Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Law of Christ

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”
~ Galatians 6:2

bearing_burdensWhat is the law of Christ? 

Matthew 22:36-40 relates a conversation between a Pharisee and Jesus:

““Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.””

Elsewhere, in Matthew 7:12, Jesus spoke of the heart and intent behind the law of Moses – the proverbial “Golden Rule.”

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

In Romans 13:8-10, Paul elaborates further on how Christ’s commandment to love others fulfills the law of Moses.

“Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.  For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

Returning to Galatians 5:13-15, Paul reiterates this point:

"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.  For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another."

Freedom from the law of Moses is not a license to sin, of course, but that’s a topic for another post.

The Gospel of grace is beautiful in its elegant simplicity.

Love God, love others.

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