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Love Is The Greatest Commandment

John 13  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Remember why last week that I mentioned to you that Satan is most concerned with assaulting the love of God.
Here were my reasons.
Love is the greatest commandment.
Deuteronomy 6:4–5 NAS
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Matthew 22:36–39 NAS
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 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.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Love is the essence of the nature of God.
1 John 4:7 NAS
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:16 NAS
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Love is the foundation of the church.
Ephesians 4:14–16 NAS
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Love is the foundation of evangelism.
John 13:35 NAS
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”


John 13:34–35 NAS
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
For today, we will begin with the first reason why Satan hates the love of God:
It is the greatest commandment:
OT =
Leviticus 19:18 NAS
‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
Leviticus 18:19 BHW 4.18
וְאֶל־אִשָּׁ֖ה בְּנִדַּ֣ת טֻמְאָתָ֑הּ לֹ֣א תִקְרַ֔ב לְגַלּ֖וֹת עֶרְוָתָֽהּ׃
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (29 אָהֵב)
ʾāhēb frequently describes love between human beings. The love of father for son is exemplified by Abraham and Isaac (Gen 22:2) and Israel and Joseph (Gen 37:3). A slave might “love” his master and wish to identure himself to him for the rest of his life (Ex 21:8). This is the word used in the rule “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18). “Love” of the stranger is incumbent on the faithful (Deut 10:19). Samson had apparently told Delilah that he “loved” her (Jud 14:16; 16:15). Ruth “loved” Naomi her mother-in-law (4:15), Elkanah “loved” his wife Hannah (I Sam 1:5), and Rebekah “loved” her son Jacob (Gen 25:28). Hiram’s “love” for David illustrates international friendship or irenic politics between the two (I Kgs 3:1). Notice that nowhere is the love of children toward parents mentioned. Rather, they are to honor, revere, and obey. (This is interesting). People may love things concrete or abstract. Isaac “loved” savory meat (Gen 27:4); others are said to “love” oil (Prov 21:17), silver (Eccl 5:9), and gifts (Isa 1:23). The Psalmist “loved” God’s commandments (Ps 119:47). law (v. 97), testimonies (v. 119), and precepts (v. 159). Men can “love” evil (Ps 32:3 [H 5]), or death (Prov 8:36), vanity (Ps 4:2 [H 3]), cursing (Ps 109:17), or a false oath (Zech 8:17). Or they can “love” good (Amos 5:15), truth and peace (Zech 8:19), salvation (Ps 40:16 [H 17]), and wisdom (Prov 29:3).God has commanded man to “love” him (Deut 6:5). and the Psalms contain testimonies of obedience to that commandment (116:1; 145:20). Conversely, God “loves” men, especially his people Israel (Deut 4:37; Isa 43:4; Mal 1:2). The Lord also “loves” other things, such as the gates of Zion (Ps 87:2), righteousness and judgment (Ps 33:5). and the holy temple (Mal 2:11). In a few places the verb introduces an infinitive. Jeremiah (14:10) accused the people of loving to wander, while Isaiah charged them with loving to sleep (56:10). The verb itself is sometimes an infinitive, as in Josh 22:5 and Isa 56:6. At least once it is a gerund, “a time to love” (Eccl 3:8). (Emphasis mine).
Consider the context of this verse:


In the book of Leviticus, a view of the world is presented that is centered on God’s holiness. God in his holiness is set apart, which is one of the core meanings of “holy.” He cannot come into contact with anything that is not holy. This includes human beings, who, at their creation, were in God’s image (Gen 1:27) and had an intimate and personal relationship with him (Gen 2). Through disobedience, humanity lost this relationship with the holy God (Gen 3

The sense of Leviticus is the holiness of the God who rescued Israel (from Egypt) in order to keep His covenantal promise to them.
However, the people were to, because of the nature of God, view their relationship with Him, and with each other, to be as holy as He is holy.

An awareness of God’s special relationship with Israel also permeates this chapter in the expression, “I am the LORD your God,” which occurs seven times (19:3, 4, 10, 25, 31, 34, 36), in addition to the shorter divine self-identification “I am Yahweh,” which occurs eight times (19:12, 14, 16, 18, 28, 30, 32, 37). The longer form of this expression opens the Ten Commandments (Exod 20:2; Deut 5:6). This is not only a statement of relationship, but also of exclusivity: “I and I alone am your God.” It is the positive statement of what the first of the Ten Commandments states in negative form (“You must not have any other god but me”), implying a statement like “Because I, Yahweh, am your God, you need no other god” (Exod 20:2–3). Because of the exclusive relationship Israel had with God, the people are reminded of their primary covenant commitment a total of 16 times throughout the chapter, from beginning to end.

Therefore, the whole book gives instructions to Israel about how to be holy under penalty of death or punishment.
Without this book, the commonwealth of Israel would end up like all the other nations even more rapidly than they did.
Leviticus 19:18 NAS
‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:18 BHW 4.18
לֹֽא־תִקֹּ֤ם וְלֹֽא־תִטֹּר֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י עַמֶּ֔ךָ וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֽה׃
“You shall not avenge yourself, nor maintain a grudge towards the sons of your people. You will love (show affection for) your neighbor/comrade/friend like you(r self). I am YHWH.
It can be rightly said that all the Laws of the OT could be summed up with love for God and love for your Neighbor.
If la man loved his wife, he would not take another wife.
If a man loved his neighbor, he would easily make restitution if his ox gored his neighbor‘s ox.
If a man loved his neighbor, he would never move the fence line.
If a man loved God, he would worship willingly, often.
If a man loved God, he would obey His Word.
If a man loved God, he would not sin.
However, since man is corrupt and sin in in his heart, he fails to love and therefore, God grave Israel the Law to prove their hatred for man and God.
But, Jesus said ”a new commandment.”
New Commandment:
2 Corinthians 3:1–9 NASB95
1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? 2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.
A New People:
2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB95
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
A New Priest:
Hebrews 5:1–10 NASB95
1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; 2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; 3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. 4 And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was. 5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”; 6 just as He says also in another passage, You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” 7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
A New Power:
Romans 5:5 NASB95
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
A New Book:
Romans 10:16–17 NASB95
16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
A New Nation:
Revelation 1:6 NASB95
6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:10 NASB95
10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
This new commandment indicates that we are under obligation to obey it.
1 John 3:18 NASB95
18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
1 John 4:7 NASB95
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:8 NASB95
8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:16 NASB95
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 Peter 4:8 NASB95
8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
1 John
1 Thessalonians 4:9 NASB95
9 Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
Hebrews 13:1 NASB95
1 Let love of the brethren continue.
1 Peter 1:22 NASB95
22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
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