The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)
If there’s anything a lot have against the concept of Christianity, it’s all those commandments.
All those rules. The numerous “Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots.” Some look at them and just give up. “I’m never going to be able to do all of that!” (Not that you were expected to in the first place – 1 John 1:7-10). Others think them tyrannical. “I’m not going to be a part of that because I want to do what I want to do! Freedom, baby!”
Have we ever considered the reason behind the need to obey God’s commandments in the first place?
Paul tells us the goal behind all those commandments in the above passage. The purpose is to produce love.
I’m talking about loving God and loving others. That’s basically what Jesus was talking about when he cited the top two greatest Old Testament commandments:
Matthew 22:35-40 (ESV)
35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
True love for God is much more than just praising and adoring him. Again, consider what Scripture says:
1 John 5:3 (ESV)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
And true love for our fellow man goes far beyond the “warm fuzzies” we feel toward them:
1 John 5:2 (ESV)
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
Basically, the goal, the aim, of all of these directives is to get us to love. To love from a pure heart. To love from a good conscience. To love with a sincere faith.
To have a better, a deeper, a more fulfilling, a more active, and a more easily seen love for God and for our fellow man.
Have you ever thought about it in that way?