Love: the fulfillment of the law

Romans 13--9-10

In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day and beyond, the over-riding theme for the Verse of the Day for Biblegateway.com has been “the love of God.” We note the Verse of the Day for February 21, 2018 turns out to be “another verse from that same love song” found in Romans 13:9-10 (NIV):

The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

In reflecting on this passage from Romans 13, we also recognize “The first and great commandment: To love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Believers are further instructed to “love your neighbor as yourself.” When we love God, first of all, and then love others to the same degree that we love ourselves, we fulfill the law of love which is the highest expression of God, who is love.

An earlier blog post on this ongoing theme directed our attention to the preceding verse of today’s Verse of the Day. The Amplified Bible offers a sure-fire strategy to “get out of debt” with this exhortation which is a restatement of Romans 13:8:

Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].

This verse also provided the introduction to this poem which was has been revised and reposted from that earlier entry discussing the love of God:

This Debt of Love

Owe no one anything except to love one another,

for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8[NKJV]

 

What can we give when all we have is not enough

And when we have exhausted all our resources

And we still come up short as we assess the worth

Of the precious love given to us so freely?

When the last dram of oil from our vial has been poured

As a sacrifice and we have no more to give

But still feel this unction to offer even more.

What more can we say beyond a feeble thank you

When words cannot convey all we desire to say?

Though we try to show Him as we follow His ways,

We still stumble from time to time and miss the mark,

But He looks beyond our faults and sees our intent.

As we live your lives to serve, we will come to see

This debt of love so great we can never repay.

Lamar Campbell and Praise express the essence of the message in song with “This Debt of Love I Owe.”

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