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The love of Christ is a central element of Christian as well as Messianic Jewish belief and theology. The theme of love is the key element of Johannine writings. In that gospel, love for Christ in the following of his commandments, the Farewell Discourse stating: "If a man loves me, he will keep my word". In the First Epistle of John , the reflexive nature of this love is highlighted: "We love, because he first loved us", expressing the love of Christ as a mirroring of Christ's own love.
Towards the end of the Last Supper , Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment : "Love one another, as I have loved you By this shall all men know that you are my disciples. The love of Christ is also a motif in the Letters of Paul. Ephesians states "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it". Ephesians relates the love of Christ to the knowledge of Christ and considers loving Christ to be a necessity for knowing him.
Many prominent Christian figures have expounded on the love of Christ. Saint Augustine wrote that "the common love of truth unites people, the common love of Christ unites all Christians". Saint Benedict instructed his monks to "prefer nothing to the love of Christ". Aquinas also opined that, given that "perfect love" casts out fear, Christ had no fear when he was crucified , for his love was all-perfect. The love of Christ for his disciples and for humanity as a whole is a theme that repeats both in Johannine writings and in several of the Pauline Epistles.
The theology of the intercession of Christ from Heaven after he left the earth, draws upon his continued love for his followers and his ongoing desire to bring them to salvation as in 1 John and Romans In many Christological models, the love of Christ for his followers is not mediated by any other means but is direct. It resembles the love of the shepherd for his sheep, and the nourishment that the Vine cf. John provides for the branches. The pericope of the Good Shepherd appears about midway through the Gospel of John , and in John Jesus states that as the good shepherd he will lay down his life for his sheep.
The basic theme of the Epistle to the Ephesians is that of God the Father initiating the work of salvation through Christ, who is not merely a passive instrument in this scenario but takes an active role in the work of salvation. Paul continues this idea in Ephesians and states that: "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it". The discussion of the love expressed by Christ throughout the New Testament is part of the overall theme of the outpouring of love from a merciful God and Christ's participation in it.
The theme of love is the key element of Johannine writings : "God loves Christ, Christ loves God, God loves humanity, and Christians love God through their love for Christ". Christians are bound together through their mutual love, which is a reflection of their love for Christ.
In the Gospel of John, love for Christ in the following of his commandments. In John , Jesus states, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. The dual aspect to the above is Jesus' commandment to his followers to love one another. Outside of Johannine literature , the earliest New Testament reference to the love for Christ is 1 Corinthians —"If any man loveth not the Lord, let him be anathema". However, Paul assures the Corinthians that he is not trying to commend himself to them.
The love of Christ controls his ministry because of his conviction in the saving power of the sacrifice of Christ. In the First Epistle to the Corinthians , Paul views love of Christ as the key element that makes a personal communion with God possible, based on the three activities of "faith in Christ", "hope in Christ" and "love for Christ". The love of Christ is an important theme in the Epistle to the Romans. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. The use of "love of Christ" in Romans and the "love of God" in reflects Paul's focus on ing Christ and God in the experience of the believer without asserting their equality.
In the Epistle to the Ephesians Paul relates the love of Christ to the knowledge of Christ , and considers the love of Christ as a necessity for knowing him: . Paul views the knowledge of Christ obtained through the "immeasurable love of Christ" as in Ephesians as surpassing other forms of spiritual knowledge, as in 1 Corinthians which considers "spiritual knowledge" as divine knowledge acting within the human mind. Saint Augustine referred to Ephesians and suggested that the bowing of the knees to the Father is the best way to come to know the love of Christ. Saint Benedict emphasized the importance of the love of Christ to his monks, and in keeping with the rest of his Christology, focused on the non-earthly aspects.
Saint Thomas Aquinas viewed the perfect love of Christ for humanity as a key element of his willing sacrifice as the Lamb of God and stated that although both Christ and God the Father had the power to restrain those who killed Christ on Calvary, neither did, due to the perfection of the love of Christ.
Saint Teresa of Avila considered perfect love to be an imitation of the love of Christ. Benedict , item Kyrios Logos Incarnation. ISBN Bible Gateway. Retrieved 16 July Moloney and Daniel J. s — s 21— s 65— s 71— Eugene Boring and Fred B. ISBN s — Augustine by St. Augustine and Albert Cook Outler.
Clark and Saint Augustine of Hippo. ISBN X. Canon Old Testament New Testament. Christianity portal Category. : Christology Catholic theology and doctrine Christian terminology Johannine literature Love. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes file. Download as PDF Printable version.Christ love church
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