by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)
This is what we say when we see something that causes us to pause and admire. Perhaps a beautiful flower or painting strikes our eye in a fanciful way. Perhaps we witness an act of kindness. “How lovely.”
As believers, we are to be imitators of Christ. This means we understand Christ’s desire for us to have faith, hope and love. Not just to have those fruits, but ultimately to have those fruits through his indwelling in us. This is what we covered last week in our text from Ephesians 3:14-21. In v.17, we are to be “rooted and grounded in love” through Christ’s dwelling in our hearts. This means that Christ must reside in our hearts first, if we are to have love. And this love is beyond being “lovely”, as Jesus did not tell us to be lovely, but to follow His example of love, mercy and grace.
Consider John 14:23, “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’” This is how intertwined obedience, love and dwelling are to one another. Love is can be manifested in the 5 love languages of: words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, quality time and acts of service.
Lest we think these are the only forms of “love languages”, love can also be exhibited in other ways. We can also be loving by not giving in and giving what someone wants because what they want is not beneficial and likely harmful to them. Similarly, we can also be loving through correction, by speaking to the person who errs about the errors they have made. If this sounds strange, think of it this way: we would be un-loving not to speak up and help the erring person to stop sinning against himself, God and others. Of course, this should be done with the utmost gentleness and humility. Consider what James 5:20 says, “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” This is indeed a lovely action and a loving action. Knowing this, let us all the more pray in obedience, desire to love as Christ loved, and seek to have Christ dwell in our hearts through faith. In so doing, we are not just being lovely, but loving lovely.
作為信徒，我們效法基督的榜樣。這意味著基督期望我們有信心，希望和愛，最終因為有主「內住」在我們生命中而活出這些果子。這就是我們上週在以弗所書3:14-21 中所講的內容。在第17 節中，我們藉著基督在我們心中內住「有根有基」地「愛」。如果我們有愛，基督必須首先內住在我們的心裏。這愛超越表面的「愛」，因為耶穌沒有告訴我們行「可愛」的事，而是要效法祂的「愛」，憐憫和恩典。