Love: The Main Virtue
Every virtue is important, but none other is so important as love. To Jesus, love for God and love for people represented the sum of all obedience (see Matthew 22:34-40). When Paul talked about taking off the rags of sin and putting on new garments of righteousness, he commented, “The most important piece of clothing you must wear is love” (Colossians 3:14).
The same preeminence of love is supported in 1 Corinthians 13, where we see love split into its elements the way a prism separates light into the spectrum of color.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
It has been said that the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is a portrait of the character of Jesus. That’s true. And since for us becoming more holy means becoming more like Christ, 1 Corinthians 13 also describes the character that God wants to instill in each of us. We should see ourselves reflected in the biblical description of love.
In Soul Prescription, we present ten different sin families. But there is a virtue family too, and its parent is the virtue of love. Just as you will seek the Holy Spirit’s help to implant moderation or purity or other virtues into your life, so you should seek His help to make you more loving. Your life will not be fully healed until you exhibit Christ-like love for all.
Friend, we know that you want to become more loving and therefore more like Jesus. But at the moment you may be feeling less like Jesus than like a sufferer from chronic sin sickness. It is time to turn to our prescription for healing.
The Soul Prescription
We need a plan for healing—that is, a plan of healing from habitual sin. We need to wipe out the lust or gluttony or conceit or other sin that has gotten a hold on our life.
God, in His Word, has provided principles for defeating the sins that trouble us. What we have done in Soul Prescription is to organize these principles into a five-step process that can help put an end to your sin habit.
Here are the five steps in an overview:
- Adopt a correct view of God.
- Revise your false beliefs.
- Repent of your sin.
- Defend against spiritual attacks.
- Flee temptation.
Underlying all of these steps is a prayerful relationship with God through Christ. Prayer starts the healing process, keeps it going, and ensures its lasting effect. Prayer is the means by which we gain God’s perspective on our life, and it opens us to His influence upon us.
Along with generous doses of prayer, then, the five steps constitute our prescription for your life. It is a proven treatment plan, and many ex-sufferers can testify of its ability to cure the sickness of sin. We urge you to try it if you want to be healed from the soul weakness that a sin habit has given you and to be transformed.
Of course, there is much more to each of these five steps and their implementation than the overview reveals. In the following five chapters we will take each of the steps in turn and explain it in depth so that you will understand thoroughly what it means. This will provide the complete prescription for your healing.
We begin with a step in the process that many people overlook but that is nevertheless foundational to a lasting liberation from sin—and a lasting establishment of holiness. We must see God for who He really is.