Sabbath: Living Like Christ
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Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 9:36, Mark 10:21, Luke 10:30-37, Matt. 25:31-46, Luke 6:32-35, John 15:4-12.

gless07-2014cMemory Text: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another (John 13:34, NKJV).

Contrary to what many think, the command to love our neighbor is not something newly taught by the New Testament. In the Old Testament, God already had commanded His people to love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18, NKJV) and to love [the stranger] as yourself (Lev. 19:34, NKJV).

Why, then, did Jesus say, “A new commandment I give to you” (NKJV)? The newness of Jesus’ instruction was in that it had a new measure: “as I have loved you” (NKJV). Before the incarnation of Christ, men did not have a full manifestation of God’s love. Now, through His selfless life and death, Jesus demonstrated the real and deepest meaning of love.

“Love was the element in which Christ moved and walked and worked. He came to embrace the world in the arms of His love. . . . We are to follow the example set by Christ, and make Him our pattern, until we shall have the same love for others as He has manifested for us.” — Ellen G. White, Our Father Cares, p. 27.

This week, as we consider Jesus’ tender, sympathetic, considerate, and compassionate life, let our hearts be touched and molded by His divine active principle of love, which is the watermark of true Christianity.

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, August 16.

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Sabbath: Living Like Christ — 11 Comments

  1. Love is the motivation of all that God does. Love is the motivation for all that walk after the Spirit in whom is no condemnation. Love was/is the motivation for all that Jesus did/does. Love is the motivation for all that the "children of God" do.

    Thank you for this lesson.

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  2. “Why, then, did Jesus say, ‘A new commandment I give to you’ (NKJV)? The newness of Jesus’ instruction was in that it had a new measure: ‘as I have loved you’ (NKJV).” I think this is certainly true. I also think there might be another equally good reason why Jesus called it a “new commandment.”

    We often think of the Ten Commandments given at Sinai to be God’s great pronouncement of the law but in fact it wasn’t the first time He gave the law. Abraham knew what the law said (Gen 26:5) and in the giving of the manna before Israel arrived at the foot of the mountain God said, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?” (Ex 16:28 NKJV). The fact is they were given the law long before the Sinai pronouncement but by the end of Egyptian enslavement they had lost the majority of knowledge that their ancestors had. What happened at Sinai, therefore, was a reinstatement of what they had been given centuries before.

    So it was with the concept of love during the early first century. The leaders and rabbis over the centuries had so twisted and contorted the meaning of the word love to the point that Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy'” (Mat 5:43 NKJV). Where in the Bible did God ever say something like that! But that is what the Jews understood to be true. They hated the Samaritans, despised the Gentiles, and even didn’t think much of the lower classes of their own society. To them health and wealth were a sign of God’s approval and the rest were cursed by Him in varying degrees. We see that general idea many times in the Gospels and in such places as Peter’s statement to Cornelius, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (Acts 10:28 NKJV). So to the disciples it was indeed a new commandment in that it was restated by Jesus just like He had to restate the commandments at Sinai.

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    • Thank you brother for that powerful comment. it made me realize that God never changes at all, what he said yesterday, he will again in a millennium if need be. may God be with you and your family..

      Like(5)
    • Praise God Tyler for your explanation of this scripture John 13:34. I can clearly see and it makes perfect sense.
      God Bless You!

      Like(0)
  3. wonderful study indeed, i wish all of us as Christians should take it upon ourselves to ask God for that unconditional love. otherwise its so difficult or even more impossible to love dearly and wholeheartedly to everyone without the divine power with us. i mean study 1Corinthians13 and you,ll realize what love really entails as God would want us. AMEN

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  4. It just goes to confirm that God doesn't have two faces, one for the old testament and one for the new...He is always the same. Joseph knew way before Moses was even born that adultery is a sin, and refused the enticements of Potiphar's wife...and so the marital interests of an Egyptian was preserved, showing that God's law of love is for all people

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  5. 'A new commandment I give you...' The previous command was that you shall love your neighbour/ or even stranger AS YOURSELF, but the new one is I have loved you and CHOSEN you OVER MYSELF, My very life! (John 15:16). Is it fair to say that if His love was not greater than that in Lev. 19:18,34 then we would still be lost? He would not have sacrificed Himself for us.

    This new command is a totally different ball game my brothers!

    Like(3)
    • As Tyler said Bill The leaders had twisted the meaning of God’s love to the people, they had gotten so far from the true meaning of love, as to why Jesus said "As I have loved you", Jesus set the example of how we should truly love everyone. God Bless

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    • Thanks for making the point, Bill, that this commandment is, indeed, "new" because Christ had personally demonstrated the self-renouncing love that is intrinsic to the character of God. He could not give this command before demonstrating it.

      This love has always been the foundation of God's government, but it was not understood before Christ's demonstration. The "new" commandment gives greater depth and breadth to the love commandment.

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  6. I appreciate Tyler's explanation of "the new commandment" and "as I have loved you".It's my first time to know this.How fortunate we are to have such enlightenment. I praise God for providing us such wonderful contributions to this section.Thank you, Brother Tyler.

    Like(1)

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