LOVE FULFILLS THE LAWFrom The Heart
Publish date: 09/15/2002
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10 NKJV
Under the Old Covenant, God's people spent all their time trying to fulfill the law. Of course, they never managed to keep the law one hundred percent of the time and that was the whole point of the law: to give them a standard to live by, to make them aware that they were incapable in their own power of living up to that standard, that they needed a Savior and to point them toward Jesus Himself as Savior and Lord.
17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Matthew 5:17-18 NKJV
Jesus did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it and to deliver us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13). Out of His own mouth He gave us a new standard to live by.
34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:34-40 KJV
He did not tell us that we do not have to obey God's commands once we are born anew from above, but He did give us an easier way to obey the commands of God—walk in the love of God. Romans 5:5 NIV says that, "God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." Our righteousness, as believers, had nothing to do with what we have done, but with what Jesus did for us. We are washed in His blood, saved sanctified and redeemed! Now, with the help of the Holy Spirit we walk out our righteousness in obedience to God's Word. It is love that fulfills the law and it is God's love in us that enables us to keep God's law and obey it. We do not obey God's commands because we are afraid of Him, but because we love Him. Because we love Him, we also love our neighbor as He has commanded us to.
If you love God, you will keep the Ten Commandments. If you love God, you will put Him first in all things. You will not worship any other god or any other earthly thing, like money or possessions. If you love God, you will not take His Name in vain. You will take time to honor Him and to spend time in His presence. If you love God you will honor and respect your parents. Even if they were not perfect, the love of God in your heart will forgive them and begin to appreciate them and see them as valuable and precious. When you forgive them, you will not repeat their mistakes and where there are generational curses, they will lose all their power over you. As far as God is concerned, all curses are broken on the day you are born-again. You activate this power of God in your life in this area by walking in the love of God.
If you love God and your neighbor, you will not murder your neighbor—either in your thoughts, with your mouth or with your hands. If you love God and your neighbor, you will not commit adultery. You will honor the other person by not allowing the lusts of your flesh to triumph. You will not do anything that dishonors your neighbor and their current or future spouse. If you love God and your neighbor, you will not steal—you will not take something that belongs to your neighbor. You will work with your hands and earn your living honestly and you will give to the Lord and your neighbor according to the blessing of the Lord on your life.
If you love God and your neighbor, you will not lie about your neighbor nor accuse them falsely. You will always tell the truth. If you love God and your neighbor, you will not covet your neighbor's possessions. You will not be jealous or envious. Instead, you will be blessed by the fact that your neighbor is blessed and you will sow your own seed and you will expect God for a harvest of blessing to come to your life in due season. When you love God and your neighbor, you are sowing seed for blessings to come back to you, good-measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over!
When you walk in love towards your neighbor, you have fulfilled the law.