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New Commandment

While Jesus did not originate the concept of the God-man relationship as one of love He did give it new emphasis and brought it into sharper perspective. The characteristic Old Testament emphasis is upon obedience, that of the New Testament upon love, yet it remains a commandment, an obligation. It is the chesed, or covenant-love of the Old Testament wedded to the Greek term agapē which emerges as the important word in the Christian ethos. It denotes a discriminating love resulting from choice. The newness consists in the source and nature of this love; it is the supreme criterion of one’s relationship to God (1 John 5:3; cf. Luke 10:27). Christ’s Love Fulfilled in Death Becomes the Law of the Church The death of Christ wherein the love of God was exemplified and made manifest as the basis and principle of all spiritual life (Joh 13:34). Paul therefore generalizes all pre-Christian morality as a system of law and commandments, standing in antithesis to the grace and love which are