8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
V8 is a segue between the two passages. Yesterday's passage ended with the reminder that we need to pay our taxes and to pay off our debts (from the Bible it is clear that it is ok to borrow money and pay interest on business investments, but if you lend to someone because they need money to live, you are not to charge them interest - and in fact, it is even better to give in that situation instead of to lend).
But there is one debt that we are supposed to pay continually, that we will never be finished paying, and that is the debt of love.
Love is to be a distinguishing mark of a Christian. And when we become a Christian we are given a godly capacity to love.
And love fulfills the law.
Yes, we may obey the law out of fear. But we should obey the law out of love!
We shouldn't not commit adultery because we're afraid we're going to get caught, we should not commit adultery because we love our spouse.
We also shouldn't keep the law because we might get something out of it.
No, our motive in keeping the law should be love.
Let's take a quick look at the 10 Commandments from Exodus 20....
You'll see that the commandments can be summarized by
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The first four commands cover our love for God and the last six deal with our love for our neighbour.
#1 - You shall have no other gods before me. Love is loyal to God.
#2 - You shall not make for yourself an idol. Love is faithful to God.
#3 - You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. Love is reverent to God and would never curse or profane His name.
#4 - Remember the Sabbath. Love is holy and sets itself apart for worship and devotion.
MacArthur sums it up.....
So you might say, then, that the first four of the Ten Commandments sum up the first and great commandment of Deuteronomy 6, quoted by the Lord in Matthew 22, and that is, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength." Now, listen to me. If I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and strength, am I gonna have to worry about these laws? Not really. Because if I love Him like that, I would never have any other God. I would never make any graven image. I would always obey Him. I would never take His name in vain, and I'd always remember that He is a holy God who is to be worshipped, right? So love fulfills all the law. It's just that simple.
The remaining 6 commandments are the ones Paul was specifically referring to and speak to love towards our fellow man.
#5 - Honour your Father and Mother. Love is respectful to the authority of our parents.
#6 - You shall not murder. Love is protective of all life created in the image of God.
#7 - You shall not commit adultery. Love is pure.
#8 - You shall not steal. Love is unselfish and it gives instead of takes.
#9 - You shall not give false testimony. Love is truthful.
#10 - You shall not covet. Love is content.
And that sums up the 2nd half of the Matthew passage to Love your neighbour as yourself.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Romans 13:11-14