The commandment love thy neighbor, ensconces all other commandments. Jesus loves us and commands us to do the same. Without love the other commandments are ineffective. Love is the covering and the trigger that initiates the action of all of the other commandments.
Love is both a noun and a verb. Our focus is love as an action term. To be clear, verbs express action, state, or a relationship between two or more things (Dictionary.com).
Love is the essential nature of God. Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary).
The opposite of love is not to dislike. According to John, the opposite of love is hate, and hatred is a sin. (Nelson’s Quick Reference, Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary. Warren Wiersbe). We are again, commanded to love and not sin. We do not exude the Holy Spirit who dwells in us if we do not love our neighbor, it is an affront on God.
Love is relational. It is the verification of our relationship with God, which is manifested in right living. “It is the full range of relationships where the love of God is present. As we live in healthy relationships with others, we not only disallow the devil from having a place to attack us with fear, but we also have confidence with God as His obedient and faithful children”. (Hayford’s Bible Handbook, pp. 461).
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