Matthew 22:34–40 (ESV) 34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Isn’t it interesting that neither of these is one of the “ten”? Yet we esteem the ten commandments, as the apex.
In truth, the “ten” are but manifestations of these two. And apart from the love based reality contained in these two – none of the manifestations mean anything in and of themselves.
Oh that we might love Him! That we might love others as ourselves.
When we love, those manifestations recorded in the Decalogue will be as natural as rain. We will not be running to and fro trying to carry them out in order TO love – they will flow from us as natural acts of love.
All sin – ultimately – is a defect in love, not a matter of mere behavior. The behavior is simply the manifestation of the defect. And to only correct the manifestation is not to truly address the issue. It is not to actually grow in grace or sanctification. For sanctification to take place, the heart must be altered. And this, is the work of the Spirit.
Is it right to correct the behavior – even if the heart isn’t right yet? Absolutely. But it is not right to ONLY correct the behavior and leave the heart unchanged.
Heavenly Father – enlarge our hearts, that we might both love you, and one another as Christ has loved us.