Romans 13:8 — Love is the Fulfillment of the Law

Romans 13:8

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Reflection:

Many who would oppose LGBT equality or homosexuality or transgender people’s rights to be full members of society have often quoted Scripture from Deuteronomy or Leviticus– basically the Law as brought to the people by Moses from Mt. Sinai. Laws that were sent to the 12 tribes of Israel to establish them as holy people worthy of sharing space with God and caring for the tabernacle which housed the Holy of Holies, the judgment seat of God Almighty among them.

These laws were established to prepare men and women as physical temples to God. Only those pure of mind, body, and spirit were intended to come close to the presence of God. Yet the Law was also established to protect Mankind from itself and to preserve the sacredness of their very being.

However, no one seemed able to live up to the high standards of these laws and restrictions. No one seemed able to properly interpret these laws and standards or apply them fairly or equally or justly.

When Jesus came into the world to deliver men and women from the bondage of sin and the weight of guilt and shame, he understood that there needed to be a fundamental change about how Mankind viewed the Law of Moses and how they were subjected to it. Jesus preached a very different message than what the Law was providing.

Where the Law condemned and punished and bound men and women to guilt, Jesus redeemed Mankind by offering himself up as an ultimate sacrifice. Knowing that Mankind could never live up to the incredible standards God held, Jesus took it upon himself to pay for the sins Mankind committed. Rather than be judged and condemned, we are redeemed and saved in the sense that while we are mindful of our sins and sinfulness, if we allow Jesus to dwell in our hearts– if we allow the spirit of forgiveness to inhabit us, we can be saved.

The Law has been fulfilled in Jesus and now a new covenant or promise or oath is offered us. We are asked to love our God and love each other as we would want to be loved– for underlying all Law, is the basic principal that love should dictate our actions and behaviors and our words and thoughts. If there is no love within us and no love from us to our fellow men and women, then how could we love God? Without love, there can only be sin.

In loving ourselves– we must love our true and honest selves. In loving God, we must love God as wholly and honestly and as sincerely as we would love ourselves. We should not be ashamed of who we are and we should be grateful for the spirits that dwell within us. We should be thankful for the gifts we have been given and all our quirkiness and personality. Appreciating who we are is a sign of love to our God who created us. And respecting and loving others who may be gay, straight, bisexual, lesbian, or transgender is a show of appreciation for our Creator. We are here– we have been created. We are valid people who answer to God. If our hearts are filled with love and forgiveness of others who might sin against us, then we can be saved.

The Law was made obsolete when LOVE became stronger than condemnation and FORGIVENESS and MERCY became stronger than punishment and shame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Rachel Conlin McLeod

Transgender activist, Christian at First Baptist Church in Willimantic, Connecticut. B.A. in History and Social Sciences, B.A. in Sociology Freelance writer, tutor, research assistant Loves hockey, ballet, women's gymnastics, and Bible studies.
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