Love is the Fulfilment of the Law
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another
hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou
shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it
is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour
as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is
the fulfilling of the law.
Oh, that mankind could just understand and apply this Truth - what a transformed
world we should experience.
South Africa has, in this last year of the millennium, the dubious distinction
of being the most lawless society per capita of population on the face
of the earth as far as murder and rape is concerned. There is a total lack
of concern for the value of human life. Our immediate family has experienced
the theft of four vehicles in the last few years. One vehicle has survived
fourteen theft attempts in three years. My one son has avoided probable
car hijacking on three occasions. Lawlessness is on our doorsteps. All
the neighbours on our block pay for armed response protection of their
properties, except for a couple; because the police are helpless to protect
us. Fear is continually around the common people and is a major source
of conversation when friends meet. Courteousness on the roads is a distant
memory and people shoot at each other from moving vehicles for the slightest
provocation. Road rage is the in thing. There is a feeling of hopelessness
among the majority of people and many of those with the necessary skills
are departing to greener pastures.
How has this come to pass?
Most everyone is looking out for self; the shortest word in the English
language and one of those most used.
How this country would be turned about if only most everyone considered
his neighbour as himself. Not only would we build up an economy second
to none on the African continent, but God would supernaturally bless us
out of love for us:
If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then
I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase,
and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing
shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing
time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall
make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither
shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies,
and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase
an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and
your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect
unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant
with you. And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of
the new. And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not
abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall
be my people.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is
a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one
another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall
all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my
love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and
that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love
one another, as I have loved you.
Two of His disciples who were there at the time had this to say as they
went out to feed His sheep:
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another,
love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering
evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing
that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
(1 Peter 3:8-9)
Do you notice that it is promised that we shall inherit a blessing - from
Here's one of the great passages in the Bible concerning willing sin:
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should
be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because
it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall
be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this
hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth
sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is
no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not
seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he
that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that
committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the
works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his
seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In
this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever
doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should
love one another.
(1 John 3:1-11)
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.
He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth
his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life
abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid
down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the
brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have
need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth
the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither
in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of
the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn
us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if
our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And
whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments,
and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment,
That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one
another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments
dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us,
by the Spirit which he hath given us.
(1 John 3:14-24)
This loving my neighbour as myself is a constant day to day learning experience,
preparing each of us for the time when we submit our wills (our souls)
to our Master so that He can mould us for the use that He has envisaged
on this present world; and on the new earth which is to come.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
For example, loving our neighbours is thinking kindly thoughts about
them, not so?
The tongue expresses our thoughts and James had a lot to say about the
tongue, but summed it up this way:
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue,
but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable
in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
If you or I were, at this moment, to read the sermon on the mount in Matthew
chapters five to seven, how far would we be along the road?
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which
is in heaven is perfect.
This is a commandment! So let's endeavour to be perfect.
We know that the kingdom of heaven is in us:
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should
come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God
cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!
for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
We therefore have the potential to know everything:
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
(1 John 2:20)
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye
need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you
of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught
you, ye shall abide in him.
(1 John 2:27)
Therefore this passage,
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which
art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven.
surely means that we must pray for God's will to be done on earth by us
as it is done in heaven (by the angels?); then His kingdom has come.
Just think how great a love God has for us; ponder on it for a few moments.
He, who is the Greatest of the great and the Purest of the pure, the Creator
of all things in the universe, sent His only begotten Son onto the earth
to lay down His life to give you the chance to redeem yourself from Adam's
Oh! how He loves mankind.
An internationally known Bible teacher had this to say about love and particularly
the love that God has for us:
It is grievous to someone who
loves another when the loved one spurns, ignores or responds coldly to
the love offered. How God must lament in His love for the world which continues
to reject Him, the world that He "so loved... that He gave His only begotten
Son... that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17)! Not only
does He love us, but He desires our love in return. Such is the nature
of love, and "God is love" (1 John 4:8).
It is astonishing to think that
being loved by the very Creator of the universe moves us so little. To
know God is to love Him. But how can we love Him as we ought when we spend
so little time in fellowship with Him and in meditation upon His person,
work and Word?
The very first and greatest
of God's commandments to man is "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with
all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy
6:5; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30, etc). In putting love first, God shows
that obedience to His commands is to be a joy, not a burden. Indeed,
obedience that is not motivated by love is not acceptable to God: "love
is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10; Galatians 5:14). God created
within us the capacity to love and requires our love, not to tyrannise
us, but because He wants to bless us. That fact often seems difficult to
believe. Viewed from our limited and warped perspective, those circumstances
which God allows to invade our lives often seem to us unnecessarily harsh
or depriving. We are like a baby crying in its crib because a parent has
just carefully taken from its hand a double-edged razor blade.
Love desires the greatest good
and greatest blessing for the one loved - and the most rapturous blessing
is close fellowship with the one loved. Thus God says, "He is a rewarder
of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). Instead, many seek the
blessings they hope to receive from God and miss the true reward: the Blesser
himself. The greatest gift God can give is Himself. Yet many seek gifts
instead of the Giver. There is so much emphasis upon getting healing, prosperity,
blessing, happiness. What a poor bargain to gain the whole world and miss
God! How many would consider it a wonderful privilege to know intimately
a great personage of this world, yet neglect the offer of intimate friendship
and fellowship with the Creator Himself!
