Christianity is About Love

Christianity is About Love

There is within Christianity a tremendous disconnect between that which the Bible teaches as authentic Christianity and that which many in the church believe is fidelity to the Gospel. One of the most relevant examples comes from the book of Hebrews.

The author of Hebrews was reaching out to a predominantly Hebrew audience with basic doctrinal instructions regarding what constituted a genuine Christian faith. In the 13th Chapter, the writer begins with the fundamental Christian command. “Let mutual love continue.” The remainder of the chapter instructs Christians on the practical application of living out of mutual love!

Loving one another is no stranger to the Bible. Jesus calls for Christians to love neighbor as self, to love one another as Christ loves everyone, to make Christ known to all the world through the intentional expression of God’s love toward others, and to always extend the powerful blessing of God’s love in all circumstances. Paul, in writing the 13th chapter of First Corinthians articulates what is perhaps the most beautiful and poetic Biblical call for living in God’s love. Without love, no profession of Christ is valid. The author of Hebrews then defines the act of living in mutual love through a series of practical examples. The church must extend hospitality to strangers, suffer along with those in prison or being tortured, honor the marital covenant, and never make money an idol.

By extending hospitality one is literally loving the stranger. This is more than simply being welcoming or, as some would have it, placing oppressive legal restrictions on anyone seeking hospitality and, in so doing, essentially deny hospitality. Hospitality is an act of service and sacrifice that demonstrates the importance of validating one’s full humanity. Appealing to the sacred story of the Old Testament, the author recalls how Abraham and Sarah, Lot, Gideon, and Samson’s mother who all extended genuine hospitality to strangers and ended up entertaining angels.

Christianity is also a faith that reaches out to those in need. The call to connect with those in prison and those being tortured is central to the understanding of how Hebrews outlines authentic faith. It necessarily involves reaching out beyond one’s own circles and connecting with others. This is more than simply offering thoughts and prayers. Rather, this is showing genuine empathy, extending compassion, and seeking to understand the challenges people face. It means before Christians categorically write off whole groups of people, we must pray for, and faithfully seek to, understand their plight.

Hebrews calls to uphold the integrity of the marriage covenant. The significance of this call centers on the vital importance of covenant keeping—making sure that a promise made is a promise kept. In so many marriages, the demise of the sacred nature of the marriage begins when one of the partners in the marriage chooses to bend the framework of the covenant. Ironically, very few adulterers intentionally step out to deliberately commit adultery, but when they think that an innocent abdication of their spouse’s covenantal priority is justifiable in this little way, it leads to a dangerous road of marital demise.

Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:10 that the love of money is the root of all evil. Hebrews underscores this in reminding Christians to keep lives free of such destructive and idolatrous love. In a world where consumerism, economic factors, and the quest for more money seemingly dominates the culture, it is a reminder that Christians are failing to live up to the standards of our calling in Christ.

Source: currentargus.com