OWE NOTHING

Rom.13:8 – Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

We can do nothing to make ourselves right with God. Right standing with the Lord comes only by grace through faith. Paul preached that relentlessly through the first eleven chapters of Romans. He then turned to the results, or fruit of faith in our lives. He taught that we are to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”. Christ on us and in us will live a different kind of life than we ever could imagine in our past life. This verse is how Paul described this life, we are to be dominated by the love of God. So in that sense we are in debt, we are indebted to walk in love the rest of our lives. This love of God working through us keeps us free from sin. Here is how Barclay describes it.

“He (Paul) goes on to speak of the one debt that a man must pay every day, and yet, at the same time, must go on owing every day, the debt to love each other. Origen said: “The debt of love remains with us permanently and never leaves us; this is a debt which we both discharge every day and for ever owe.” It is Paul’s claim that if a man honestly seeks to discharge this debt of love, he will automatically keep all the commandments. He will not commit adultery, for when two people allow their physical passions to sweep them away, the reason is, not that they love each other too much, but that they love each other too little; in real love there is at once respect and restraint which saves from sin. He will not kill, for love never seeks to destroy, but always to build up; it is always kind and will ever seek to destroy an enemy not by killing him, but by seeking to make him a friend. He will never steal, for love is always more concerned with giving than with getting. He will not covet, for covetousness is the uncontrolled desire for the forbidden thing, and love cleanses the heart, until that desire is gone.

There is a famous saying, “Love God–and do what you like.” If love is the mainspring of a man’s heart, if his whole life is dominated by love for God and love for his fellow men, he needs no other law.”

Being consumed by God’s love for us displayed in Christ and poured out through the Holy Spirit will constrain our life and behavior the rest of our days. So I don’t have to obey God’s law to please Him, I walk in the law of love that fulfills the law of God.

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