Love Fulfils the Law

20 November 2022 AM – Romans 13:8-10 – Rom2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: God gave hundreds of laws in the Old Testament Scriptures, but the Ten Commandments are at their core. They represent the mind and heart of God concerning right and wrong. God desires His creation to live like Him, and the Ten Commandments are the foundation.
Transition: Read Romans 13:8-10. In these three verses, Paul tells us how our love fulfils God’s law.
Our love fulfils God’s law as …
  1. We Love One Another (v.8)
a.         Love is our debt to others.
1)         In previous verses, Paul has just instructed us to submit to government and to pay all of our taxes. With this in mind, he states, “Owe no man any thing.” In the context, this means that we must not neglect or refuse to pay taxes, customs or even respect.
a)         Paul is not saying it is never okay to have a debt, but he is saying that we must always pay our dues. We must not continue owing a person by failing to pay our debts. An overdue debt is an owed debt.
b)         If you are in financial debt, keep up with your payments. If you cannot keep up, sell whatever you must, to set yourself free.
c)         If you are a careless spender, ask God to change your bad habits and help you become more prudent.
d)         It is far better to use a debit card than a credit card.
2)         The one debt we will never pay off is our debt to love one another. Love is giving of ourselves to meet the needs of another, expecting nothing in return.
3)         We can love by caring, sharing, befriending, listening, helping, giving, praying, comforting, encouraging, and even confronting or rebuking.
4)         Love is reaching out to those around us who are in need. God is saying that this is a debt, not an option.
b.         Love is a reciprocal command.
1)         We find the phrase “love one another” thirteen times in the New Testament.
2)         The idea of “one another” is that it is to be reciprocal; we are to love other Christians, and they are to love us. God wants love to go both ways. Evidently, those the Lord had in mind for us to love are primarily other believers. Jesus told His disciples, (John 13:35) “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
3)         Without question, some people are easier to love than other people are, just as some debts are easier to repay than others are. That does not excuse our duty. We have a debt to love others, even if they fail to love in return.
4)         When we love one another, this fulfils God’s law.
Our love fulfils God’s law as …
2.        We Love Others as We Love Ourselves (v.9)
a.         God’s law forbids mistreating others.
1)         Love is also NOT doing harmful things to others. Paul lists the last five of the Ten Commandments as evidence.
a)         Committing adultery hurts both people involved and their family members.
b)         Murdering a person obviously hurts that person, but it also hurts the loved ones.
c)         Stealing causes the victim to lose something that was valuable to him.
d)         Bearing false witness (i.e., lying about someone) harms the reputation and feelings of that person.
e)         Coveting (i.e., lusting) is a desire to have something that belongs to another person. Lust often undermines trust and harms relationships.
2)         If we do ANY of these sins to another person, we are not loving that person. These are not loving actions.
3)         God’s law reflects His character. He forbids these things because they are not part of His character, and He wants us to be more like Him.
b.         Self-love is to be our love pattern.
1)         God’s laws are briefly comprehended (i.e., summed up) in this word, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
2)         Repeatedly in Scripture, God tells us to love others as we love ourselves. The first time that we see this is in Leviticus 19:18. “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
3)         This poses the question, “How do we love ourselves?” Well, we naturally care for ourselves. When we have need of food, water, or warmth, or pain relief, we seek it out. We do not just ignore our needs. We supply them as promptly and thoroughly as we can.
4)         God is telling you to do as much for others as you would do for yourself. Do only to others as you would do to yourself. Do no more against others than you would want them to do against you.
5)         Essentially, the “Golden Rule”, do to others as you want them to do to you, is loving others as you love yourself.
Our love fulfils God’s law as …
3.        We Do No Harm to Others (v.10)
a.         Love works no ill toward others
1)         The word “ill” in this verse refers to harm, wrong, meanness, injury or anything that is bad.
2)         No matter what others may do to us, love forbids us to respond in a bad way.
3)         Love prevents all dishonesty and crime toward others. When we genuinely have a heart to give ourselves to meet the needs of another, we will not hurt him in any way.
b.         Love is kind
1)         The opposite of working ill is being kind.
2)         Those who truly love will look for opportunities to do good, to be kind, to help, to care, and to encourage.
3)         Paul then states, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Based on the qualities and actions of biblical love, love fulfils all the commands God gave us in respect to other people.
a)         Love will keep us pure and free from adultery.
b)         Love will overcome hate that leads to murder.
c)         Love will give to meet needs rather than to steal.
d)         Love will be honest rather than lying about others.
e)         Love will be content and not lust after things of others.
4)         In the book of 1 John we read, (1 John 3:14) “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (1 John 4:20) “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?
5)         God has made it clear to us that we have a debt to love one another. We must love others as we love ourselves. In addition, true love will do no harm to others. This kind of love fulfils God’s law.
Conclusion: The question you must ask yourself this morning is, “Am I loving others as God wants me to love them?”
The place to begin is in your home. If married, have you loved your spouse this week as God commands? Have you loved your children in such a way that they know it and feel it? Children, have you loved your parents by obeying them and treating them as you want to be treated?
The next place to show your love is to our church family. Do others in our congregation know that you love them? What are you doing to actively show your love to them? The world will know that we are Christ’s disciples when we love other Christians.
Stepping into the community is a more difficult place to show love. Unbelievers on your street, at work and at school need love. The most loving thing you can do for them is to live Christ’s love before them and to share the Gospel with them.
If your love at home, at church, for other Christians, or in the community has been lacking, will you ask God to help you change? If you do not yet know Jesus as your Saviour, please talk to me about that today. True love begins when you receive God’s love.
Song: Have I Done My Best – 368