Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do You Love the Truth? Do You Love Jesus?

Reading:

1) Heidelberg Catechism

The Ninth Commandment

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

112 Q. What is God's will for you in the ninth commandment?

A. God's will is that I never give false testimony against anyone, twist no one's words, not
gossip or slander, nor join in condemning anyone without a hearing or without a just cause.

Rather, in court and everywhere else, I should avoid lying and deceit of every kind; these
are devices the devil himself uses, and they would call down on me God's intense anger.

I should love the truth, speak it candidly, and openly acknowledge it. And I should do
what I can to guard and advance my neighbor's good name.

2) Scripture

John 14:3-6: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 21:17-18: He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”

1 Corinthians 16:22-24: If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Comment:

Recently I came across these questions in my reading: What does it feel like to be a believer? What does the Christian life feel like?[1]

Part of the answer to these questions must include heartfelt love for, and delight in, our Lord Jesus Christ. The catechism says, “I should love the truth,” but Jesus is the truth.

Jesus defines the truth, for he is God come to us in our human nature. Jesus is the sum and substance of God’s revelation to us. Not to love Jesus is a rejection of all that God has said and done for the human race. Not to love Jesus is not to love the truth.

Without love for Jesus --- love that is not just intellectual or volitional, but also emotional, we won’t carry out his commands. Without a passionate love for Jesus, a love like Peter’s, we won’t be able to effectively live a life pleasing to the Father. Love, and particularly, the emotion of love is what caused Peter to feed Christ’s sheep and to bravely face his martyrdom. Heartfelt love and devotion for Christ is the fuel of the Christian life.

Why do we love Jesus? Why did Peter love Jesus so much?

We love him because we know him. Peter knew Christ. He had seen Christ’s glory full of grace and truth (John 1:14). He came to know the Father as he came to know the Son (John 1:18). He came to know and experience the deepest of all truths, that at the heart of the universe is loving fellowship between the Father, Son, and Spirit, and united to Christ we share in that loving fellowship.

Do you love Jesus? Jesus asks you and me the same question he asked Peter, “Do you love me?” To answer this question negatively is curse and death, according to the apostle. But to answer it positively with Peter is delightful love and life now and forever.

Do you love the truth? Do you love Jesus?

Discussion: What does it feel like to be a believer in Jesus Christ? What do we do when we don’t feel the kind of love for Christ we should? Why did Peter love Christ?

Prayer Starter: Pray for the promised work (in your baptism and the gospel) of the Spirit to produce right desires and feelings for the truth and for Jesus Christ, who is the truth. Use your prayer time to ask for and/or express you feelings for your Lord.


[1] Ash, Christopher. Bible Delight, p. 11.

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