Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Love the Lord Your God, Part 2

"Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all you are and have" (Deut 6: 4--5, my translation). The God of the Bible is one God, yet he is one God in three persons (cf. Matt 28: 19, where the Name of God is "the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit"). It is not enough to love just any god with all your heart, soul, and strength. It must be the God who is revealed in the Bible. Foundational to loving the LORD is knowing who he is. He is the one eternal and triune God revealed in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. He is not the fictitious man become god of the Mormons. He is not the distant and inattentive god of deism. He is not the vindictive and unmerciful god of Islam. Nor is he sometimes Father, sometimes Son, and sometimes Holy Spirit as the modalists believe.

You and I are called to love the Lord our God with all our hearts. Once you know who he is you must embrace him as your God. To embrace him in this way means to own his name and his calling on your life. It doesn't mean he belongs to you. On the contrary, you belong to him. As a believer in Christ you have been bought with a price, "with [the] precious blood. . . of Christ" (1 Peter 1: 19 ESV). You have been ransomed and redeemed from bondage to sin and self, and Christ has laid claim to you by his death and resurrection. How could you not respond to such sacrificial love by owning him as your Lord and King?

Because he is your God you are called to "love" him. While the Hebrew word has a broad range of meanings, the New Testament writers render it with the Greek word agapeo, which always signifies a willful and unconditional commitment to another. This love for God is not merely an emotion. It is a choice on the part of the individual, rooted in the gracious actions of God who loved us first in this way, to commit one's life unconditionally to God. God will have first place in your heart because he alone is worthy of it. The real man knows this, and the real man, drawn by grace, lovingly gives himself to the Lord his God in sacrificial commitment. Stand up. Be a man, and love God as you ought.


  1. Greetings

    On the subject of the one God being three persons,
    I recommend this video:
    The Human Jesus

    Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you in your quest for truth.

    Yours In Messiah
    Adam Pastor

  2. Thank you for your post. Unfortunately, I don't have two hours to spare on a video right now. I've spent a lifetime researching this issue in Scripture. Jesus takes to himself the Divine Name in John 8: 58, claiming to be the one who appeared to Moses at the burning bush. The writer of Hebrews considers the Holy Spirit to be the Blessed One in Hebrews in 10: 15 (cf. Jer 31: 33). So the Divine Name properly belongs to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Many more proofs abound in Scripture, but I don't have time to go into them. On the deity of Jesus, an excellent book is Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus, by Harris.