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Ancient Paths

Monday, October 22nd, 2012 Love Regained Greggrey C. Cudworth Francis A. Schaeffer (c. 1912 c. 1984) Love is internal, not external. There can be external manifestations, but love itself will always be an internal factor. Coveting is always internal; the external manifestation is a result. We must see that to love God with all the heart, mind, and soul is not to covet against God; and to love man, to love our neighbor as ourselves, is not to covet against man. When I covet Gods prerogatives for myself, or covet another persons things for myself, I am not loving God or the person as I should.i Schaeffer believed the source of all sin was found in coveting, because to covet was an internal condition of man and that all other sin was an external manifestation of what was going on in the mans hearts. For Schaeffer true spirituality was not just a list of dos and donts; it was a change in the inner depths of the very being of mankinds nature. This week we will consider how to regain the right relationship with God and man through Love Regained. Monday: Read Deuteronomy 5:6-21, 32-33 At first reading the Ten Commandments they appear to be merely a list of dos and donts. When you put them in context with verses 32-33 what truth do you discover concerning the commandments, especially the commandment not to covet? Tuesday: Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Verse 4 is called the Shema and speaks to the oneness and the onlyness of God. What does God tell you do with this knowledge of Him? Is there a connection between loving God and loving others found in these verses? How are we told to demonstrate our love for others? Wednesday: Read Matthew 22:34-40 Schaeffer says that coveting is the negative side of a positive internal commandment, because it shows a man who thinks himself to be moral what he really needs a savior. When you read these verses you should discover two practical tests as to when we are coveting against God or men; what are they? Thursday: Read Ephesians 5:20 What is the connection between Eph. 5:20, coveting Gods prerogatives, and the Great Commandment found in Matthew 22? Where does your personal satisfaction of this life come from? Are you truly contented with this life and how God is blessing you? Friday: Read Romans 8:28 The world has been in a state of abnormality since the fall. When your personal experience is less than ideal, how do you apply 8:28 to the situation? If you separate the trials of life from the intended meaning of 8:28, what does this say about your love of God and fellow man? Saturday: Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

God makes it clear if we do not love our brother we cannot love Him. In our modern culture the demand for personal rights is strong. How do we maintain our Liberty in Grace when we give up our rights for others? How do we unite giving up our rights and not coveting someone elses rights? Sunday: Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 First Corinthians 13 is rightly called the Love Chapter. This chapter is central to Schaeffers belief that coveting is a failure of love for God and man. How does this understanding destroy any superficial view of the Christian life? We have moved from a list of dos and donts to the heart and soul of the Great Commandment, to love God and others as yourself. But unfortunately we live in a dark world that can fill the heart with issues of despondency and broken relationships. As you prayed through this weeks study have you gained a greater understanding of how loving God and man can give you a more meaningful and fulfilling life? How so? When Schaeffer finished this chapter on the Law of Love he summarized it with these four points: 1). The true Christian life is more than just a means of salvation and getting ones self to heaven. 2). If our desire is to have a deeper life in Christ, we must understand the Christian life as being more than a list of dos and donts; thus life is only fulfilled in the Law of Love. 3). Coveting against God and man is an outward manifestation of an inward condition; the Law of Love demands we change our hearts. 4). It is not enough to be dead to sins; we must be alive to love and life and this is accomplished through communion with our Lord and Savior. How will this study change your attitude about your personal condition and your relationships with God and man?

Schaeffer, Francis A. The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer Vol. Three, Crossway 1982, 204.