Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And that’s in Matthew 7:12, but what’s he say about that? Do unto others as you would, that they do unto you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Isn’t that amazing? You take this whole massive bunch of the Bible, you know the Old Testament, the Law and the prophets. And he says that that is: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Amazing statement. Amazing statement.
Now, I’m gonna say three things today and there will be some other things mixed in with those three things. But the first one is this: Love is the big thing with God. Love is the big thing with God. Now listen carefully, murder is not a big thing with God. Adultery is not a big thing with God. Stealing is not a big thing with God. Except as it breaks the law of love. You remember, he said these two, all the others hang on that.
Now let me turn it around and say it a different way. Murder is a very big thing with God because it breaks the law of love so much, you see. That’s why it’s wrong. Adultery is a very big thing with God because it is trampling upon love. Child abuse is a very big thing with God because it is so selfish, so unloving. But the big thing is love, you see. All these other things hang on that. That’s what Jesus said.
Now we have to have our whole way of thinking turned around, when we begin to think about this. Nothing means anything apart from its relationship to love. All these commandments hang on love. So when God says you shall not commit murder, that commandment is hanging on the love commandment. What are some of the other Ten Commandments? You shall not steal. That’s hanging on the love commandment. Okay? You shall not bear false witness. Why wouldn’t you do that? Because you love, you see! It hangs on the love commandment. No commandment has anything of its own, it has to do from the fact that it’s not loving.
Now, let me ask you a question. Why is love so central, why is love so important? God is love. Now this is something. We deal with students on campus that are atheists, some of them believe in many gods. Isn’t this an amazing message that we go to the world and we say that the God who is, is love? That’s amazing. I mean, do people realize when we’re preaching the Gospel, do they realize that we’re saying, that we’re proclaiming to them a God who is white hot love? Why does God hate sin so much? Because He is so much a God of love! What is sin? Contradiction of love! That’s why sin is so bad to God. Why does God put men in hell? Because He is such a God of love. It relates to His love, He hates evil. Alright, that’s the first one.
Second, every sin is a lack of love. Now doesn’t that follow? If all the commandments hang on love, then every time you break a commandment it’s a lack of love. You’re sinning against love. I look back as a pastor, every failing that I’ve had as a pastor, as a father, every failing that I’ve had, it’s a lack of love. You start to get impatient, you start to be unloving. You don’t think about how somebody else might feel in the situation, or whatever. And as part of the body, every sin that you have, it’s in some way a lack of love. That’s the big thing.
Vance Havner was an old Baptist pastor that lived several years ago, and he had a pastorate up there in the mountains, I don’t remember, South Carolina or North Carolina, somewhere. And he said, “All the time the people were talking about this former pastor,” they kept talking about Josiah Elliot. And one day he asked one of the men and he said, “What was it about Josiah Elliot everybody talks about Josiah Elliot? What was it about him?” And the guy said, “Well, he just loved us. He just loved us.” And, you know, that’s for real, isn’t it? That’s for real. It’s a big thing. Love is the big thing! It is the big thing, we don’t really believe that many times.
But you think about it. You get up in the morning. And you think, “Ugh, I gotta read my Bible again. You know, I gotta read two chapters here. I gotta keep this reading plan. But ugh, I don’t wanna read.” What’s that? Lack of love for God. And then you start praying and your prayers are cold and dull. Lack of love. In the morning you are a little bit impatient with your wife or your husband. And that’s a lack of love. And then you get out on the road and somebody’s driving real slow, and you say, “What is with this guy?!” Lack of love! You get to work, this other guy got a raise when you think you should’ve got it. And you’re angry about that. Lack of love. It just goes on and on, doesn’t it? What’s the problem, what’s the root problem? It’s this lack of love for God and for one another.
What’s the fruit of the Spirit? The fruit of the Spirit is love. You see, what I’m trying to get at today, I’m wanting to get across to you that the God of the Bible cares about love more than He cares about anything else you do. That’s what He cares about! When the Holy Spirit fills your life, you’re filled with love. I remember the day after I was converted I went to work, I walked along the side of the road there on my way to work, had to walk several miles along the highway, those beer cans in the ditches and everything was just full of reality, joy, beauty! And love! You get to work, there’s that guy that you always didn’t get along with, and all you can feel coming out of you is love. Have you ever known anything like that? That’s what it is, when the Holy Spirit floods your life, you’re full of love. Your feet hardly touch the ground and every person you look at, nobody can make you angry! Every person you look at you just love them. They’re not a threat to you anymore.