8.30.13 — Love My Neighbor?

Romans 13:8-10
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “ You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “ You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

It seems almost like Paul gets funny for just a minute. “Hey guys, you don’t have to owe anybody anything; oh, except just to love one another, that’s it.” Then he goes on to tell us that loving one another is actually fulfilling the law. And when he says “law,” he actually means what we think it means, the Ten Commandments.

Love fulfills the law. Let’s see…”you shall not commit adultery.” How does this work itself out? Well, if I love my neighbor, I surely won’t steal his wife from him now will I? If I love my neighbor, I won’t seek to treat my neighbor’s wife as some sort of object of my lust. I will treat her as a daughter of God who deserves my utmost dignity and respect. If I love her, I will desire what is God’s best for her, and it surely is not some forty year old married man! And this goes for every commandment as well. Love would not covet my neighbors stuff, nor would it be angry with him for having something that I do not have.

Some people get really worked up about how many commands there are in the Bible. It is nice to know that all of them can be boiled down to one. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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