Love is the Fulfilling of the Law
ON LOVE; PART XX
GoodWill IS Love in Action
We have completed our look at the Masters’s words regarding the Truth of discipleship and the Kingdom of God and, in the last several posts, we have tried to understand that this High Calling is not at ALL what is perceived by the church, that the reality of discipleship and attaining the Kingdom requires a man to subscribe to the criteria and to the ardent effort that such undertaking demands. In the last post we did emphasize the fact that it is to each of us ONLY to judge our own progress albeit there is a measure of the man who claims to be a disciple or an apostle or any other nomenclature that measures a man against Christ and this measure if fruit and we KNOW His words on this saying “Ye shall know them by their fruits” and again “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them“(Matthew 7:16, 20).
It is for reasons that are made obvious in the Master’s words on discipleship that we, as acclaimed aspirants, do not claim a place in the ranks of disciples and this is also True of any claim to being accounted worthy of His Kingdom; we KNOW that the requirements of the Kingdom are as arduous as that of discipleship. We are content to take on the role of aspirant, KNOWING that even this is a status that requires a man’s ardent attention as he work’s his way along the Path toward that strait gate that opens into the Kingdom of God. As we have ofttimes said and say again here, the way par excellence of getting oneself onto and then staying on this Path is through Love and this is of course the Love as the Master teaches us and not that attraction between persons on the Earth. We publish again here the Master’s words and our explanation of that Love that IS God and which we MUST express in ALL things and to ALL men.
KEEPING HIS WORDS:
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
WHAT THEN IS LOVE?
In a general sense love is benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men.
PLUS THE EVER IMPORTANT AND HIGH IDEAL TAUGHT TO US BY THE CHRIST:
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
These ideas on Love must be at the core of a man’s desire to follow the Christ and to be led by His own Christ Within, his own Soul, and this is True because the very definition of being led by the Christ Within and of following the Christ IS LOVE. There is NO other way and this is True regardless of the wranglings of the doctrines of ANY True religion or denomination and despite their attempts to interpret this Love according to their own ability to Love. There is really NO ONE who is NOT included in the idea of Love your neighbor as yourself and this idea is one that is enunciated by the Master and echoed by His apostles verbatim.
- From the gospels, we have this repeated in the three synoptic writings. From the Master’s words we can see these words as an reiteration of the words of God from the Old Testament as given to and spoken through Moses: “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18). The gospels tell us:
- “And the second is like unto it , Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).
- “And the second is like, namely this , Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31).
- “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke (10:27).
- In the words of the Apostle Paul we read:
- “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:9-10).
- “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14)
- And from the Apostle James, in his treatment of interpersonal relationships we read: “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well” (James 2:8)
Should we need any other motivation to make us to see the reality of this commandment than these ever so clear words of the Master and His apostles? As we have been studying over the course of the last two plus months, mankind lives in a world of illusion and of glamour and this is based upon the Plan of God by which we are “ made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope” (Romans 8:20). It is this very vanity in its other definitions about the self that we can find this unwillingness to Love as the Master teaches. Up to now we have been using this idea of vanity as our lead to illusion and glamour and this is quite True as we have seen in the defining terms from the lexicon and by Vincent. Vincent tells us that of the use of vanity by Paul that: the reference is to a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends4 and in this we can see our ideas of delusion while the lexicon tells us similar saying: what is devoid of truth and appropriateness, perverseness, depravity, frailty, want of vigour2. We can see in these definitions what we have been using to link our modern ideas of illusion and glamour to the 2000 year old idea that is translated into the vanity as we see it explained by the apostle. This word is however a more far reaching one which has taken on the more personal meaning as we noted from today’a dictionary saying: excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit: Failure to be elected was a great blow to his vanity. 2. an instance or display of this quality or feeling. 3. something about which one is vain. 4. lack of real value; hollowness; worthlessness: the vanity of a selfish life. 5. something worthless, trivial, or pointless7. Now while none may admit to being subject to this psychological force of Life in form to which, according to Paul, we are ALL subjected, there can be no other universal explanation for the relative refusal of man to recognize his fellowman in the way that the Master instructs and which is the way of the Kingdom and the first step on man’s Path to it.
We should understand that this is not a Christian thing only but rather a universal religious and spiritual endeavor that is covered just a bit differently by different customs to whom this idea of Love may mean different things. The universal reality is however found in the Golden Rule which the Master enunciates for us as “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” or, in its alternate wording as “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). This (these) sayings are the epitome of the entirety of the Master’s teaching on Love; they are the direction and they are the explanation as we have oft discussed in these posts. In these words is the mutual respect of one man for another rather than the individual sense of being better or not letting on that one is less, or the braggartly attitude that highlights the self to others or any combination of these things and others as well that serve to set oneself apart either as better or lesser than another in some field or way of thinking or some endeavor. We could go on and on here but we will leave this with two scriptures; the one by the Master and the other by James that should make the point.
