Second, my imperfect love is the first fruits of a final perfection that Christ will complete in me at his appearing. The aim of the law will be fulfilled more and more in your life. is a question that one cannot avoid if one reads the entire Bible thoroughly, because in the Bible we find not only different forms and degrees of the law, but also many differences in how the law is applied and understood. God’s laws show us how to love Him and how to love others. They have no promise. . He spoke personally to me. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. We pursue love as “the law of Christ” by looking to Christ as our all-sufficient righteousness, our all-satisfying Treasure, our all-providing Protection and Helper, and our all-wise counselor and guide. The law proscribes harm to neighbor, love abstains from harm to neighbor, therefore love fulfills the law. Second, when the fulfilling of the Law is called “the law of Christ,” it means that our pursuit of love is guided and enabled by the life, word, and Spirit of Jesus Christ. In this way the Spirit of Christ will be at work to transform you into his image. Love is what initiated God's redemption plan for us. When Jesus was baptized, he went under the water for us — so that he might represent us, and so that we might be with him forever. That’s the key term that described the relationship between the suzerain and the vassal. . In the Old Testament book of Exodus, God established a covenant relationship with Israel. And my imperfection is a pointer to his perfection, and that pointing is the aim of the law. Love does not hurt the person you love ("tough love" is horseshit). Fulfilling the law as per Matthew 5:17 does not mean to abolish. But I don’t think that is the point of verse 4. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary This timeline may help sort through the Persian rulers, Jewish leaders, and events in…. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Philippians 3:8–9: “More than that, I count all things to be loss . Love does no harm to its neighbor. Third, my imperfect love is the fruit of my faith in Jesus who is my justifying perfection before God. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Christ does not cast off the Law … Benjamin Marx. Romans 3:31; Romans 2:13. So my question is: How do we fulfill the requirement of the law? Three times in this text Paul says, more or less, that loving your neighbor as you love yourself fulfills the law. 19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teache… 1 Corinthians 9:21: “To those who are without law, [I became] as without law, though not being without the law of God but [in, not under] the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.”, Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”. Wretched man that I am! We’re on a mission to change that. Denying the image of God in all humans reduces people to things and creates a straight line to abuse, because at the root of abuse is the de-personing of a person. 13:7-8). First, in the narrow sense one may think of the law as commanding perfect obedience which, if we could perform it by faith, would be our righteousness and our justification. For this, ‘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 saying, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”, Galatians 5:13–18: “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Make it your aim in all your use of the Scriptures to see and savor more of Christ. The law gives instruction in the ways that one who loves will live. They express His way of life, which is a way of love. and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.”. Galatians 3:21–25: “If a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. Love in this context has nothing to do with an emotional response toward another person, such as being love or simply really liking someone. Romans 8:30: “These whom he predestined, he also called; and these whom he called, he also justified; and these whom he justified, he also glorified. I review the book here. Love Fulfills the Law - Love Fulfills the Law Verse - Love Fulfills the Law Truth - Love fulfills the Law study on Love fulfills the Law quote, Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law meaning, Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law explained, Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law summary, Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law message and how the Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law message affects your Christian walk. We realize that the law is part of God’s word meant for our good. When we are obedient to the Holy Spirit, we manifest God’s love and exhibit righteousness, which fulfills the law (Romans 13:8-10). His was perfect. Here, the Apostle Paul makes the bold claim that loving one’s neighbor is both a summary and fulfillment of the law when he says, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. Romans 13:10, KJV: 'Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.' 5:14) If Paul is using first idiomatic sense of “fulfill the Torah” (discussed in part 1), he is saying that love is the supreme interpretation of the Torah–the ultimate summation of everything that God has taught in the Scriptures. Or, in other words, love is the fulfillment of the Law. But, because of our sin, the law does not impart life in this way (Galatians 3:21), but shuts us up to look away from law-keeping to Christ so that we might be justified by faith in him. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Love Fulfills the Law … 9 The commandments “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and any other commandments, are summed up in this one decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to its neighbor. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself. But to the one who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”, Romans 8:4: “So that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”, Galatians 5:22: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”, Galatians 5:13–16: “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.”, Romans 5:19: “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one the many will be made righteous.”. Galatians 5:1: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. "What is the law?" Pastor Andy Stanley recently published an article in Christianity Today called “ Jesus Ended the Old Covenant Once and for All ” which is based on the idea that to “fulfill the Law” means “to bring it to an end.” 1 An honest reader can’t avoid noticing that this interpretation seems strained. Where there is love, especially and really only God’s love, there will be, can be and is joy. The principle here stated is beautifully worked out in 1Corinthians 13:4-7. We don’t look alike and we share no DNA, but he will be forever my son and I his father. “To fulfill” is not to dissolve the authority and application of the old covenant revelation; rather, “to fulfill” means to fill up the Law’s intent and show the goal to which it leads. Romans 3:19–22: “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Charity never faileth" (1 Cor. The law of Christ is not a new list of behaviors without but a new Treasure and Master within. Today we will examine what it means that love is the fulfillment of the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[ a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[ b] 10 Love does no harm to a … Romans 8:3: “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh. That is true, I would say, from Romans 5:19. They have no healing properties. Russ is an author, editor, teacher, lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew at Ohio Theological Institute. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. . We sign a contract to buy a house, to play for a baseball team, or to pay a cell phone bill. If you have your Bibles I'd invite you to turn with me to Romans chapter 13. If we don’t do everything we do with love, our actions have no meaning. Just before that he gives a few examples from the book of Exodus: don’t steal, don’t murder, and “whatever other command there may be.” Jesus said something similar when he was asked what the greatest commandment was: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. 17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Romans 10:4: “The goal of the law is Christ for righteousness to everyone who believes” (my translation). Verse 4 says the aim is “that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us.” It does not say that the law is to be fulfilled for us. Who will set me free from the body of this death? Both Jesus and Paul are drawing on a common Old Testament way of understanding the concept of love that is rooted in the idea of covenants. Since when does God’s holy law and divine standard say, “Pretty good will do”? Download. Romans 13:10, NIV: 'Love does no harm to a neighbor. In both cases people who are not related to each other by blood become related to each other by law, and it is as if the people in the covenant together are related by blood. Philippians 1:6: “For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”, Hebrews 12:22–23: “But you have come to Mount Zion . For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”, Romans 7:19: “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”, Romans 7:23–25: “I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wherever you look in Scripture, look to Jesus. For He who said, ‘do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘do not commit murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. One last thing I draw your attention to, and you’ll see it in verse 10. First, my imperfect love is, nevertheless, real God-dependent, Spirit-enabled, Christ-exalting love that is based on my justification and not a means to it. Very simple, really. And you will magnify Christ in your life until he comes to complete the work he has begun. First, when the fulfilling of the Law it is called the “law of liberty” it means that as Christians we pursue love in liberty from law-keeping as the ground of our justification or the power of our sanctification. Galatians 5:13-18 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. I mentioned last week that some take this to mean that Christ fulfilled the law for us when he obeyed it perfectly and died as the perfect sacrifice on our behalf. Romans 13:8–10: “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal. (Romans 13:8-10) According to Matt. . Love Is the Fulfillment of the Law (What’s that mean, anyway? First, when the fulfilling of the Law it is called the “law of liberty” it means that as Christians we pursue love in liberty from law-keeping as the ground of our justification or the power of our sanctification. so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”, Philippians 1:11: “Having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”. Love that fulfills the law is agape love. . 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. How can the law that is NOT void be ended that we also have to establish and be doers of? Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. PDF. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. He did give us a “new commandment” (“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another,” John 13:34). Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.' So if love is our motivation, we will be obeying and fulfilling God’s law. 5&6 these commandments are either obeyed out of the motivations of our hearts or they are not obeyed at all. Second, in the broader sense of the whole Pentateuch or the whole Old Testament, we may think of the law not merely as making demands, but as also providing a way for sinners to be justified by faith apart from works, and to please him by walking in love (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6). What does Paul mean in verse 4 when he says that the aim of Christ’s death is “that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”? The question we have to answer if we want to understand and apply what Paul and Jesus are saying is, “What does it mean to love?” Paul gives a hint when he supplies examples of love: love is not doing harmful things to another person. A person can keep the law without loving. I heard his very words. He is author of. . In the modern West we are accustomed to contracts, not covenants. And these commandments are simply examples of what it looks like, in day-to-day life and in various circumstances, to love God and love each other. And it is foundational for everything. Love Is the Fulfillment of the Law - Towards an Understanding of Pauls Use of Torah for His Paraklesis: A Study on Romans 13:8-10. But the difference between the law and love is that love works from the inside and the law works from the outside. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. But one cannot love without the law being fulfilled in them. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”. James 2:10–12: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. And specifically, how can any of my “walking” by the Spirit — which is always imperfect in this life — be said to fulfill God’s law which is holy and just and good. James 1:25: “But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”. In such a covenant, or treaty, a greater party (God, in this case) created a relationship with a lesser party (the people of Israel) that made them related to each other as if by blood, even though they had no relationship to each other before then. And so I will never have a whole life of perfection to offer God — not to all eternity. Question: "What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the law, but did not abolish it?" Firstly, there is the most fundamental of all laws, the Ten Commandments. We are working our way through a marvelous section of the book of Romans in which Paul spells out the Christian way of life. Love, then, is not about an emotional disposition; it is about acting in a certain way toward others—a way that is consistent with the commandments laid out in the Law. But this standard of love is the life and power of a person who indwells us by his Spirit. A Call to Fulfill the Law Through Love. It is translated variously as “lovingkindness,” “mercy,” and “covenant faithfulness.” If the vassal obeyed the commands outlined in the covenant, then that vassal was showing hesed, or loving, the suzerain. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’”, Romans 3:24–25: “Being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in his blood through faith. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.”, Romans 3:28: “We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”, Romans 4:4–5: “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. ), Matthew 7:12: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”, Matthew 22:37–40: “And he said to him, ‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. For love is the great healer, and you can be great healers when you have great love. (Scholars call this fictive kinship.) We look to the Spirit of Christ for transformation so that love flows by power from within, not pressure from without. The question today is very practical and tremendously important. Apart from Christ, we were so sinful, so wicked, so rebellious that Scripture called us children of disobedience. Love Is The Fulfillment of the Law November 5, 2016 John (HFJ Director) Leave a comment Many Christians understand the foundational principle that we are to love one another. Love, then, fulfills the covenant obligations that God has given his children, or as Paul and Jesus said it, “the Law.”. Love Is the Fulfillment of the Law (What’s that mean, anyway?) 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. The law of liberty is the leading of the Spirit, and “where the Spirit is there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). What Does It Mean to Fulfill the Law in Romans 8:3-4, John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. In other words, the only law-keeping I depend on as the ground of my justification is Jesus’s law-keeping. This covenant God established is modeled on a type of covenant in that time and culture called the suzerain-vassal covenant. The Greek word for “fulfil” used in verse 17 means to make full or to give full meaning. How does all of this talk of suzerains and adoptions and covenants help us understand what Paul and Jesus mean when they talk about love fulfilling the law (whether love for God or love for others)? Mine is imperfect. The acceptability of my life to all eternity will always depend on the perfection of Jesus offered in my place. Now I believe that is true. In short, love as the fruit of faith, which exalts Christ, is what the law was aiming at. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because in the forbearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed.”, Romans 5:19: “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”. In a word, hesed. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Love, then, is not about an emotional disposition; it is about acting in a certain way toward others—a way that is consistent with the commandments laid out in the Law. But our walk by the Spirit begins now and so does our fulfillment of the law. . [1] For a really good discussion of this, see Sandra Richter, The Epic of Eden (Downers Grove, IL: 2008). The Apostle Paul sums this up as neatly as any of them, in Romans 13:8-10: Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the Law. Romans 8:4 does not say that the entire fulfillment of the law happens in us now. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”. according to the Spirit.”. My imperfect love now and my perfect love later will always be the fruit of faith that looks to Jesus, my only perfection. According to "the love chapter," agape "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Answer: Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” (Compare Romans 7:4, 6. Romans 13:10, ESV: 'Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.' Instead, we pursue it by the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2). Other early Christians got the message. What I would like to do is answer this question with a far-reaching summary of the relationship of the Christian to the Law in twelve theses so that we can clarify our overall position and then move ahead into Romans 8 without having to rebuild these things over and over. —The form of the Greek word implies not only that love helps a man to fulfil the law, but that in the fact of the presence of love in his heart the law is actually fulfilled. And therefore it is the new direction that the law was aiming at and what the new covenant promised. The Bible instructs believers to examine themselves, but does it tell us to what extent or how often we should question our salvation? But that’s not the point here. The Day Is Near 11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 40:37–40 NIV). Likewise, if the suzerain fulfilled his responsibilities outlined in the covenant, then he was showing hesed, or loving, the vassal. In him, we are perfect with his perfection and in him we are pardoned by his blood. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Rom.13) Of course, this is referring to the second division of the Law -love for your fellow man and does not nullify Jesus’ teaching of the first part that the first Commandment to love the Lord is the greatest of them all. . He is saying that love fulfills the law. That is, we will be in covenant with each other. Love, then, is not about an emotional disposition; it is about acting in a certain way toward others—a way that is consistent with the commandments laid out in the Law. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:8-10) Love is an incredible thing. And then he focuses specifically on our walking, that is, our living, as the way the fulfillment will happen: “that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk . There's nothing tricky in here.