Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
— ROMANS 13:10 —
Timur R. | Russia
What is the essence of God’s law? How would you define it in one sentence? According to our verse, the essence of the law and all of its rules comes down to learning how to love God and consequently our neighbor. This is exactly the goal the Creator pursued in issuing commandments. The heart of His law is love for God and for neighbor. It’s a sad state when the heart is torn out of God’s law and only bare conformity to rules and commands remain. The essence of the law and all of its rules comes down to learning how to love God and consequently our neighbor. This was the form in which the law existed for Saul. While he knew the minutest detail of the law, studied it, and even observed it outwardly, nevertheless he did not understand its essence. Therefore he was filled with malice and hatred persecuting those whom the law prescribed to love, all the while thinking he was fulfilling it. Saul perpetrated a great evil against those who were to be loved, and he committed this evil in the name of God and His law. We, born again Christians, can find ourselves in similar situations. We can do evil to our neighbors, while forgetting what constitutes the essence of obedience to God’s law. We can also deprive the law of its genuine content by straining to observe rules based on a righteousness we ourselves have concocted. But the essence of obedience to God is the love for Him and for neighbor. The fulfillment of the law flows out of such love. How is your love for your neighbors—those closest around you? Ask God for enabling grace to love from the heart so you can fulfill His law.