Paul in his epistle to the Romans produces a very long discourse on the son-ship of Israel, and the in-grafting of the gentiles into the spiritual family of Abraham. He discusses the Law of Moses, and human weakness. He notes that very Law which should bring life, marks our failings and sins because of our human weaknesses. He then continues with a handling of power of love. “8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 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.”10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13 NIV).”
I have previously written about the two great commandments of the Bible, to love God, and to love your neighbour. Romans reiterates this. We can spend our time jot and tittle-ing, or we can show practical concern for our fellows. I like Paul’s reassurance that “love is the fulfillment” especially when it is clear that rule keeping is not our strength. We humans only had one rule to follow in Eden, and look how that worked out. And, we didn’t stop there. 1 John 1:8 reminds us that we are sinners, and we can deceive ourselves by thinking we are better at “being good,” than we actually are. But love frees us from the checklist approach to righteousness.
We love because we are loved. And God so loved the world He sent Jesus to die for us. So what shall we do, make new checklists of practical manifestations of our ability to love? “I said a kind word, cool 1 point.” NO. We just need to let God’s natural love to flow through us. According to Cole Porter “Even over-educated fleas do it.” Let’s just love.
Ἡ φιλαδελφία μενέτω (Heb 13:1)