So my question is: How do we fulfill the requirement of the law? Contracts, though, are different from covenants, because covenants create bonds of relationship between people that are treated the same as kinship bonds, or blood times. Love, then, is not about an emotional disposition; it is about acting in a certain way toward others—a way that is consistent with the commandments laid out in the Law. Love is what initiated God's redemption plan for us. But I don’t think that is the point of verse 4. It is translated variously as “lovingkindness,” “mercy,” and “covenant faithfulness.” If the vassal obeyed the commands outlined in the covenant, then that vassal was showing hesed, or loving, the suzerain. James 1:25: “But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”. Christ does not cast off the Law … Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." The law of liberty is the leading of the Spirit, and “where the Spirit is there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. For example, when my foster son becomes my adopted son, he will have the exact same inheritance rights as his brothers, and I will be fully responsible for him in the exact same way as I am responsible for my biological sons. 1 Corinthians 9:21: “To those who are without law, [I became] as without law, though not being without the law of God but [in, not under] the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.”, Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”. 13:7-8). We sign a contract to buy a house, to play for a baseball team, or to pay a cell phone bill. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’”, Romans 3:24–25: “Being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in his blood through faith. ), “In the Image of God He Made Them”: How Genesis 1:27 Challenges Sexual Abuse and Misogyny in the Church. And then he focuses specifically on our walking, that is, our living, as the way the fulfillment will happen: “that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk . Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. We pursue love as “the law of Christ” by looking to Christ as our all-sufficient righteousness, our all-satisfying Treasure, our all-providing Protection and Helper, and our all-wise counselor and guide. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Romans 3:31; Romans 2:13. The acceptability of my life to all eternity will always depend on the perfection of Jesus offered in my place. Second, in the broader sense of the whole Pentateuch or the whole Old Testament, we may think of the law not merely as making demands, but as also providing a way for sinners to be justified by faith apart from works, and to please him by walking in love (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6). The Bible instructs believers to examine themselves, but does it tell us to what extent or how often we should question our salvation? And my imperfection is a pointer to his perfection, and that pointing is the aim of the law. and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.”. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. What does Paul mean in verse 4 when he says that the aim of Christ’s death is “that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”? For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. (Rom.13) Of course, this is referring to the second division of the Law -love for your fellow man and does not nullify Jesus’ teaching of the first part that the first Commandment to love the Lord is the greatest of them all. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”, 2 Corinthians 3:17–18: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. In the modern West we are accustomed to contracts, not covenants. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[ a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[ b] 10 Love does no harm to a … Romans 13:10, ESV: 'Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.' First, my imperfect love is, nevertheless, real God-dependent, Spirit-enabled, Christ-exalting love that is based on my justification and not a means to it. . For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Fulfilling the law as per Matthew 5:17 does not mean to abolish. And therefore it is the new direction that the law was aiming at and what the new covenant promised. For love is the great healer, and you can be great healers when you have great love. The Greek word for “fulfil” used in verse 17 means to make full or to give full meaning. When we are obedient to the Holy Spirit, we manifest God’s love and exhibit righteousness, which fulfills the law (Romans 13:8-10). But our walk by the Spirit begins now and so does our fulfillment of the law. Romans 8:30: “These whom he predestined, he also called; and these whom he called, he also justified; and these whom he justified, he also glorified. Very simple, really. And the reason I don’t is that it won’t fit the wording of the text. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. The law of Christ is not a new list of behaviors without but a new Treasure and Master within. The Day Is Near 11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Download. Second, when the fulfilling of the Law is called “the law of Christ,” it means that our pursuit of love is guided and enabled by the life, word, and Spirit of Jesus Christ. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.”, Romans 5:19: “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one the many will be made righteous.”. And specifically, how can any of my “walking” by the Spirit — which is always imperfect in this life — be said to fulfill God’s law which is holy and just and good. His was perfect. But that’s not the point here. Galatians 5:13-18 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. What I would like to do is answer this question with a far-reaching summary of the relationship of the Christian to the Law in twelve theses so that we can clarify our overall position and then move ahead into Romans 8 without having to rebuild these things over and over. One last thing I draw your attention to, and you’ll see it in verse 10. .’ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”, Galatians 3:5: “So then, does he who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”, Galatians 5:6: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”, 1 Timothy 1:5: “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”, Romans 7:15: “I do not understand my own actions. And these commandments are simply examples of what it looks like, in day-to-day life and in various circumstances, to love God and love each other. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.”, Romans 3:28: “We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”, Romans 4:4–5: “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. Romans 3:19–22: “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. He is author of. Different motivation Romans 13:10, KJV: 'Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.' But one cannot love without the law being fulfilled in them. Galations 5:14: For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In both places, the idea is the opposite of “getting rid of the law”—it really means to accomplish God’s goal, to obey his will in the best possible way. They have no healing properties. He did give us a “new commandment” (“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another,” John 13:34). God’s laws show us how to love Him and how to love others. