It has to be. It cuts through all the rest of the theological jargon that leaves the tongue and the mind tangled.
It gives the CLEAR distinction between the legalist, and the one living by grace.
Ephesians 5:1a and 2a spells it out. "Therefore be imitators of God…. and walk in love…."
It's not very difficult to put on an 'outside' imitation of what WE think is godliness.
We practice a lot of 'do's' and a whole lot more of 'don't's.' There are guidelines - most of which are man-made, sidelines, and bylines. Kind of reminds me of hopscotch. Stay within the lines, don't fall, and you've got it made. Our 'perfect' coordination that gets us to the end, makes us rather proud of OUR accomplishment.
There are generally a few virtues missing, such as gentleness, patience, kindness, long-suffering, etc., but, we're so intent on keeping within the 'lines' that we have little time to consider them.
THEN there is the one whose life is GUIDED by the very virtues the legalists leave by the wayside. LOVE becomes the prime motivation behind actions and attitudes. And without conscious effort they have become imitators of the ONE Who so loves THEM.
And then that love - verse 16 - keeps together the entire body as it grows and builds itself up … in love.
Seems to me it takes so much energy and effort to be a legalist, there isn't much left over to live life.
I'll take the way of grace and love - anytime. How about you?