God's love is a neglected topic
among Christians. There is much teaching about loving one another, but
little concerning God's great love for us and our love response to Him.
We often encourage ourselves in a crisis with the phrase "all things work
together for good" and forget that this promise is "to them that love God"
(Romans 8:28). God told Israel repeatedly, "Know therefore that the LORD
thy God... keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and
keep His commandments..." (Deuteronomy 5:10; 7:9; Exodus 20:6; Nehemiah
1:5; Daniel 9:4, etc.). Jude writes, "Keep yourselves in the love of God"
(verse 21), but seminaries and Christian colleges don't even offer a course
in how to do that.
Poets, songwriters and novelists
agree that love is the most wonderful of human experiences. However, it
has been romanticised into something one falls into, and therefore
can just as easily fall out of because it has been divorced from its major
ingredient, faithfulness. By commanding love, God tells us that
love is a choice and a commitment. We are to love our neighbours (Leviticus
19:18; Mark 12:31, etc.) and even our enemies (Luke 6:27; etc.).
When love has its rightful place,
all else is in harmony. Jesus said to His disciples, "If a man loves me,
he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto
him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23). My heart is often smitten
by how little I revel in His love to me and how seldom I fervently express
my love to my Lord.
God cannot accept worship
or praise that is not motivated by love and accompanied by the obedience
which love produces. Without love for God, worship is but empty forms and
Perhaps part of the problem
is that we find it difficult to believe that God, who is so high and holy,
infinite in power, wisdom and knowledge, could really love us. We believe
that He does, but at the same time His love seems to be more a matter of
some universal principle than truly personal. ...
Surely Christ did more than
enough miracles. Nevertheless, "though he [Christ] had done so many miracles
before them, yet they believed not on him" (John 12:37). The problem is
not in any lack of evidence or failure by God to do all He can to win us;
the problem lies in the human heart. ...
Still the argument persists:"
If God really loves us, why does He allow anyone to go to hell?" The answer
is obvious. God cannot exercise love at the expense of His justice. His
character cannot be divided. In view of Christ's sacrifice, no one can
complain of God's judgement upon sinners who reject Christ.
How often do parents indulge
their children or, having threatened punishment, fail to fulfil their promise!
Not so God. He means what He says and says what He means. Any who will
spend eternity in hell only have themselves to blame for having rejected
the pardon God has offered through Christ's payment for their sins, for
"he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for
the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2).
Consider a judge who has presided
over the trial of a man accused of unspeakable crimes. The evidence has
proved the defendant guilty and the law requires the death penalty. The
defendant is the judge's own son. Brokenhearted the father relives again
his son's stubborn rebellion against him and all authority in spite of
faithful discipline, the futile attempts to change his son's downward course
and rescue him from destruction and his son's persistence in living for
self. The father's love is undiminished, but he also is a just judge, and
love cannot compromise justice. The penalty required by the law must be
Yes, love, like justice, cannot
turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the truth. Love can offer neither grace
nor mercy until the full truth concerning the evil which is to be forgiven
has been laid bare. The psalmist declares with joy, "Mercy and truth
are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other" (Psalm
85:10). John testified of Jesus, "and we beheld his glory, the glory as
of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth" (John
Real love corrects those loved,
"for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth" (Hebrews 12:6). Jesus said, "As
many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" (Rev 3:19). If we truly love God
and man, we will expend ourselves in warning the lost and rebuking those
who are leading multitudes astray with false doctrine, for we are to preach
the Word, reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine
(2 Timothy 4:2) in order to rescue as many as possible from God's final
Christ did not die for us because
we were deserving, but because of His love for us. So it was God's choosing
of Israel: "The LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto
himself... because the LORD loved you..." (Deuteronomy 7:6-8). That fact
is difficult for us to understand. In our inability to comprehend, we cry
out, "How can it be that the infinite God who created the universe actually
loves us, not with the impersonal "love" of some cosmic energy but with
a love more intensely personal than that between husband and wife or a
mother for her child?"
The sad truth is that among
today's Christians the emphasis is upon loving and esteeming self rather
than God. One of the proponents of this concept declares, "The death
of Christ on the cross is God's price tag on a human soul...[it means]
we really are Somebodies!" In fact Christ didn't die for "somebodies,"
but for sinners. Another has called the Cross "a foundation for
self-esteem"! On the contrary, that Christ had to die on the cross to redeem
us should make us ashamed - and eternally grateful - for it was our sins
that nailed Him there.
The sinful woman, having been
forgiven much by Christ, loved Him much (Luke 7:47). The more conscious
we are of the greatness of our sin, the more we will love the One who reached
so deep into the mire to pick us up and bring us to Himself. Unworthy of
His love and sacrifice as we are, our eternal love song will be "Unto him
that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood....Worthy is
the Lamb that was slain" (Revelation 1:5; 5:12)!
We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten
of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And
we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
(1 John 5:18-19)
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater
is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world:
therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of
God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not
us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved,
let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth
is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for
God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because
that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live
through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us,
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if
God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God
at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is
perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because
he hath given us of his Spirit.
(1 John 4:4-13)
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he
that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom
he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth
God love his brother also.
(1 John 4:20-21)
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when
he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he
turn away his wrath from him.
Let us therefore train ourselves up and become fit, eating healthy spiritual
food so that we can "run the race that is set before us."
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the
marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And
to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and
white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.