Luke 10:25–28 (ESV) 25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
Indeed, this Lawyer’s response here is everything. It is this one thing which every human being is bound to – the Law of Love. The Jews were bound to the Mosaic Law additionally. They were bound to such things as marked them out as God’s chosen people among all the nations of the earth. But there is a law which is binding upon all mankind – not the Mosaic code – but the obligation to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength – and its necessary corollary – to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is what every human being is guilty of having transgressed – even those who did not sin in exactly the same way Adam did – and why death reigned even in those who did not violate the first code – “thou shalt not eat…”
Behind every external code which may be expressed for mankind to obey, Jews or Gentiles – is this – the law of love. Nor is it a law in the same way as any external code is. It is a law of “nature” if you will. It is the image we were originally created in. We were made to bear Christ’s image, who as man, did indeed love the Lord with all His heart, mind, soul and strength (which is why He came and died – lovingly doing the Father’s will) and His neighbor as Himself – dying FOR US! This is what is broken and defiled in us. This is what He is restoring.
And it is on the basis of this that every man will be judged. For our righteousness is found in it. Every sin is but a defect of this love. When we fail to love God rightly, supremely and entirely – we sin. The WAYS we sin are myriad. But every sin shares this – the failure to love God supremely. When we fail to love men rightly – as made in God’s image and for His glory – we sin. THIS – is what makes us “sinners.”
And once again – the manifestations of that sin are countless. But behind each and every particular manifestation – is the defective love we were created to live in. The failure to bear His image – the image of the God who “is love” (1 John 4:16). “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) No hoops to jump through. No ceremonies to carry out. No high duties to accomplish. Take care that a full and right and consuming passion for God rules our hearts and minds – and all the rest will be accomplished by default. Fail at this, and nothing we do is worth a thing.
To love Him. To have Him as our highest prize, our chief delight, our deepest desire, our sweetest notion, our most lovely vision. To find Him more beautiful than anything. To see in Him every excellence, and to be compelled to look only at Him to the exclusion of all others. To want to know Him, be with Him, hear the music of His voice, feel His touch and smell the holy fragrance of His presence. To count knowing His heart and mind more precious than anything which can capture our imaginations or desires here. To find Him so pleasing, that nothing else can satisfy. This is to love Him in but the barest terms. Oh to study to love Him with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength. This, is to cease from sin.