Love And Constraints

Jude 1:21a: Keep yourselves in the love of God, . . .

2 Corinthians 5:14a: For the love of Christ constraineth us; . . .

Strong*s definitions of constraineth:

to hold together, to compress or arrest, to compel, perplex, afflict, preoccupy, constrain, hold, keep in, press, stop, be in a strait, straiten, be taken with.

The love of Christ comes with some constraints. The constraints keep us from sin and cause us to do what is right. They protect us from harm and keep us in the place of blessing. The love and the constraints are inseparable. The constraints are caused by the love. The constraints are for the good that love intends. The place of blessing is in obedience to Christ and the Bible and in sharing His love and His gospel. When we stay within the love of Christ we stay within His love for the lost ones that He seeks to save.

Many would like to have the love of Christ without the constraints but that is impossible. 2 Corinthians 5:14 reveals unmistakably what the love of Christ does. If you have nothing that constrains you, you do not have the love of Christ.

John 14:15: If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Luke 11:28b: . . . blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Adam Clarke*s commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:14a:

We have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, and this causes us to love God intensely, and to love and labour for the salvation of men. And it is the effect produced by this love which bears us away with itself, which causes us to love after the similitude of that love by which we are influenced; and as God so loved the world as to give his Son for it, and as Christ so loved the world as to pour out his life for it, so we, influenced by the very same love, desire to spend and be spent for the glory of God, and the salvation of immortal souls. By the fear of God the apostles endeavoured to persuade and convince men, and the love of Christ constrained them so to act.

Job 32:18: For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.

Adam Clarke*s commentary on Job 32:18:

How similar to the words of St. Paul! The love of Christ constraineth us. Elihu considered himself under the influence of that Spirit of God which gives understanding, and felt anxiously concerned for the welfare both of Job and his friends.

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