Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.Romans 13:8(NASB)
The more the book of Romans unfolds, the greater our understanding of the amazing grace that God has demonstrated towards us – in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us so that we might become sons of God and joint heirs with Christ. For He Who knew no sin, was made to be sin on our behalf so that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God.
The way that God's righteousness is revealed in the lives of those who believe in Him, is through the demonstration of a transformed life. Once we are born again, we start to grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. As we increasingly consecrate our lives to Him, we start to be conformed into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus and are enabled to become effective in our Christian witness.
There are certain characteristics and identifying marks of the believer who is walking in spirit and truth, and a changed life that is exercising the gifts of the Spirit and producing the fruit of holiness, is a testimony of the inner workings of the Holy Spirit of Christ – which is transferred into the outward actions of the individual life.
There are certain principles that a spiritual believer is exhorted to put into action, and of all God's holy attributes, the one we are commanded to engage in and develop, is love – which seems to be both the guiding principle and pinnacle of the Christian life – for God is love.
Indeed, it was love for the world that caused the Father to give His only begotten Son to die as our sin-substitute on the Cross, and it was love for the Church that held Jesus to the Cross, for He loved the Church so dearly that He gave Himself for her.
Love is not only a guiding principle, but was a crucial part of the moral commands given to Israel. Jesus condensed the entire Mosaic Law into one simple instruction: "You shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbour as yourself." And He continued by commanding His disciples (and us) to love one another with that same supernatural, godly love with which He loves us.
Paul not only took pains to explain that the Law could not save us, but identified it as a simple tool used by God to identify our need of a Saviour and thus bring fallen man to faith in Christ, our 'sin-substitute'. He also taught that love is the fulfilling of the law and that we are to "owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the Law."
It is argued that if love were to become humanity's guiding principle, man could correct all the problems on earth BUT the supernatural, godly love about which Paul is speaking, is the unique, unparalleled love of Christ, which is only given to the spiritual believer through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God – and will always be beyond our comprehension.
However, to love as Christ loves is not a suggestion but a command, which is only possible as we abide in Him and He in us. If we are to fulfil the law of Christ by loving others as Christ loved us, and if we are to owe nothing to anyone except to love them – this can only be in done in the power of the indwelling Spirit.
May we grow in grace and walk in spirit and truth so that by His grace we may owe nothing to anyone EXCEPT to love one another with Christ's own perfect, supernaturally imputed love.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing book of Romans, the incredible truths it contains, and the important lessons it teaches. Give me a teachable spirit so that by Your grace I may learn to love all people with a supernatural, Christ-like love. Help me forgive those who have hurt or harmed me, and multiply Your everlasting love for others within my heart, for Your eternal praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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