8. Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for the one loving the other has fulfilled the law.
9. For you shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet; and if there is any other commandment it is summed up in this word, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
10. Love does no evil to your neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfilling (doing) of the law.
TO EXPLAIN love, Paul refers to God’s Commandments in general. Then he says the law of God is summed up in the expression, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In order to love your neighbor you must first know God’s law … because God’s law defines love. Without knowing God’s law you do not know what “love your neighbor” means.
“Love” is a word that is bandied about. People use the term pretty loosely. For example, it is popularly used as a euphemism for “lust” or “sexual relations.” However, that application does not fit the definition of love given in scripture … which is “the fulfilling of the law.”
God’s law tells us HOW to love. Paul says that “loving our neighbor” equates to “not hurting our neighbor.” As it turns out, the entire purpose of law is to show us how not to hurt our neighbor … an achievement that is not as easy as it may sound. The law tells us how to not hurt our neighbor. All law must be framed around this definition. Good intentions are not enough. We need law. God’s laws are the standards that teach us how to stop hurting our neighbors: how to work no evil towards our neighbors. God’s law describes and defines “hurt” (crime). God knows what hurts us, and what doesn’t.
Most people live their lives in semi-ignorance of law. And because they are ignorant of law they hurt their neighbors unintentionally. Is it possible that you are hurting your neighbors right now as a result of your ignorance of God’s law?
Without knowledge of God’s law, man does not know how to not hurt his neighbor. Good intentions are not enough. Even people with good intentions, if they are ignorant of God’s law, they unwittingly hurt their neighbors … and themselves.
For example, some think that capital punishment is cruel and bad. They think that executing a murderer can’t possibly demonstrate love. Yet, God’s Law states that murderers should be put to death … and Paul says that God’s law defines love. Therefore, Biblically speaking, the execution of a murderer is an expression of love. That’s not me saying it. That’s the Word of God. Men of faith must trust God.
It is God’s standard … not man’s standard. God says murderers are to be put to death – end of discussion. Putting murderers to death prevents them from murdering more … and it discourages would-be murderers. What’s more, it answers the crime and settles the debt for a sane-minded society. It is a manifestation of LOVE to teach men to not murder or hurt one another.
Another example of this conflict is the law against usury. God forbids usury among brethren (neighbors). However, professing Christians commonly offer loans at interest to family members or friends. They claim this is to “help.” Yet, the laws of God which define love tell us that interest (usury) is theft, and that it is not ”love” to knowingly steal from your family or friends. Again, man goes astray when left to himself. We need God’s law to keep us on a sensible course.
Interest on money is usury. Usury is theft. God’s law forbids the taking of interest from anyone you cannot lawfully plunder (i.e., an enemy with whom you are at war). In other words, usury is an act of war, and therefore is lawful only when used against an enemy. Deuteronomy 23:19-20 explains that it is unlawful to take usury from a brother (neighbor), but it is lawful to take usury from a “stranger” (an enemy). Taking usury equates to harm. So the point is that anyone you are lawfully prohibited to harm your are likewise prohibited to take usury.
19. You shall not lend upon usury to your brother; usury on money, usury on food, usury on anything that was lent at usury:
20. To a stranger you may lend at usury; but to your brother you shall not lend at usury: that Yahweh your God may bless you in all that you set your hand in the land where you enter to possess it.
The point is … without God’s law man does not know how to love his brother. Wittingly or unwittingly, without God’s law man always ends up hurting his brother.
Stated differently, lawlessness destroys man’s ability to understand love:
11. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12. And because lawlessness shall abound, the love of many shall turn cold. Matthew 24:11,12
2. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.
3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:2-3
Anything men may call “love” that doesn’t fit the definition in God’s word is not love at all. It is something else.
And this, having known the season, and that it is already the hour for you to be roused out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the instruments of the light.
Let us walk decently, as in daylight; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in fornicating and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.
PAUL explains the connection between law, love and your neighbor (fellow ecclesian). He equates “rising out of sleep” with fulfilling (doing) God’s law. That means to rouse out of spiritual death – and rise to life in Christ. ROUSING OUT OF SLEEP EQUALS RISING FROM THE DEAD. When we rise up and recognize Christ’s Reign and God’s law we are experiencing the “new birth.”
Paul says that the lust of the flesh (wrongly called “love” by modern man) is not real love at all. Real love is the fulfilling of your duty to “owe no man anything, but to love one another” as defined in God’s law. This new life makes us citizens of the Kingdom of God.
The kingdom of God is central to all things in our lives. The churches have taught everything wrong about the Kingdom. If you now understand Christ’s Reign, it is your duty to plant seeds of truth in fertile soil.
Being a watchman/elder is a huge job, and we need all the help we can get. Americans have much to learn, and even more to unlearn. True watchmen are needed. As we older watchmen wear out, God willing we hope to see good men stepping up to the plate to continue shepherding the flock and guiding them in that good and proven way of God’s Order.
Excerpt from Romans chapter 13 study, part 2: https://www.benwilliamslibrary.com/pdfs/Rm%2013b.pdf