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Devotional - week of January 19, 2014


FULFILLING THE LAW

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  Matthew 5:17

These are the words of Jesus during His Sermon on the Mount. Then, in Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus says:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Paul writes in Galatians 5:14: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In Romans 13:8-9, Paul writes, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he 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 bear false witness, You shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  

It is possible, then, that when Jesus said he had come to fulfill the law, he was speaking about living a life of perfect love.

Whether that is a true statement for Jesus or not, it is true that a believer fulfills the law by living a life of continual love.

No believer should himself attempt to stir up love in his heart. We cannot do that.

Also, many believers attempt to keep the laws of the First Covenant in their own strength. Scripture shows that the result of such an approach to living the Christian life is having sins in our lives that will not go away.

By living out our union with Christ, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). He will fill us with the God-kind of love (Galatians 5:22) that will enable us to fulfill the law.