On Love & Perfection (From My FB Discussion Posts)
We are commanded to follow what Christ do, we are Christians for the main reason that we follow a discipline that is "being like Christ". We are called to believe but we are also called to a Christian living. We are called to be the light & salt of the earth not because of what we say or claim but by what we show to the world. That's why Christ said:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." [Luke 9:23]
The cross is a symbol of suffering & sacrifice because Christianity is perfectly against anything that the world offers including easy way out of just believing & you will be saved idea. Christianity is a responsibility to live it out so we repeat yet again:
"Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" [Luke 6:46]
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." [Matthew 7:21]
What is the will of the Father?
"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." [Matthew 5:48]
Perfection simply means: complete & we are given a hint as to how we are supposed to achieve this:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." [John 13:34-35]
We connect this with the imitation of Christ for:
"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." [1 John 4:8]
Precisely we are called to Love for God is Love & Love is complete meaning it ACTS you can look at 1 Corinthians 13 see why love is greater than faith & hope. "Faith alone" (Sola Fide) spits on this doctrine of God as love.
Yet again loving is not easy because we are also called to love our enemies which also in itself a carrying of the cross. So you see, there is no easy way to heaven only the Devil would make us think that way...
I would like to add that an example of how Christ showed us that we are not entitled to find an "easy way out" was when He rebuked Peter:
From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. "This shall never happen to you!’ Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’" [Matthew 16:21-23]
But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." [Mark 8:33]
The human point of view is simple here: avoiding responsibility of living out what we are called to do (mission) as Christians.
"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." [John 10:9]
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." [John 14:15]
Intellectually, it is simple as KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS (LOVE)- paradoxically a hard thing to do on our own.