Love is an overused word.
There is an ideal about love that is not modern; it is really quite old, stemming all the way back to the time of the Greeks and Romans, and beyond that. The ideal is this; love is sex; hence such terms as “free love.” Even the idea of falling in love usually means falling into lust.
Throughout the modern culture of the west love is portrayed as something acted out between two people behind closed doors. However, love is not sin, because the modern idea of love is not love.
Romans 13:10 says: “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
If love is the fulfilling of the law, then the modern idea of love cannot be love when it is enacted outside of marriage as it so often is. However, love is not simply having intercourse with a human being, whatever the circumstances.
Loving something is obeying that thing. If a man commits adultery, he was loving himself, and obeying his own desires. To love God is not to feel wonderful feelings about Him, it is obeying Him. Saying God is good, saying God is great, praying to Him, tithing to Him, and talking about Him, while these may be obedience to Him, do not prove your love towards Him. To love God, you must obey God in all things, which are vastly broader than reading your Bible and tithing.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
If you truly love Christ, then you will obey Him. To love you neighbor as yourself, you must obey God first, and look to Him to explain what true love is. You cannot show true love outside of obedience to Christ’s commands, and to obey Christ necessitates love. Anything done outside of Christ’s commands is sin. Thus; anything done without love is sin.
With man, true love is not possible. The dead man of the old nature cannot rise and walk, not even if he tried, which he will not. However, when Christ calls, he must rise and walk. Although never perfect, when a man is saved he will receive an ability to obey Christ, and thus to love Him, that was not formerly there while that man was dead. However, in a truly saved person it will be there, although at times imperfect, although at times monumentally so, Christ will never let His children stray without punishment from this commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”
If you cannot love, perhaps it is because you have never believed on Christ.
Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott