Love is the Fulfilling of the Law
The following is an excerpt from the first Where True Love Is devotional.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10 ESV)
For all his tendency toward legalism, Paul certainly got this right.
It’s a passage which hardly warrants any additional commentary. You could simply read this three times, spend a few minutes in contemplation, and be done.
Love is the fulfilling of the law. Such simple words, and yet if you raise them to a non-affirming Christian you will get all sorts of pushback about what it means. For example, you’ll hear that love means not leaving a friend in sin.
But how is it loving, under any circumstances, to tell someone they shouldn’t be who they were born to be? How loving is it to tell a desperately lonely woman who is in fear of hell that she should remain alone forever rather than marry the woman who has brought wholeness to her being for the first time in her life? How is it loving to tell a teenager they can’t perform gender in the way that is natural to them because their external sex characteristics don’t match that gender?
Many Bible passages indicate slavery is socially acceptable. Would it be loving to tell a person held in slavery that God desires their suffering rather than their freedom? That’s what fundamentalist-leaning Christians do to their LGBTQI+ brothers and sisters when they tell them to deny who God created them to be. And it is wrong.
Paul reiterates Jesus’ commandments to love one another. So go out and live the golden rule, and by doing so, fulfill the law. Treat your LGBTQI+ neighbors and family members the way you want to be treated.
What religion do I preach? The religion of love. The law of kindness brought to light by the gospel. What is this good for? To make all who receive it enjoy God and themselves, to make them like God, lovers of all, contented in their lives, and crying out at their death, in calm assurance, “O grave where is thy victory! Thanks be to God, who giveth me victory, through my Lord Jesus Christ.” John Wesley