Love Fulfills the Law
Adult 1 Sunday School Class Romans 12:1-2, 13:8-10 August 28, 2016
Theme: People want to know how to live in a manner that transcends the selfish and corrupt ways of the world. How can they live to fulfill the law of love? Paul urges Jesus’ follows to allow the love of Christ to transform their minds into Christ like minds, so they will be able to love one another and themselves as Christ has loved and continues to love them.
Please interpret the meaning of the following verses.
The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
ROMANS 12:1- “1 Beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Paul exhorts the Christians in Rome to present themselves as a living sacrifice to God. The precept of this is the OT significance of animal sacrifice to atone for one’s sins. Then Christ, the Lamb of God, became the final sacrifice for the redemption of man’s sins. Because of the blood shed on the Cross we have been reconciled to God, by His Grace and Mercy. We can have an intimate relationship with God through Christ. Because of Christ sacrifice this opens up a whole new relationship with God. As a result of what we owe Christ for saving us, God wants us to be a living sacrifice. Slaughtered animal and Christ died once as a sacrifice, but now we are to sacrifice ourselves (our entire bodies) daily, by refraining from sin with the help of the Holy Spirit. As believers, we must yield to God as an instrument of righteousness, which is your reasonable service. Since they had received spiritual riches as the fruit of God’s mercies, it is logical that they owe God the highest form of service.
v.2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Conformed denotes an outward change, like a mask which can hide the true nature of a person. To conform also means to go along with the crowds of this world, ruled in part by Satan. Transformation denotes an inner change where by the Holy Spirit changes our thinking through consistent study and meditation of the Scriptures, which is a “renewing of the mind”. A renewed mind is one that is saturated with the controlled “Word of God”, which is good…acceptable… and …perfect. If one is able to live a morally and spiritually spotless life, just as the animals of the OT were to be before sacrificed.
- 13:8, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” “Owe no man anything”, doesn’t mean you are forbidden from borrowing, Scripture regulates that (i.e. pay on time). “Love one another”, Christians are commanded to love everyone, even non-Christians. Paul says we are not to owe anyone, but to be indebted to love everyone. Jesus said that He came not to abolish the Law, (The Ten Commandments Exodus 20:3-17), but to fulfill it. (Matt 5:17)
- 9 and 10. “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 10. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Paul points out the last five commandments are for interpersonal relations. For if we love God we would not hurt His children. We are not to commit adultery, not to murder, not to steal, not to covet, and not to bear false witness against your neighbor. For any other infraction against someone is covered by love your neighbor as yourself. “If a man says, I love God, and hate his brother, he is a liar.” (1 John 4:20). In summary, if you love God you will obey the first 4 commandments, and if you love God’s children you will keep the last 5 commandments. Thus by showing love toward God and His children, we fulfill the Law. This shows how the Law was fulfilled through Jesus Christ.