Tuesday, November 13, 2012

1st Clement 50 - Being found in love

Having understood the greatness of love, Clement ask this question,
"Ye see, beloved, how great and wonderful a thing is love, and that there is no declaring
its perfection. Who is fit to be found in it, except such as God has vouchsafed to render so?" (1 Clement 50)
The perfection of love is beyond our abilities to perceive, define, and describe because it reaches to the very essence of who God is. John wrote, "God is love" (1 John 4:16) and to the same decree that God is infinitely beyond our finding out the very depths of His nature, so is love. Love is as deep and as wide as God is Himself; it is beyond full discovery and interpretation.

Seeing how wonderful love is, and how deep and perfect it is, Clement asks, who is fit or worthy to be found in such a love? Many people want love and some search their entire lifetime for love and yet many fail to find love in all its perfection. The question is not how can we "obtain" love, but rather how can we be found "in" love. It is not enough to have love but we must live in love; living is a way that we extend that love to others. Not just receiving the love of God but learning to love others like God loves.

The Corinthian church was full of people who had received the love of God yet they had forgotten how to love with the love of God. The love of God had become limited and no longer extended beyond their own flesh. How could they once again learn to love; to let the love of God reach out to one another? How could they again find themselves fit to be found in such love? Clement's answer was to return to the God who is love. It is God who renders us fit for love and it is to Him that we must turn to to become perfected in love.
"Let us pray, therefore, and implore of His mercy, that we may live blameless in love, free
from all human partialities for one above another." (1 Clement 50)
We must turn to God and ask for His mercies to be made, or remade, perfect in His love. It is interesting that in Clement's opinion, at least as far as it relates to the Corinthians, to be made perfect in love means to learn to love without hypocrisy, without partiality, to learn to love everyone equally and with this Paul agrees, "Let love be without hypocrisy. " (Romans 12:9)

Finally, Clement reminds us of the great reward of Love.

"All the generations from Adam even unto this day have passed away; but those who, through the grace of God, have been made perfect in love, now possess a place among the godly, and shall be made manifest at the revelation of the kingdom of Christ. ... Blessed are we, beloved, if we keep the commandments of God in the harmony of love; that so through love our sins may be forgiven us." (1 Clement 50)
See how integral love is to the eternal purpose and plan of God! Without the perfection in love we would not be found worthy to inherit our place in heaven with God. Without love motivating us towards the commandments of God and to harmony with each other, the stain of sin would remain on our lives. Love draws us to God, empowers us to keep the commandments of God, and binds us to the brethren of God in peace and harmony. Love makes us both worthy and ready for eternity with God and with His saints. Oh how powerful is this love of God!

David Robison

No comments:

Post a Comment