8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one 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 covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13.8-10, ESV).
Memory Verse – Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law – Romans 13.10
Being a servant of Christ is very important, but each one of us must have an attitude of love within our lives or our servanthood will be for nothing. In Romans chapter twelve Paul discussed how we are to be a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.” We are to give up ourselves, as Christ would have put it, “deny yourself” (Matthew 16.24), so you are no longer the one in control.
Paul then went on in Romans twelve to tell us how we are all one body working together to ful- fill the mission of Christ. Christ is the head of the body (Colossians 1.18), controlling His church and we are the workers each having a specific task or mission. None of us do exactly the same things, therefore, we are unique yet we are working in unison serving God and fulfilling His one mission reconciling the world to Himself (II Corinthians 5.18.19).
So, by now we are wondering how does love fit into this mold of being a servant for Christ? In verse eight, Paul is not commanding we never borrow money, nor should we not lend any money, however, he is encouraging us to remain as free from debt as possible with the exception of how we love each other. Love should be given freely, to everyone, in all situations, no matter the person their status, class or connection to us.
See it is loving one another we are fulfilling the law, not just the law of Moses, but the law of God. Why love? Why not like one another, surly there are people we like but do not love? Let us face reality, not everyone we meet we are going to love, some of them are going to make us mad, tick us off, and cause us to have feelings we can never speak of.
But yet Jesus clearly says, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another” (John 13.34, CSB). How does one reconcile this with people they cannot stand or even down right hate? To put it more bluntly Jesus said, “But I say unto you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, 28bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you” (Luke 6.27-28, ASV).
See it is not really what we want, it is what Christ has commanded us to do, why must we love others, what is the purpose? Jesus gave it to His disciples and to us as well, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13.25, ESV). So, others will be able to know who Christ is by our actions and attitude. Our love serves as an example of Christ’s love, it is not about us or who we are.
When God gave the law to His children, the Jews, in Exodus 20, we find the law broken into three segments; 1—Our relationship with God (Exodus 20.1-8), 2—Our relationship with family (Exodus 20.12), and 3—Our relationship with each other (Exodus 20.13-17). It is with the third part of this law that is type of love is concerned, ‘love your neighbor.’
For by loving your neighbor you will not want any harm to come to them, you will not desire to steal from them, or give any false testimony, and you will not desire to have what they have. See, if we have the same love as Christ, then we will desire to see our neighbor succeed just as we are, and we will do what is necessary to help them do so.
It is through this love and devotion the world around us will see the true nature of Christ, His light shining as one set on the hill (Matthew 5.14-16), shining so all can see the dangers, avoid them and come safely into harbor of life, Jesus Christ.
This is what Paul means when he says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13.9). It is through this love we are fulfilling the law of Christ. But our love cannot be just a word, it must be an action, something others can see and know it comes from our hearts, that it is not just on the surface or superficial.
John writes, “We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action” (I John 3.16-18, NRSV).
Our love does not come from things we have learned prior to Christ coming into our lives, but because Christ came into our life. It is through His sacrifice on the cross, that we understand what true love is, and how it must be demonstrated. This does not mean we must also die, but we must be willing to lay our all on the line for Christ’s sake and the gospel.
John gives us some examples of how to show the world true love, by our devotion and willingness to give all of ourselves for Christ. By seeing a need, and meeting this need, especially when we have the means to meet such a need. Of course, we need to listen to the Holy Spirit’s directions, but do not use Him as an excuse to never help or give of all God has given to us.
Finally, John says we cannot just say we love, but we must show it by our actions and attitudes, or the truth of what we say. This kind of matches what James says, when he writes, “you show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2.18). Faith and works, Love and action they all go hand in hand. We cannot say we have one without the other to display them.
Therefore, we must love our neighbor, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, we have no choice!
Lord You are an amazing Father, Who sent His Son to be a great example for me to follow, as I try and love my neighbor. Your Son, came and sacrificed Himself on the cross for me a sinner, so I could have eternal life. What an act of Love, Compassion, Mercy and Grace. No one has ever shown this kind of love to me before. Lord give me the wisdom necessary to show this kind of Love to my neighbor, to shine the Light of Christ to those around me, so I will be a great example of all You are. Thank You for the opportunity to love others as You have loved me. All this I pray in Your Son, Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 13:8–10). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Jn 13:34). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (Lk 6:27–28). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Jn 13:35). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 13:9). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Jn 3:16–18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
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