Tuesday, July 20, 2010

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." -Jesus

*[Gustave Dore illustration of Dante's Inferno]

"On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" Matthew 7:21-23

I was thinking of how the Pharisees were really into the law. They were experts of it, and preached it, taught it, and lived it. And yet Jesus says they are workers of lawlessness.

Paul says:

"For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal. 5:14

"..the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Romans 13:8-10

So, it is love, real love, Christ's love working in our hearts, that fulfills the law.
Without this love, the Pharisees were lawless, and in fact, their father was the devil, who has no law within him whatsoever.

I pray that I would grow in the love of Christ every day. So that I can love Jesus in greater ways; love my wife as He loves her; love my family and the Body of Christ; and even love my enemies, those who scorn me, and hate me. And may this fruit of the Spirit, the love He pours out into my heart bring much glory to my heavenly Father, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

*"The basic plot is that Dante and Virgil descend into Hell, where they meet Charon, the ferryman, who forces the sinners onto his boat, in order to take them across. He does not want to take Dante, a good person, but Virgil insists. The two reach Limbo, where virtuous pagans live, punished only by being forever separated from God's love. Dante meets the great Greek and Latin poets - Homer, Horace, Ovid, and the like - who accept him as their equal.

Yes, Dante really wrote a scene where great historical poets praise his poetry. The Divine Comedy is one of those books that works because it takes refuge in such incredible audacity, mixed with a heavy dose of creativity and rather good poetry,... (the original is, of course, in Italian)."

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