More regarding love from other New Testament writers:
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. – Galatians 5:6
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." – Galatians 5:13-14
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet, "and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:8-10
Are we on the same page regarding the importance of love yet?
In reminding ourselves over and over that sin is sin, and there is no such thing as big sins and little sins, I think we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking the same thing about commands.
Commands are not all equal. Some are more important than others. How else could Jesus declare two to be “the greatest commands”? The greater create the principles for the lesser. (We'll get back to that thought in a future post)
In fact, sometimes in keeping the greater you might break one of the lesser.
And God has been known to approve of that!
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath." He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." – Matthew 12:1-8
Did you catch that? David and his men did something unlawful, yet according to Jesus they were innocent. The priests work all day on the Sabbath, yet according to Jesus they are innocent.
When we say loving God and loving others is at the top, we mean it. It takes precedence over everything else. Over our positions on instrumental music, communion, wine, church assemblies, EVERYTHING.
That’s why the way we conduct ourselves in a blog comment space such as this is so important. You may practice singing, communion, and bunch of other things exactly the way God intended, but if you are rude, arrogant, and full of pride in your comments here and elsewhere, you have broken the greater command.
Here's your homework. Read 1 Corinthians 13 and consider how "religious" discussions might look if all parties were committed to following the greatest commands.