How Loving Your Neighbor Is Fulfilling the Law

Church Family:
We live in a world that demands us to define love according to whatever feels right to us now. In many churches the common belief has become “love is all that matters” or even “love is love, just show them love.” Many think that love is an enemy to the law saying that they oppose each other. It is very easy to fall into the thinking that there should not be any guidelines on what love is to look like. However, just like faith without works is dead, love that does not show itself through obeying the law is nothing but mush, lust or sentimentality. Out of great love for us God gives us very clear commandments that tell us what love is to look like. Love is the fulfilling of the law (Rom. 13:10). We cannot separate God’s law from love or we will make a mess out of both.

When your teenager started going out on their own with their friends, did you ever tell them, “have fun!” That could be a disastrous command unless you had not given them guidelines for “having fun.” You most likely gave them a list of what they can do and what they cannot do so that “having fun” would be very clearly defined within boundaries. God’s law has been given to us by God to do the same thing. Christian love is to reflect commandments #5-10 of the Ten Commandments that emphasize our treatment of others. We are also given “any other commandment” (Rom. 13:9) to define our love of neighbor, meaning the other commandments of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament that embody the same moral principles. These commandments are not just a list of negative statements that we are to obey but we are to obey them with great love. We must see these negative commandments as producing positive love.

So what does love for your neighbor look like? The commandments tell us that love does not kill or even hate but it does gives life. Love does not commit adultery or even lust but it is chaste. Love does not steal but it gives sacrificially. Love does not lie but it tells the truth. Love does not covet but it rejoices in the success of others. Love for your neighbor is patient and kind and shows honor and is zealous to do good and contributes to their needs and shows hospitality and blesses them and rejoices with them and weeps with them and lives in harmony with them. We have been given amazing teaching from God on what our love for a neighbor must look like and when we live out this amazing love we are fulfilling the law of God and our neighbor is loved like God has loved us.

Let the law of God empower your love for your neighbor, they will be grateful as they see God through your love.

See you Sunday, with love and chili: Steve

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