- “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). We must remember here how it is that we should view the word evil and our context today is a good example of what evil can be. We have noted that evil can be merely focus upon the things of the world instead of the things of God and in this reference we should be able to see that these attitudes of self and self-aggrandizement, and any focus on the self above others and above God will no doubt fit into the Master’s words. And, it is from these evil treasures of self that a man speaks and just a careful listen at what is going on around us in the world will bear this out. We should remember that this sense of self is not ONLY an individual sense but can be seen in the community group, the church, local and national politics, races and cultures as these larger groups of many ‘selfs’ become a self of their own in their interaction with others.
- In this saying by the Master above we have brought this treasure of the heart, the importance of what is focused upon in the consciousness of the man in form, to the idea of speech. While we should understand that in the Master’s use of this thought there is likely meant ALL action that a man takes, let us use the speech aspect here as it is the most pronounced method of expressing one’s self. James tells us about the tongue and here we should understand similar ideas as we have in speech as so much of man’s action is equivalent to the use of the tongue; the written word, the gesture or the spreading of thought in most any way. Taking then James words: “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fireof hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3:2-10). Can we say here that the tongue, the expressions of man, is driven by the treasure of the heart and that this treasure of the heart, when the heart is focused upon the things of the world is full of self and the vanity that IS self in form?
So much of the ills of the world are tied to the vanity that Paul expresses for us but we should understand that this vanity is only suffered by those whose focus is on the things of the world; when the focus changes, which is the Truth of repentance, the man is made free from the vanity and, as the apostle continues, the man is “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). So we have here the idea that vanity is the plague that infects the man in form as this sense of self that is sore difficult to overcome and which greatly inhibits a man’s ability to fulfill the Master’s commandments on Love. We should also understand here that this vanity causes, and at the same time IS, the illusion and the glamour that so cloud the thoughts of men that they Truly believe that they are doing as they should. In this All we should understand the challenge of the Master’s words that tell us that we must “Strive to enter in at the strait gate” and of which He cautions us saying that “for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24). Unless we drop this sense of self and come willingly to the Love as expressed by the Master and follow the Golden Rule, we will be among those that “shall not be able“. And, we should understand that what we have accomplished in spirituality is naught without these, our expression of the Love of God and the selfless attitude that allows us to be forever in peace and harmony with our brother.
We close today repeating the words expressed by Emmet Fox regarding this Golden Rule and which words are ever at the center of the Master’s intent. Mr. Fox says:
I PRACTICE, the Golden Rule of Jesus instead of merely admiring it. He said, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” The important point about the Golden Rule is that I am to practice it whether the other fellow does so or not.**
We leave again our sayings on faith and believing which we hope to get back to in the next post.
- “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
- “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?…..For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him” (Matthew 21:25, 32).
- “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not…….” (Matthew 24:23-26).
Note on the Quote of the Day
This daily blog also has a Quote of the Day which may not be in any way related to the essay. Many of these will be from the Bible and some just prayers or meditations that may have an influence on you and are in line with the subject matter of this blog. As the quote will change daily and will not store with the post, it is repeated in this section with the book reference and comment.
We leave our quote of the day for another day as in it we find some of the realities of what is man as Spirit, Soul and the Life within the form. In this affirmation we find our understanding of our relationship to God and our relationship to man. Our relationship to God is as Part and Parcel of Him; our relationship to man is in service.I am a point of light within a greater Light. I am a strand of loving energy within the stream of Love divine. I am a point of sacrificial Fire, focused within the fiery Will of God. And thus I stand I am a way by which men may achieve. I am a source of strength, enabling them to stand. I am a beam of light, shining upon their way. And thus I stand. And standing thus, revolve And tread this way the ways of men, And know the ways of God. And thus I stand.
Today’s Quote of the Day is called the Affirmation of the Disciple and is spoken from the perspective of the Soul and not from that of the man in form. It is the Soul that we are in this life on Earth, housed in this ‘temple’ of flesh and it is the Light of the Soul that must flow through this ‘temple’ in order that we may say with the Christ “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) which is our goal and our destiny. Speaking then as the Soul we affirm our reality and true existence in God and in His Three Aspects of Light and Love and His Will. As this Light and Love and Will flow through our conscious personalities and forms we, as disciples, take on the nature of the second stanza being able to offer to the world a better way through our service and our Love for all, encouragement to righteousness through our strength of purpose, and the Light which shines in accordance with the Master’s instructions to “Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:16) and illuminates the Path. Finally we realize that we are standing in this world and walking as men but, as conscious Souls in form, we know the way and the ways of God and are able to say with the Christ that “I am not of this world” (John 8:23).
Looking at Life as we depict it above in relation to this affirmation we can see the idea presented that we are a part of God and that this is true on multiple levels, the levels that we call the Trinity. Relating these first three lines to the chart above can offer some clarity as to the nature of God and of man. For more on the ideas in this Affirmation of the Disciple please refer to the Quote of the Day from In the Words of Jesus parts 179-181.
- 2 New Testament Greek Lexicon on BibleStudyTools.com
- 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition, 1888
- 7 Dictionary.com Unabridged based on Random House Dictionary – 2011
- ** From The Fifteen Points by Emmet Fox; © 1932 HarperCollins Publishers Inc