Love is Patient, Love Is Kind...

Love Is Patient, Love is Kind, but is it truly “Unconditional”? Is God’s love unconditional in the sense that nothing we can do will affect our salvation? Many Christians are taught and believe this, but is it true? What about our relationships with others? Are we supposed to show unconditional love and forgiveness to everyone, no matter what?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Yes, scripture and tradition teach us that God does indeed love us unconditionally in that he loves us even in the midst of our sins. But he cannot love our sins. He cannot love evil. He will always forgive us if we repent. For our part, to love him back, we must be free to choose to love him or not. Love cannot be programmed or forced. To love him is the greatest thing we can do for ourselves. But we can choose to not love him. Our choice to not love him does not diminish his unconditional love. But it certainly diminishes ours! When we choose to sin, we run the risk of removing ourselves from our state of grace.

Throughout scriptures, both New and Old Testaments we find that God puts requirements in place, stating the expectations, or requirements for us to be in relationship with him. We each must choose to accept or reject those requirements. Yes, there are indeed things we MUST DO, to be in relationship with God. This is the essence of Covenantal Theology, it is a contract between God and those who choose to follow Him.

Some folks take that concept of unconditional love and believe that virtually everyone will be saved, and that we have a “reasonable hope that hell will be empty.” For those folks, you don’t even need to have faith in Jesus. In that theological construct, it doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or pantheistic. In this ideology, sin doesn’t matter, and neither does evangelism. The command of Jesus to go out unto all the world, teaching the Good News, becomes needless. If it doesn’t matter to God what we believe, or how we live our lives, then, the teachings found in our Holy Scripture and Tradition becomes feckless at best.

So, why is it, do you imagine that there are so many places in the New Testament warning us (Believers) about the dangers of sin, if sin really is inconsequential to the lives of Christians? These verses and passages were written to, and for US, both individual Christians and the corporate body of Christ, the Church. These things were written so that we would understand that Sin, in a very real sense has the potential of separating us from being in the eternal presence of God.

My friends, Salvation is not now, and has never been a license to sin. The requirements before us are that we MUST in a sense work on our own salvation (Philippians 2:12) by learning to “Do The Will of the Father.” As we read in 1 John 2: “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”