as it’s done in the name of love. You can talk about Jesus all you want as long as you mention his love, friendship and goodness.
However, love has been watered down and distorted. Love has grown to mean acceptance, approval and a free pass to do anything that makes you happy. But, love has never been mans to define. How do we know what love is? We look to our eternal God who established this whole world. The only definition of love that matters is what God’s unchanging Word says:
You see God’s eternal love is rooted in truth, a truth that is hard to take. We are God’s sinful, rebellious creation who deserves only judgment and condemnation. Unless we understand this hard truth, the most incredible act of love we will ever know means nothing.
We: you, me, all of us… we are sinners. God sacrificed his one and only son so that we could be saved.
Yes, SACRIFICED… willingly allowed his perfect son to suffer and die, so that you and I don’t have to.
God defines love. Love is what incredible lengths God went through to save sinners, for his glory.
God’s perfect love didn’t let us wallow in our sin because it made us “happy”. God’s perfect love didn’t understand where we were coming from and why our sin was so easy to do and give us a break. God’s perfect love wasn’t accommodating of our sin.
God’s perfect love called sin what it was, cut straight to the root of the problem and did something about it. He met us where we were at, and then lifted us out of the mire.
Somewhere along the lines in the church culture we’ve believed the lie that if Christians could just love more like Jesus, then the world would accept us and believe the message of the Gospel. But, we forget one thing: Jesus was perfect, handled every situation exactly as God wanted him to, and they killed him; hated him so much that they called out for him to be killed in the most brutal fashion.
Here is the truth. The message of Jesus Christ and the cross is the most offensive message the world could ever hear because it means we must admit the truth:
All of us are sinners and deserve the righteous judgment of a holy God.
Jesus is the only way to heaven. There is no other path that leads to eternity with God.
We are set free from the chains of sin by the truth. The truth of who Jesus is; what he has done for us and what our lives look like when we are his disciples.
To simplify God and his plan for salvation into a worldly view of love and acceptance, steals all the power and incredible awe, the whole picture of who God is.
Jesus is LOVE, yes he is!
He is also PERFECTLY HOLY.
He is also ALL-KNOWING.
He is also ALL-POWERFUL.
He is also TRUE and UNCHANGING.
He is also a RIGHTEOUS JUDGE.
He is also a GLORIOUS KING.
He is also a MIGHTY CREATOR.
He is also LORD OVER ALL THINGS.
We can't pick and choose the traits of God that we like and leave out the ones that make us uncomfortable. God is who he says he is. He is the unchangeable I AM. We need to be careful that we don't simplify him down into merely a loving best friend.
The Bible does say, however, that as followers of Jesus, that our lives will be marked by love.
Jesus loved us with a self-sacrificing love rooted in truth. As his disciples, we need to do the same. Our love needs to be love in the way God defines it:
Our love is self-sacrificing action for others.
Our love is not afraid to speak truth.
Our love is not conditional or comfortable.
Our love is based on the unchanging truth of God’s Word.
Church, this needs to start within our own walls. Let’s cast off the weak, powerless love that means little more than acceptance. Let’s love each other enough to confront sin for what it is. Let’s love each other enough to risk getting uncomfortable and messy for the sake of those around us. Let’s take an honest look at our lives and join in casting off the sin that easily entangles so that we can run this race for the glory of God. There is simply too much at stake.