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. That is, we will be in covenant with each other. A person can keep the law without loving. Love does not hurt the person you love ("tough love" is horseshit). As we talk about the Law and how Jesus fulfills it’s crucial to understand how it relates to us as Christians today. Love, then, is not about an emotional disposition; it is about acting in a certain way toward others—a way that is consistent with the commandments laid out in the Law. Question: "What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the law, but did not abolish it?" According to "the love chapter," agape "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. But the difference between the law and love is that love works from the inside and the law works from the outside. . For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal. Love in this context has nothing to do with an emotional response toward another person, such as being love or simply really liking someone. Love Fulfills the Law - Love Fulfills the Law Verse - Love Fulfills the Law Truth - Love fulfills the Law study on Love fulfills the Law quote, Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law meaning, Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law explained, Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law summary, Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law message and how the Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law message affects your Christian walk. ), Matthew 7:12: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”, Matthew 22:37–40: “And he said to him, ‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. The aim of the law will be fulfilled more and more in your life. It is self-sacrificing, deliberate, active love. Be on a treasure hunt to satisfy your soul more and more in him. That is true, I would say, from Romans 5:19. Just before that he gives a few examples from the book of Exodus: don’t steal, don’t murder, and “whatever other command there may be.” Jesus said something similar when he was asked what the greatest commandment was: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. Make it your aim in all your use of the Scriptures to see and savor more of Christ. We don’t look alike and we share no DNA, but he will be forever my son and I his father. is a question that one cannot avoid if one reads the entire Bible thoroughly, because in the Bible we find not only different forms and degrees of the law, but also many differences in how the law is applied and understood. 2 Corinthians 5:21: “He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”, Romans 3:20–22: “By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. He spoke personally to me. The question today is very practical and tremendously important. Love, which is in a believer’s heart, by faith, fulfills God’s law. The principle here stated is beautifully worked out in 1Corinthians 13:4-7. that are not always in chronological order? Since when does God’s holy law and divine standard say, “Pretty good will do”? 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. In other words, the only law-keeping I depend on as the ground of my justification is Jesus’s law-keeping. Love, then, fulfills the covenant obligations that God has given his children, or as Paul and Jesus said it, “the Law.”. . Answer: Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I heard his very words. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” (Compare Romans 7:4, 6. A Call to Fulfill the Law Through Love. Love Fulfills the Law … 9 The commandments “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and any other commandments, are summed up in this one decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to its neighbor. 5&6 these commandments are either obeyed out of the motivations of our hearts or they are not obeyed at all. They express His way of life, which is a way of love. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. What Does It Mean to Fulfill the Law in Romans 8:3-4, John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. I review the book here. In the Old Testament book of Exodus, God established a covenant relationship with Israel. He is saying that love fulfills the law. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”. In him, we are perfect with his perfection and in him we are pardoned by his blood. (Romans 13:8-10) According to Matt. Galatians 3:21–25: “If a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. When Jesus was baptized, he went under the water for us — so that he might represent us, and so that we might be with him forever. . PDF. The Essence of the Law. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! The Apostle Paul sums this up as neatly as any of them, in Romans 13:8-10: Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the Law. So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”, Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”. This timeline may help sort through the Persian rulers, Jewish leaders, and events in…. Instead, we pursue it by the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2). Philippians 1:6: “For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”, Hebrews 12:22–23: “But you have come to Mount Zion . Other early Christians got the message. Who will set me free from the body of this death? Love Is The Fulfillment of the Law November 5, 2016 John (HFJ Director) Leave a comment Many Christians understand the foundational principle that we are to love one another. The question we have to answer if we want to understand and apply what Paul and Jesus are saying is, “What does it mean to love?” Paul gives a hint when he supplies examples of love: love is not doing harmful things to another person. In short, love as the fruit of faith, which exalts Christ, is what the law was aiming at. “To fulfill” is not to dissolve the authority and application of the old covenant revelation; rather, “to fulfill” means to fill up the Law’s intent and show the goal to which it leads. If you have your Bibles I'd invite you to turn with me to Romans chapter 13. Or, in other words, love is the fulfillment of the Law. This covenant God established is modeled on a type of covenant in that time and culture called the suzerain-vassal covenant. Love that fulfills the law is agape love. That’s the key term that described the relationship between the suzerain and the vassal. First, when the fulfilling of the Law it is called the “law of liberty” it means that as Christians we pursue love in liberty from law-keeping as the ground of our justification or the power of our sanctification. The God who keeps watch over the nations, this God still speaks today. But to the one who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”, Romans 8:4: “So that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”, Galatians 5:22: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”, Galatians 5:13–16: “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Love Is the Fulfillment of the Law (What’s that mean, anyway? And so I will never have a whole life of perfection to offer God — not to all eternity. In both cases people who are not related to each other by blood become related to each other by law, and it is as if the people in the covenant together are related by blood. 