“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled 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.” (Romans 13:8–10, NASB95)
Last night as I was watching the debate between Bill Bye and Ken Ham I was struck when it came to the questions from the audience that there were several questions to which Bill Nye responded that he had no answer to which Ken Ham told Mr. Nye something to the effect of, “There is a book that answers that question.” In these verses for today when it comes to all of the evil that we can do toward one another, the Bible has one singular answer and that answer is love. It may not address all of the surrounding questions or the pressures or circumstances, but it addresses the central issue and that is how we treat others.
We have quite a list. Adultery violates the covenant agreement between a husband and wife by bringing sexual relations with a third party into the mix. This is a wrong against the spouse mixed with a wrong with another person who should not be added to the picture. Love would protect the covenant relationship with the person’s spouse and it would protect taking from another something which is not his or hers.
Murder, or outright taking someone’s life without the power of government or the consideration of protection of life, is clearly declared to be wrong in Scripture. It is a powerful and destructive act toward another. Clearly love would prevent this as we consider the value of life with which God has endowed all mankind.
The list continues. Stealing is taking something from someone else because we want it for ourselves or at least what we can get through using it to get something else. Love demands that we consider their needs as a priority. In Ephesians 4:28 we read, “He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.” (Ephesians 4:28, NASB95)
And so the list continues, even beyond what is listed here in these verses. All of them can be summed up in loving others. This is thinking and acting toward them in ways that seek their best and never taking advantage of opportunities to abusing it for our own good. The amazing thing about these verses again is that they are ‘one another’ verses which mean that as followers of Christ it is to go both ways. As we love them, they are to love us. And when this happens we all benefit and the world has an opportunity to see how the love of God for us has flowed out into our treatment of others. In this we loudly declare that our God has done a different and good work in His children and that He offers that same salvation to others.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34–35, NASB95)