Love, the Fulfillment of the Commandment
"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." John 15:12
"Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:36-40
"And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:28-31
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:34
"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 neighbour as thyself." Romans 13:9
"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Galatians 5:14
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned" I Timothy 1:5
"Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." I John 2:7 -10
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And THIS IS HIS COMMANDMENT, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." I John 3:22-23
"And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." I John 4:21
"And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it." II John 1:5-6
Don't miss this. Jesus' commandment IS love...love of God leading to love of others.
ALL of the commandments are summed up in those two commands and these are the commandments we are urged to keep throughout the New Testament.
"And THIS IS HIS COMMANDMENT, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, AS HE GAVE US commandment." I John 3:23
Did you notice that each of the Scriptures stated we fulfill the law by loving God and others? Not ONE of them says that we fulfill the law by “keeping” the letter of the law.
Love alone fulfills the law because love prohibits the sin nature that is under the law.
Imagine you have a tree that produces bad fruit. You have two options: you can continue to remove the bad fruit as it appears, or you can chop down the tree.
The fruit or actions of the sin nature are corrupt, so the law limits that fruit by limiting our actions. However, simply picking off bad fruit never brings about REAL change. It never gets to the root of the issue, which is the sin nature itself.
So, God's answer was to crucify the life producing this fruit; and that is just what He did to the Adamic nature on the cross.
Remember, the CROSS is God's remedy for sin, not the law. When we come to Christ in faith, He doesn't send us back to just pick off bad fruit again. He lays the axe to the root of the tree, instructing us to take up our cross and follow Him. Who is being crucified on that cross? The old man, the sin nature. The very one for whom the law was given as a restraint.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. ” Romans 8:3-4
When we are led by the Spirit, we produce Godly fruit and there is no need of an outward law.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is NO law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:22-24
Think back once more to that child following their parent. Would you take a child who follows his parent by nature and put a harness on him? Of course not. A harness is not necessary for a child whose inward man is governed by the character of his parent.
Yet that is just what some propose to do when they say that Christians must follow the letter of the law. They fail to understand why the law was given and how God has redeemed us from sin. Yet, this question is aptly addressed in the Scriptures.
Spirit of the Law Series
The Spirit of the Law – Part 1, Are Christians Under the Law?
The Spirit of the Law – Part 2, What the New Testament Says About the Law
The Spirit of the Law – Part 3, Jesus Fulfilled the Law
The Spirit of the Law – Part 4, Christians Must Still Follow the Ten Commandments
The Spirit of the Law – Part 5, God Says “Keep My Commandments”
The Spirit of the Law – Part 6, All of God's Commandments
The Spirit of the Law – Part 7, Love, the Fulfillment of the Commandment
The Spirit of the Law – Part 8, The Law Has Been Magnified
The Spirit of the Law - A Summary