Fulfilling the Law Rom.13:8-13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Love is fulfilling the law [Rom 13:10]. The laws here are the ones regulated by the higher powers in Rom 13:1-8. In Matt 22:36-39 Jesus dealt with the two greatest commandments – love God and love your neighbor [Deut 6:4-5; Lev 19:18]. These commandments listed in Rom 13:9 are the ones concerning love thy neighbor. You fulfill the law by:
Limiting your obligations – Rom 13:8 – the only thing you should owe another person is love. In 13:7 we owe tribute, custom, fear and honor to whom they are due. That is we are obligated because we owe them their due. But among ourselves, we owe each other love. That’s all that should be due between us. You don’t want to hurt others so that you owe them an apology. And when others hurt you, don’t hold a grudge whereby you owe them revenge [an eye for an eye]. Your financial obligations should be limited, as well. You don’t want to be in a position where you can’t pay your debts on time [Matt 5:23-26]. To the degree possible, stay out of debt.
Loving others – Rom 13:9-10 – Paul quotes the Old Testament version of this command when dealing with its fulfillment. The degree of love in the New Testament version is even higher. Jesus said Jn 13:34. When you love others you won’t do the following against them:
- Commit adultery – this is the act and the thought [Matt 5:28]. If you truly love you won’t use them as an object to fulfill your lust.
- Kill – this is the act and the thought [1 Jn 3:15; Eph 4:26, 31]. This law concerns “murder,” [Matt 19:18] not war and self-defense.
- Steal – see Eph 4:28
- Bear false witness – or lie [Eph 4:25; Prov 6:19]
- Covet – Ex 20:17; Col 3:5 – this leads to theft or envy
Paul says it best in verse 10, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor.” Therefore, love is fulfilling the law.
Not fulfilling your lusts
Wake up – Rom 13:11 – awake to righteousness [1 Cor 15:34]. In Eph 5:8-14 you were children of darkness. Jesus, the light of the world, is coming back soon. His coming is like sunrise. Time to wake up.
Suit up – Rom 13:12 – with the armor of light. Night far spent day at hand: church age is night and return of the Lord is day [1 Thes 5:2-8]. So, the whole armor of God [Eph 6:10-18] is our armor of light.
Straighten up – Rom 13:13 walk honestly as in the day [no cover of darkness, all out in the light]. Rioting 1 Pet 4:3-4 [he is a riot]; drunkenness [Eph 5:18]; chambering [fornication – this generation seeks fame, fortune, and fornication]; wantonness [sensual, self-indulging, unrestrained; lovers of pleasures]; strife [contention and discord]; envying [discontent and resentful dislike for someone who has something you want].
Rise Up – Rom 13:14 – put on Jesus [Rom 6:4-5 Eph 4:22-24]. Make not provision for the flesh [Rom 6:6] our old man is crucified with Christ [Rom 6:11-12] so reckon him dead and walk in the newness of life.