Are believers commanded to love God with all the heart, soul and strength?
This was commanded to Israel under the Law:
Deut 6 “4 Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God. Yahweh is one. 5 You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.”
But why are believers trying to live by this law and keep failing in condemnation?
Don’t we realize that the Law demands perfection?
James 2:10 “10 For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”
Jesus showed Israel the true extent of the Law:
Luke 16 “13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and Mammon.” 14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him.”
They could not love God and money at the same time.
This is how Jesus commanded them to love God:
Luke 12 “31 But seek God’s Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. 32 Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. 33 Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Luke 14 “25 Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me, and doesn’t disregard his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple. 27 Whoever doesn’t bear his own cross, and come after me, can’t be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build, and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an envoy, and asks for conditions of peace. 33 So therefore whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has, he can’t be my disciple.”
You see that nobody is doing this today. It is because believers are not under the law.Jesus alone fulfilled the demands of the Law:
- He alone loved God with all His heart, soul and strength
- He gave up all the heavenly riches to die on the cross to please God in saving us.
We are not called to keep the Law because the believer is not under the Law.
The Law condemns the unbeliever – the one who trusts in their own works and not in what Jesus did. That person will fall short of God’s glory and be judged as a law-breaker.
But the believer is righteous by the obedience of Jesus Christ – this is the Grace of God
Romans 5 “19 For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one, many will be made righteous. 20 The law came in that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly;“
The law demanded man to love God but the grace of God loved us much more!
Ephesians 2 “4 But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved”