The Foundation of Christianity
Mark 12: 32, 33 -
So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. "And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
The one statement which pleased Jesus Christ was the one which the scribe confessed and is our message for the day. Jesus went to the extent to tell that person that he was not far from entering the Kingdom of God for this was the foundational understanding of Christianity.
If we break the statement into parts we will understand the whole foundation of our faith.
'There is one God, and there is no other but He' - First and primary part of our belief is acknowledging the One and only God and making Him alone as Lord and Master of our lives.
'To love Him with all the heart' - The word used for love is not 'agape' but 'agapao' which means to humanly express our love for Him. We cannot say we love God if we do not outwardly express it and the only way to express our love to Him is to love the things important to Him.
'With all the understanding' - We are not expected to know everything of His Kingdom even though we are expected to thirst to know more and more of His Kingdom. God just desires us to love Him with whatever is revealed to us. If we know something new today of the Kingdom of God then that adds to the foundation of our relationship with God.
'To love one's neighbor as oneself' - Jesus told His disciples to love each other as He loved them and God said love your neighbor as oneself. We are called not just to love a believer like we love others but we are supposed to love a believer as we love ourselves and Jesus showed how much this was by His love for us.
These 4 points alone gets us almost into Heaven. Jesus used the words 'not far' because one cannot do all these 4 points without Him. It is only through our faith and relationship with Jesus Christ we can keep the above 4 points.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord God, You love us and desire us to live eternally with You and You have given us the freedom to make this choice. You made all things very simple if we follow your instructions but due to the hardness of our hearts we struggle. You yet send your Son to be the way and example for us to follow. He became the manifestation of your Instructions to us. Lord Jesus, by You, through You and with You and your Spirit we are assured victory, help us Lord to surrender ourselves unto You...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripturesr ]
32 So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.
33 "And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." But after that no one dared question Him.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends [associates].
14 Ye are my friends [associates], if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends [associates]; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
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