Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 NKJV
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue (excellence) to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance(endurance) to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness(affection) and to brotherly kindness love.”
II Peter 1:5-7 NKJV
Love culminates the process of perfection. The entire building process of perfection is founded on faith and ends in love. We found out during this series that Jesus was perfected and thus became a Perfect Man which made him the standard that we all are expected to measure up to(Ephesians 4:13).
The qualities of Love and Faith are quite prominent in the Life and ministry of our Lord Jesus. Paul affirms this in His letter to young Timothy:
“And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
I Timothy 1:14 NKJV
Jesus spoke concerning Love when he was laying down the commandment of perfection.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43-45, 48 NKJV
Love was the underlying principle behind his discourse on the commandment of perfection. Perfection is all about love. Our Heavenly Father is perfect because He is Love. We can also do the same since His love is shed abroad us by the avenue of His Spirit in us(Romans 5:5).
Many of us know what Love is via it’s Original Greek rendering, Agapeo or agape as many know it to be. For us believers, this kind of love is not sexual (that would be Eros), selfish and based solely on feelings. This kind of love is based on the decisions of obedience to God’s Will and Word.
Jesus made mention that anyone who really loves him should demonstrate this love by obeying His commandments(John 14:15).
This was the same in the Old Testament concerning demonstrating your love to God(Deuteronomy 30:20). This being said, love is not as easy as many would expect.
Take a look at Jesus’ commandments concerning Perfection. “Love your enemies… bless those who hate you, pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” I don’t know about you but my emotions will aggressively oppose and contradict this statement if this kind of Love was really based on feelings. Imagine yourself bubbling up with great joy and happiness when you meet the person who really hurt betrayed you.
Personally, I’m quite relieved to know that it’s not based on emotions. My feelings can have contradictory opinions about someone (an enemy) while I am loving the person and I will still be pleasing my Lord. Why? Because I am obeying His commandments. That is love(agape) in His dictionary. Feelings usually align themselves later after obedience.
For all of you believers out there with a twisted mindset on love especially in condoning unholy and unnatural acts like homosexuality, the records must set straight. You cannot say, “Once it is for love then it is okay.” This kind of Love is not about sexual feelings; not ignoring the perverted ones. Our God-kind of love is based simply on obedience to His Word. Besides, this is what Love has to say:
It (Love) does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
1 Corinthians 13:6 ESV
Love does not delight in sin, wrongdoings or any form of unrighteousness which generally refers to anything that is contradictory to the commandments of God in His Word.
We are to love everyone including the sinners to bring them to repentance unto the saving grace of our Lord but not their sinful acts. We need to learn to differentiate between the two so that we don’t love or condemn the wrong things. God loves the sinners but hates sin. We should learn to do the same.
Concerning instances like loving enemies, forgiveness etc. we can now see why we needed faith, knowledge and understanding of this commandment of love, self-control and even endurance.
Learn to grow in Love. Grace is ever-sufficient and always available to help see you through to the end. Grow unto perfection, fixing your eyes on Jesus. It is difficult but it is possible and achievable only if you ask the Lord to help you all the way.