The Savior – The Person of Jesus Christ
Learning to Love Christ Supremely
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. NASB
Jesus Must be Supreme in Our Affections
What do you love? What do you treasure? Of what can it be said about you that you long for and desire it above all other things in your life? Whatever that thing may be, it can be said that this is what you worship. That is because the word worship originates from the idea of “ascribing worth” or “value” to something. So then, that which you worship is that which you value or ascribe worth to, that which you treasure or adore. It is that which you revere or honor, that which you venerate or idolize, it is that which you glorify or consider to be highly valuable. Now if Christ is supremely valuable in reality, and there is truly nothing that even comes close to being as infinitely worthy of all glory and honor, worship and adoration as Him, it only stands to reason that to fail to give Him this proper place of honor is our hearts and affections is to be sorely mistaken and self-deceived in our value system. This is because He is the One who is worthy of Glory and honor!
Revelation 4:11 – 11 “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.” NASB
Revelation 5:12-14 – 12 Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped. NASB
If we love something more than Christ, we have misplaced affections. He is altogether lovely, therefore not to love Him is to have a degraded mind, and to throw contempt on the highest manifestation of human excellence and Divine love. This is why the Scripture pronounces a curse upon those who fail to love Christ.
1 Corinthians 16:22 – 22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha. NASB
This is to say if you do not love Christ, you are accursed already! In fact, the very state of being accursed is the state of not properly valuing that which is truly valuable. If we love and adore that which is wretched and worthless, we are then by virtue of this, wretched and worthless. If we truly love what is supremely lovely and virtuous and valuable, we will then be lovely and virtuous in ourselves, because we properly value what is truly virtuous. You see, we become what we value. We become what we worship.
Psalm 135:15-18 – 15 The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. 16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; They have eyes, but they do not see; 17 They have ears, but they do not hear; Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, Yes, everyone who trusts in them. NASB
So this is what the Scripture says, if we worship dead idols which are mute, deaf and dumb, we shall become like them, mute, deaf and dumb! This only stands to reason, does it not? If we ascribe worth to anything, it is that thing that we pursue, and ultimately seek to possess. If that is a dead idol, a piece of wood and metal, than wood and metal we will have! What a wretched state we are in when we value dead and lifeless things! Consider what ignorance is in man that he would value and honor a worthless thing above the Great and Glorious Creator who made it all! With what blindness has man been stricken as to do such a deplorable thing? What profit would be gained to a man for bowing down to a block of wood? Indeed those who worship a dead lifeless thing will become like them, a dead lifeless thing! They will be cut off from the Author and Source of life! The Scripture addresses this “folly of idolatry” in Isaiah 44…..
Isaiah 44:9-11 – 9 Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. 10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? 11 Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame. 12 The man shapes iron into a cutting tool, and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers, and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary. 13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes, and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. 14 Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak, and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. 15 Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image, and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for thou art my god.” 18 They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. 19 And no one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” NASB
So then we see what a ridiculous endeavor it is to worship that which is less than valuable. Knowing this, we should be all the more eager to worship the Glorious Creator, Jesus Christ! Even Jesus Himself taught us that our love for Him was to exceed all other loves and affections in our lives.
Luke 14:25-27 – 25 Now great multitudes were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. NASB
The word hate here does not suggest positive antagonism but rather “to love less”. Our love for Christ must be so strong that all other love is like hatred in comparison to it. In fact, we must hate our own lives and be willing to lose our lives and carry our own cross to follow Him. We must love Him more than our own very lives because He is more valuable than our very lives themselves. When we do this, we have properly placed our affections on that which is worthy of our love, and we will then become like Him because we value His virtue and long to possess it more than anything else. If your treasure joy, you will seek to be joyful. If you honor and esteem justice, you will seek to be just in all your affairs. If you esteem love and compassion as most valuable, then you will become loving and compassionate. If you honor, esteem, venerate, treasure and glorify God more than anything else, in all of His glorious virtue, then you will become like Him, because you seek to possess Him above all other things. The most loving and beneficial thing that God can command us is to treasure, esteem and love Him more than anything. This because He is what is in reality most worthy of being loved, and this causes us to become like Him because we seek His virtue and want to possess it more than anything else. Thus we see the reason why the greatest of all commandments is to love God! In other words the highest of priorities for our lives is the love and honor of God. This is said in many ways in Scripture, consider these few.
Matthew 6:33 – 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. NASB
Exodus 20:2-7 – 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the
Consider how in commanding these things for us, to treasure Him first, God really does the greatest service to us because, in doing these things, we will ultimately be benefited more than any other thing because our value system will be transformed so that we assess our lives according to truth and reality, and make decisions according to God’s heavenly wisdom! God’s gives us His commandments for our good!
Deuteronomy 10:12-14 – 12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. NASB
See the Outline here….. http://www.abqhcf.com/lessons/2007/handouts/dz/The_Savior_The_Cross_and_The_Gospel_Brochure.pdf
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