17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Love Is the Fulfillment of the Law - Towards an Understanding of Pauls Use of Torah for His Paraklesis: A Study on Romans 13:8-10. We’re on a mission to change that. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”. Three times in this text Paul says, more or less, that loving your neighbor as you love yourself fulfills the law. Love Is the Fulfillment of the Law - Towards an Understanding of Pauls Use of Torah for His Paraklesis: A Study on Romans 13:8-10. Author, editor, and lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew at Ohio Theological Institute. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.' 5:14) If Paul is using first idiomatic sense of “fulfill the Torah” (discussed in part 1), he is saying that love is the supreme interpretation of the Torah–the ultimate summation of everything that God has taught in the Scriptures. There's nothing tricky in here. Philippians 3:8–9: “More than that, I count all things to be loss . (10) Fulfilling of the law. In such a covenant, or treaty, a greater party (God, in this case) created a relationship with a lesser party (the people of Israel) that made them related to each other as if by blood, even though they had no relationship to each other before then. Russ is an author, editor, teacher, lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew at Ohio Theological Institute. Now I believe that is true. If we don’t do everything we do with love, our actions have no meaning. Here, the Apostle Paul makes the bold claim that loving one’s neighbor is both a summary and fulfillment of the law when he says, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. —The form of the Greek word implies not only that love helps a man to fulfil the law, but that in the fact of the presence of love in his heart the law is actually fulfilled. . But this standard of love is the life and power of a person who indwells us by his Spirit. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because in the forbearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed.”, Romans 5:19: “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Romans 13:10, NIV: 'Love does no harm to a neighbor. Charity never faileth" (1 Cor. Galatians 5:13-18 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Both Jesus and Paul are drawing on a common Old Testament way of understanding the concept of love that is rooted in the idea of covenants. Galatians 5:1: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. In the end, the law is fulfilled in me imperfectly because it was fulfilled in him perfectly. In a word, hesed. These covenants include things like a statement of who the suzerain was, the responsibilities of the vassal (i.e., commandments), and blessings and curses for obedience or disobedience.[1]. (Scholars call this fictive kinship.) They have no joy. Verse 8b: “For the one who loves another has fulfilled (peplëröken) the law.” We are working our way through a marvelous section of the book of Romans in which Paul spells out the Christian way of life. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:8-10) Love is an incredible thing. And you will magnify Christ in your life until he comes to complete the work he has begun. It means exactly what it says. Benjamin Marx. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. How can the law that is NOT void be ended that we also have to establish and be doers of? And it is foundational for everything. . Verse 4 says the aim is “that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us.” It does not say that the law is to be fulfilled for us. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. This is the great and foremost commandment. Firstly, there is the most fundamental of all laws, the Ten Commandments. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”, Romans 7:19: “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”, Romans 7:23–25: “I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. First, in the narrow sense one may think of the law as commanding perfect obedience which, if we could perform it by faith, would be our righteousness and our justification. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. Love Is the Fulfillment of the Law (What’s that mean, anyway?) 19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teache… The law gives instruction in the ways that one who loves will live. The Law is valid under the New Covenant when used “lawfully” according to Paul in 1 Timothy 1:8, but it cannot be followed apart from Christ. The law proscribes harm to neighbor, love abstains from harm to neighbor, therefore love fulfills the law. How does all of this talk of suzerains and adoptions and covenants help us understand what Paul and Jesus mean when they talk about love fulfilling the law (whether love for God or love for others)? Paul the apostle tells his readers in Romans that love is the fulfillment of the law. . For this, ‘you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”, Galatians 5:13–18: “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Romans 10:4: “The goal of the law is Christ for righteousness to everyone who believes” (my translation). Third, my imperfect love is the fruit of my faith in Jesus who is my justifying perfection before God. . 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. But, because of our sin, the law does not impart life in this way (Galatians 3:21), but shuts us up to look away from law-keeping to Christ so that we might be justified by faith in him. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary according to the Spirit.”. Romans 8:3: “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh. For He who said, ‘do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘do not commit murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. [1] For a really good discussion of this, see Sandra Richter, The Epic of Eden (Downers Grove, IL: 2008). They have no promise. Wretched man that I am! . We realize that the law is part of God’s word meant for our good. In this way the Spirit of Christ will be at work to transform you into his image. Mine is imperfect. Romans 13:8–10: “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. "What is the law?" Romans 8:4 does not say that the entire fulfillment of the law happens in us now. Wherever you look in Scripture, look to Jesus. Where there is love, especially and really only God’s love, there will be, can be and is joy. This love is not based on emotions, but an act of the will. Pastor Andy Stanley recently published an article in Christianity Today called “ Jesus Ended the Old Covenant Once and for All ” which is based on the idea that to “fulfill the Law” means “to bring it to an end.” 1 An honest reader can’t avoid noticing that this interpretation seems strained. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 40:37–40 NIV). I mentioned last week that some take this to mean that Christ fulfilled the law for us when he obeyed it perfectly and died as the perfect sacrifice on our behalf. 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