Sunday, April 7, 2013

Above All

Allison and I have finally found our church. It's a reformed church that's a little far from us, but it will be worth the drive. One of the things I liked about it was the fact that they change some words to popular songs to be more biblical and theologically accurate. One of the songs they changed was the one entitled "Above All."

I've always hated this song, precisely, because it was so "me-centered" and self-focused. The song originally reads, "And thought of me above all," as the primary motivation for Christ to have died on the cross. But this isn't biblical, and it shows how distorted love really is within our modern (self deified) understanding.

The Bible tells us that Christ was seeking God, the Father's, glory above all. He was seeking to humble Himself to the obedience of the Father in love of God above all. His love for us flows out of that. In fact, He cannot love us at all if He does not first love and seek the glory of God above all, precisely, because to love man more than God is to respect what man wants above what God wants.

That is a flipping upside down of the command to love God and then love one another. If I love others more than God then I have to just respect their ideas that dishonor Him. I have to respect their choices in life instead of exalt His demands and call them to repentance.

In fact, it is only through Christ's love of God that the love of others is accomplished. If Christ never exalted God over men, then He would have never offended anyone in order to get Himself crucified in the first place. It was through His love of the Father that He could love others.

And that is true for us as well. No one can love another human being outside of loving God first, since if God is not exalted above all in another person's life, their life will come to death and judgment. Actions that contribute to this can only be seen as hatred and evil toward another, not love. Hence, to "love" others outside of seeking to exalt God in both your words to them and your own example is hatred, not love.

It is Christ who demonstrates, then, that His love for us is not greater than His love for God. And this is why the first commandment is about loving God. It is the second commandment that flows from it that then becomes possible. Without the first, there is no possibility of the second. And that is why Christ did not think of me, but rather the exaltation and love of God ABOVE ALL.

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