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The Sum of All the Law and Prophets

Many people deceive themselves thinking that the works they do can and will get them to heaven. They say “Look what I have done for the church, look at my knowledge, look at my influence, look at what I am doing.” Such people seek to draw attention to their fruits, while Jesus tells us not to do our acts of righteousness to be recognized by others. The truth is that no acts or good works give us any righteous standing before God. Only Jesus is righteous, and in following Him, HE becomes our righteousness (in other words, the only righteousness we have any claim to belongs to Him).

So what do we do? If our works do not show the fruit of our lives, then what? Let’s take a look at what Jesus said is most important:

“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.”-Mark 12:28-34

Loved ones, this is our great duty: to love God with everything we are, and to use God’s great love for us to love all others, regardless of who they are and what the have done to us. That is the sum of all of the Law and the Prophets. To follow Jesus is the utmost expression of that love, because of the great love He had for us, in offering Himself to take away our sin, and our place in a death we deserved, bearing the full wrath of God on Himself, so that we might be reconciled to Him, and in rising again that death no longer has a consequence for those who believer. And what greater love can we show Jesus? That in giving our life for Him, we might proclaim His mercies to the utter ends of the earth, so that our family, friends, and, yes, even enemies, would know God’s great goodness, mercy and compassion for us, His rebel children. Love God with everything you are; seek His first Kingdom and His righteousness to be worked out throughout your life. Love your neighbor as yourself; seek the welfare of everyone, that you might proclaim the Gospel by your words and your love.

Romans 12

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave iti to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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