Saturday, January 31, 2015

Romans 13:8-10

Romans 13:8–10
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Having dealt with our responsibilities towards the state, the Apostle Paul now addresses our responsibility towards each other. To begin Paul says, "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law." Vs. 8
Now the first part of this exhortation is not a prohibition against having credit cards or financing cars and homes through mortgages and loans etc. It is the abuse of credit, of being in a state of continual debt towards creditors or others. Thus believers should not put themselves into financial servitude to banks and credit cards or anyone else by needlessly purchasing an acquiring that which they cannot reasonably expect to repay, in a reasonable amount of time. And so the exhortation here is basically live within your means, and don't sink yourself into needless debt, and thus servitude to it, or others (consider Prov. 22:7). Equally then on an interpersonal level believers should not become financially indebted to each other, since this only puts needless tension and strain on one's relationships within the household of faith. Thus if you've borrowed something repay it, or return it. Or if you have hired or contracted another believer for some service or work then pay them a market fair wage for the work and services being rendered. For walking in love towards each other means doing justly towards each other and meeting legitimate needs that we can meet, when they need to be met (Micah 6:8; 1 Tim 6:17-19; 1 John 3:17). Not taking advantage of each other, or defrauding each other. Because as believers in, and followers of the the Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to love, (literally to continually owe each other this, and to be "indebted" to each other only in this). 
Love then is the fulfillment of the Law because love transcends the letter, and instead reaches to depths of the human heart and soul. For love, at it's very core desires nor harm, and does no harm. Thus when one walks in love towards one's neighbor, all the commands You shall not commit adultery, or murder, or steal, or bear false witness, or covet etc. are all fulfilled by walking in love towards your neighbor. Because if you're walking in love towards others you will not covet their property, or be envious of their success, nor will you speak ill of their person, or seek their harm. And that is what is to distinguish followers of the Lord Jesus Christ from this world, our walking in love towards each other and all (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:37-40; John 13:34-35; Col. 3:14). 

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982.

Additional Resources Consulted
Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985.

No comments:

Post a Comment