Free to Love

love is joyfully and willfully sacrificing yourself to serve others by doing them good.

This is what we see in the gospel, and this is what Christians endeavor to do as we respond to the gospel. The gospel is the most heart-melting and liberating truth. It models and motivates true love.

 

What is love? And how do we love others?

There is unlikely a word that is more familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. We love pizza and our spouses. What do we mean?

The Bible is helpful in pointing us back to the greatest demonstration of love:

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 Jn. 3.16)

In light of this, here’s a shot at a definition: love is joyfully and willfully sacrificing yourself to serve others by doing them good. This is what we see in the gospel, and this is what Christians endeavor to do as we respond to the gospel. The gospel is the most heart-melting and liberating truth. It models and motivates true love.

The type of love we have in the gospel is total acceptance in light of full disclosure. God knows how sinful we are but accepts us based upon the doing and dying of Jesus. As has been said by others before, “We are more sinful than we can ever have imagined, but we are more loved than we can ever have hoped.”

This type of love brings tremendous freedom.

  • Freedom from trying to impress others—because we are securely accepted in Christ. We love out of acceptance.
  • Freedom from trying to gain from others—because we have been abundantly satisfied in Christ. We love out of satisfaction.
  • Freedom from trying to dominate others—because we have been arrested by grace and submit to Christ. We love out of submission.
  • Freedom to sacrifice for others—because Christ has sacrificed for us. We love by sacrificing.
  • Freedom to serve others, rather than ourselves—because Christ has served us. We love by serving.

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