Love Fulfills the Law – Sunday School Lesson, August 28, 2016
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Exploratory Study Book
Golden Text: “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8)
Why is love for others called a debt? We are permanently in debt to Christ for the unconditional and lavish love He has poured out on us. In return we are suppose to love others, as He loves us with unconditional love and everlasting love. Since Jesus’ love will always be infinitely greater than ours, we will always have the obligation to love our neighbors.
Matthew 22:35-36 – Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him, a question, tempting Him, and saying, Master which is the great commandment in the law?
Prior to the question, Jesus had put both the Pharisees and Sadducees to silence. The Pharisees along with the Herodians had made an hypocritical flattery by calling Him “Master”, and saying He teaches the way of God, and asking Him was it lawful to give to Caesar or not. The Pharisees left Him after He instructed them to “Render to Caesar what was Caesar and to give to God the things are God”. Then the Sadducees came to Him with a question regarding seven brothers marrying one woman, and wanted to know whose wife would she be in the resurrection, His answer for them was “In the resurrection there would be no marriage”. When the Pharisees heard Jesus had put the Sadducees to silence they came together with the Sadducees, this is when the lawyer, and expert expounder of the Old Testament Law, ask Him the question trying to draw Jesus into an argument regarding the Pharisees extensive interpretation of over six hundred laws.
Matthew 22:37 – 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.
To answer the lawyer’s questions, Jesus quoted from the law (Deuteronomy 6:5 – And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might).
Matthew 22:38 – This is the first and great commandment.
Jesus goes back to the law by answering the lawyer’s question of what was the first and great commandment according to the law. The Old and New Testament coincided with one another, Jesus answered the Pharisees and Sadducees by the Law.
Matthew 22:39 – And the second is like unto it, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.
The second law refers back to Leviticus 19:18 Thou shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord. The Ten Commandments can be divided into two categories. First four Commandments is dealing with love for God. Last six Commandments deals with our responsibility towards others by how we treat them and love them. The Ten Commandments are also known as the Law and Prophets.
Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, my the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Paul entreats believers to present their bodies to serve and obey God. Such giving of the body to God is more than a contrast with a dead animal sacrifice, it is newness of life that coincides with (2nd Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new). When we really submit ourselves to God, that’s us showing our love towards Him and what He has done for us through giving His Son to die for our sins so that we could be reconciled to Him. Holy – means set apart for the Lord’s use, Acceptable – means pleasing God, Reasonable –indicates that such a gift is the only rational reaction to all the good gifts God has showered on us.
Romans 12:2 – 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 means to form or mold, world is the normal word for age or era. Instead of being molded by the values of the world, the believer should be transformed, that is, changed by the renewing of the mind. Spiritual transformation starts in the mind and heart. We resist the temptations of our culture by meditating on God’s truth and letting the Holy Spirit guide and shape our thoughts and behavior. This is why all believers need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, He’s the one that empowers us to resist ungodly influences. The Holy Spirit gives us understanding of the Bible, and He empowers the believer to be doers of the word of God, and not just hearers.
Romans 13:8 – Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Primarily it means respect and honor. Paul is not setting down the rule or policy of not borrowing or paying only cash for everything, but teaching about Christian’s social responsibility of not acting in such a way towards his fellow-man that he incurs any debt other than to love him. This debt is never paid up, love is a debt that is never paid in full.
Romans 13:9 – 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.
It’s a recognition that as we love ourselves, we should also love others just a genuinely and sincerely as we love ourselves. This also coincides with the Ten Commandments (Thou shalt not kill. Neither shalt thou commit adultery. Neither shalt thou steal. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbor. Neither shall thou desire thy neighbor’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor’s – Deuteronomy 5:17-21). God will never give us a commandment that we can’t do, with the commandment, He will also empower us to comply to it.
Romans 13:10 – Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Love excludes murder, adultery, stealing, and lying. Therefore when we love, we automatically fulfill the prohibition of the law. When we act in accordance with God without being under the law, we fulfill it. Love is greater and more powerful than any other feelings we have. Love will conquer hatred. Love will be compassionate and merciful. Love is what our Father is, and if we’re His children, we should be loving as our Father.