two most important relationships and commandments are loving God and our
neighbors as Jesus said. All of the Law and the Prophets are based on these two
Matt 22:36-38 Master, which is the great commandment
in the law?
37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the first and great
Matt 22:39,40 And the second is like to it, You shall
love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these twocommandmentshang all the law and the prophets.
The content of the Law
As far as the latter commandment is
concerned, it is certainly good if we are able to love our neighbors. If
everybody did this, the world would be a much better place. The majority of
suffering would end right away.
It is interesting that this important law was written in the heart of
every man. Everyone has a natural understanding of how to rightly treat our
neighbors and what is wrong behavior towards others. Examples of this can be
seen in the religions of the world (karma -- a man reaps what he sows)
and in human laws that deem punishable the offences of stealing, murder, and
physical violence. In all these issues, it has been understood that some acts
are right and others wrong, and that there will be bad consequences from the
In the same way, the law of right and wrong
appears in our relationship to our neighbors and ourselves. Jesus said, “Therefore
all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to
them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt )
and “And the second is like
to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt ). In other
words, since nobody wants bad things to happen to him – that he is deceived,
something is stolen from him, somebody takes his wife or does violence to him –
then these things must not be done to others. Through loving oneself, one can
see how to love his neighbors and recognize what is right and wrong.
- All right, said Bonelli.
Nobody defends stealing. What next?
- It is the same with lying,
said Weber. People lie but nobody wants to be deceived.
- What about murder?
- It too is a universal practice,
although everyone does not follow it.
- (…) It is a generally
accepted issue that man is both an intellectual and moral being, he began
again. We can present the following summary of this: some deny the moral norms;
but although some steal, nobody wants to be robbed; although some lie, nobody
wants to be deceived; although some murder people, nobody wants to be killed.
This is the explanation of man’s morals. There is a moral and
intellectual being, originator, behind man’s morality and brains, because we
cannot find explanation for man’s intellectual and moral qualities from mere
Paul also taught about right and wrong in the hearts of men. He spoke
about Gentiles who did not have information about God but who, however,
understood that some acts were right and others
wrong. They understood the difference between these two things, although they
did not always act accordingly. These indicate that we really have an
understanding of right and wrong, although our actions do not always follow our
- (Rom ,15)
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things
contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law to themselves: 15 Which show the work
of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing
witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one
The gap between God and man
God’s law, or His perfect will, is
connected with one huge problem, and it is that ”and yet none of you keeps the law” (John ). Nobody can ever
meet the standards of God.
For the fact is that we are all sinners and do
not come even close to God's standards. There can be great and small sinners in
the world, but there is still such a huge gap between God and men that no one can
cross it by himself. We are all in a hopeless state as comes to God’s approval,
as the next figure indicates:
The next quote indicates also how a deep gap separates us from the
perfection of God. Some may be a little better than others but this is of
little significance. The gap still exists and it is impossible to cross it:
"Wait, I’ll give you one
example: the average man can jump, for example, two meters. A person who has
practiced sports and is fit may jump perhaps five meters. And if he is an
Olympic winner, he can jump almost nine meters, but jumping any longer will be
quite impossible in our generation. Let’s suppose then that we are all standing
at the edge of a canyon with 200 meters to the other side. None of us has the
ability to jump over that abyss, right? Now then, let’s study the same in the
form of an allegory: That abyss is the abyss of sin and God is on the other
side. He inspected as poor crickets just as we are and started pity us. He knew
that it was quite impossible for us to get to Him by our own powers; for this
reason, He sent for us His own Son, Jesus, who is a bridge between God and man.
Jesus is the mediator between God and man. We can go with Him safely, because
according to His own words He is 'the way and the truth and the life’! I know
that there are many, who will reject this divine solution as too easy. They’ll
rather try to do something by their own power to save themselves, but no effort
of man can take him to God, our destiny is to fall into that yawning abyss!”
The gap has been removed
Even though there
is a huge gap between God and us, the Bible teaches that Jesus came down from
Heaven and bridged this gap. He came to live under the law (Gal 4:4,5) But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent
forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that
were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.) He fulfilled the
Law and always acted in accordance with His Father’s will (John
For I came down from heaven, not to
do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.). He came down
from Heaven and did everything that was impossible for us sinners to do.
What was the result of Jesus’
actions? The Bible teaches that every man has now the possibility of having a
relationship with God and receiving forgiveness for his sins through Jesus, if
he only puts his trust and faith in Him (Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and you shall be saved, and your house.). None of us needs
to earn perfection any more, but it is given to us by grace and through Jesus
Christ. Through Him it is possible to cross the gap between God and man:
It has already been noted that Jesus bridges the gap between
God and men and is our Mediator (Hebrews 9:15:
And for this cause he is the mediator of
the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the
transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might
receive the promise of eternal inheritance.…).Therefore, we can
receive salvation only through Jesus. Only by turning to Him, and through Him, can
we receive forgiveness for our sins because He has already prepared everything
for us. Turn therefore to Him, so you too will receive the grace of God and
forgiveness of your sins:
- (John 5:40)And you will not come to
me, that you might have life.
- (John 14:6)
Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the
life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
- (Acts -12)
This is the stone which was set at nothing of you
builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there
is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
- (Acts )
To him give all the prophets witness, that
through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.
Jesus fulfilled the Law and bridged the gap between
God and man, and grace came through Him. (John 1:17
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and
truth came by Jesus Christ.) It is clear that we must receive
this grace so that we can be saved. If we turn our backs on Jesus and grace,
nothing good will come from it, as the example below illustrates. Therefore, do
not turn your back on God’s call:
In 1892, Wilson and Porter were sentenced to be
hanged for a mail robbery. Porter was executed, but Wilson
was pardoned. He rejected his pardoning, and judge John Marshall of the
Court left the future generations this statement:
“Pardoning is an act that is not legal without releasing the person, and
release is not perfect without receiving. The person to whom it is offered can
reject it, and if it is rejected, we do not deem the Court fit to put it into
effect by force.”
The responsibility, as you see, is yours. If you do not accept
God’s pardoning, He will not force you to do it. “
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3) (1)
THE PRAYER OF SALVATION:
Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and
have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn from my sins and
follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven by
Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for
the salvation that You have given me. Amen.
1. J. Edwin Orr: 100 kysymystä Jumalasta (100 Questions about God), p.50 - 52
2. Jakov Damkani: Siionin poika (Why me?), p. 107,108