Rom 13:8-10 “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.”
For many of us, one of our goals in life is to get out of debt. We want to live our lives without owing anyone. This is an admirable goal in many levels. However, there is one thing that we should always feel the debt of.
Regardless of how affluent or independent we may become in life, we owe it to one another to love each other. This is not some new age mantra or fresh world philosophy. This is the teaching of God’s word. Love is not just something we give: it is something we owe.
Paul has spent several verses telling us how important it is to be subject to government. We are to strive to obey the civil law to the best of our ability in keeping with God’s will. There are a lot of laws that need to be kept. That is true today, and anyone who has studied the Old Testament knows that it was true then.
Paul simplifies the keeping of the law into one simple statement. He that loves another has satisfied the law. This does not indicate that we only have to love one other person. The scripture has taught us, as much as is possible, to do good to all men (Gal 6:10).
Paul mentions several of the commandments individually. He also says that the remaining commandments are summed up in this one. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Remember Christ’s teaching as recorded in Luke 10:25-37 to get a right definition of neighbor.
We are a good neighbor to everyone to whom we show kindness and mercy. Likewise, any who show us kindness and mercy are our neighbors. Love is never engaged in doing any worthless act against a neighbor. Love, then, does not engage in any evil.
It is easy to see why love is the fulfilling of the law. If we love one another, we are not going to lie to or about one another. If we love one another, we are not going to envy our neighbors for their good fortune. When we truly love one another, we will rejoice in the good things our neighbors might receive.
We will not take what is not ours if we love one another. This is true whether it be material goods or taking the credit for something someone else did. Surely, we can see that Jesus is one to whom we will always owe a debt of love. We are not satisfying that debt if we try to claim any credit for our salvation.
May we always feel the debt of love we owe to Jesus and seek to fulfill that in loving His children, because He said as much as we do it unto the least of His we have done it unto Him!