Day 119: The Law in a Nutshell

Romans 13:9-10

For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not give false testimony,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love doesn’t harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.

You may recognize these verses as a repeat of what Jesus told His disciples. Here Paul lists a few of the 10 commandments and reminds us that none of them would be broken if we really loved each other. So, loving each other is an easy way to describe the whole Law of God.

Even though this is a great summary, I am very thankful to have the details of The Law too! The details really describe what love looks like in an outward way. When these outward signs are missing, it reveals a real problem on the inside of us. Even though The Law can’t change us at all, it does help us to know what it looks like when we are actually successful at doing it.

Since we can’t make ourselves love someone, we must rely on outside power to learn how to love. That’s why we must continue to offer ourselves to God as sacrifices so
that He can make His love come out of our hearts. Jesus also told His disciples that He was the fulfillment of the law. We read here that we are to love each other because it fulfills the law, so, when we put these things together, we learn that it is to be Jesus living in us producing the love that we need in order to fulfill the law. Also, since love gives us freedom, it is through Jesus that we have true life and liberty.