Unlimited: Summed Up in One Command
Sep 11, 2023 121
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Romans 13:9).
Why did Paul teach that the law is summed up by the command to love? Both Jesus and Paul taught that the law is spiritual (Matt 5:21-48; Rom 7:14), and is not to be kept according to the letter, but according to the spirit (2 Cor 3:6).
Jesus taught that the law is broken through our very intentions and thoughts, before they are even turned into actions. Jesus also taught that the law is kept, not by the detailed observances and avoidance of specifics, but by the way that we love.
The law is summed up by the command to love.
That is what the Parable of the Good Samaritan was all about (Luke 10:25-37). In this parable, the Levite and the priest who walked past the injured man, no matter how careful may have been their external observances of the law, were clearly condemned. However, the Samaritan, who was wicked in the eyes of men, was approved by God because he loved his neighbour.
Jesus and Paul aren’t saying that there is no longer any law, but instead that the underlying principle of everything that God asks us to do is the great principle of love. To keep any law without loving others first is to achieve nothing. To love others, even without an understanding of the law, is to have fully achieved its purpose.
Read the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25–37. What lesson does the Spirit of God have for you this morning?