|Matthew 22:36-40 |
36 "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?"
37 And Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.' [Until your selfish, evil human spirit has been killed and crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, it is impossible to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength; and if you think otherwise, you are living in presumption. The beginning of love for God is to listen for His words to you, heed Him, and obey Him. Anything else is the lip service of the hypocrites. Your defiled heart must first be cleansed through repentance on the cross to love God with all your heart.]
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' [Unless you have hated your life, and gone to the Lord to wait on Him and obey Him until your selfish human spirit has been crucified, it is impossible to love your neighbor as yourself. Any other supposed way is deception. Man is a fallen, selfish creature, and until a man has been restored to the image of God's righteousness and holiness, he does not even understand what love is. Your defiled heart must first be cleansed through obedience on the inward cross of self-denial to love your neighbor as yourself.]
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."2
2 You can't obey any of these commandments without being changed to be like Him. You can't be perfect unless he makes you perfect, no matter how hard you try. You can't love your neighbor as yourself unless He helps you, no matter how hard you try. You can't love your enemies without His help. You can't love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, no matter how hard you try — unless He helps you with his unmerited favor — grace. This is not done by reading the Bible, Bible study groups, praying, fasting, singing, listening to sermons, or trying, etc. You get this ability to keep all his commands, (perfection), — by grace. Grace is accessed through our faith in what we hear spoken to us by the Spirit. Grace is not instant or one-time; grace is a process. Grace is a teaching of us to live righteously, soberly, and godly in this present world by denying ungodliness and worldly lusts — repentance; this takes time. He will only give you personalized commands you are capable of keeping, and he will strengthen you along the way so that you can keep increasingly difficult commands. Christ, through the Holy Spirit, convicts you of sin by showing you what is in your heart, convinces you of the righteousness of Christ by teaching about himself, and finally judges you. John 16:8. This conviction of sin is by the Living Word of God.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 129:23-24
You get his help by going to Him and getting quiet so you can hear him. If you are busy telling him everything you want him to do for you, how can he teach you? It is that simple. He is the Teacher. You must go to him. You must wait on him — in humble silence as a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. Wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. He is the Light given to all men so that they might believe the truth of what He reveals to you. He is in you, chained down, waiting for you to seek to listen to him. And as you sit and wait for him, you will hear him and the Light will show you things about yourself that are not pretty, which is conviction, allowing you to repent; and if you love the Light, you will regret what the Light shows you, and you will receive strength to be different from then on. This is the operation of grace — the cleansing, purifying, perfecting process of grace. With the Light, you will not only hear, but also eventually see Christ, your Teacher. And after purification, he and the Father come to establish their Kingdom in your heart; and you step into paradise — while still on the earth.