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From JT Overby ...

The Law of Love

     As we have been working through the 10 Commandments on Sunday mornings, I am reminded of a few New Testament passages from Jesus and Paul. Jesus, in Matthew 22:37-40, answers the lawyer that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all heart, all soul, and all mind and a second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself. Upon these two commandments depend all the Law and prophets, Jesus teaches. Paul in a few places, but specifically in Romans 13:8-10, teaches that love is fulfilling the law. To love would mean we wouldn’t murder, wouldn’t commit adultery, and wouldn’t covet. The law is summed up in the command to love God and love neighbor.

     Now of course, we need all of God’s word to teach us what God-pleasing love looks like. As we give ourselves over to God, allowing his Spirit to transform us by the word, we ought to be people who love God and love neighbor well, and thus fulfill God’s law.

     To press that point further, in Romans 13:8, Paul says that we are to owe no one anything, except to love each other. We owe each other our love– not optional. When I gather with the saints on Sunday, I owe everyone my love. I have no right to be indifferent, cold, or distant. I owe the people who are easy to love and hard to love my love. Oh, how I fail to uphold the law of love!

     Praise be to God that the Love of God has appeared and taken on human form and he has loved us to the cross, laying down his life to pay the penalty we deserve for not upholding the law of love that commands us to love God and love neighbor. Praise be to God that he has sent his Spirit to transform and sanctify us that we might look more like Christ. The Spirit pours the love of God into our hearts (Romans 5:5) and works within us, changing our desires, and empowering us to love as Christ perfectly loved.

     May we see Jesus! He perfectly loved God. He perfectly loved neighbor, even at the cost of his own life. May we see him and be more like him by the working of his power within us!




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