Amazing Agape Love: Romans 13:8-10
“8) Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9) 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.” 10) Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans‬ ‭13:8-10‬
Paul now makes the case that love is the fulfillment of the law. Jesus introduced this idea in the four gospels related to the Old Testament Law, but in this context Paul expands it to civil law. True agape love will do no ill will toward others.
Verse 10 is the summary of this principle; “Love does no wrong to a neighbor, love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.” It is much easier to live by love than it is to be legalistic and try to keep the full Old Testament law code in mind. And I might add, you will be much happier and easier to be around.
One way to look at this is to understand that the Law is an outgrowth of the character and nature of God. The Holy Spirit shares the holiness of God. 1 John 4:8 & 16 both say that “God is love.”
When the Holy Spirit indwells the new believer at the moment of salvation, He brings the character and nature of God with Him. That includes Agape love and the full range of the fruit of the Spirit. (See Galatians 5:16-24)
We now have a reference back to Romans 5:5. The Holy Spirit pours out this love in the heart of the new believer. As Christians learn to walk in this love, it becomes a shield about them from wrong and fleshly behavior. In other words, agape love will keep you out of all kinds of trouble and place you in the center of Gods will.
Sometimes it’s easier to live and get along in the world than in the church. True agape love makes the believer shine as a light in the darkness of the world. This opens the door for manifold ministry opportunity if you are alert to the people around you.
But 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 makes the case that living by agape love is also the key to a thriving church community. Your interaction with all people, both Christian and non-Christian should be anchored in agape love. The gospel is most convincing when surrounded by genuine agape love.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global