A Good Four Letter Word

9The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,”[1] and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[2] 10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

These verses have always fascinated me. Often for different reasons. But one thing that really stuck out to me recently is how Christ made stuff simple. He summed up the entire OT law into 3 short sentences “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[2] 10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” This shows me a few things.

1.) When Christ taught things he didn’t use what I like to call “Christianese” language only Christian people can understand. He didn’t use large formulas, complex problems. He brought it down to the bare bones. Which leads me to believe he knew the scripture intimately. Of course that is a given, because he was God, but thats besides the point. It also showed me how lame I am when it comes to knowing the scripture intimately. I don’t use this idea to beat myself up, rather I use it to encourage bettering my faith. Have you ever noticed the better you get at something, the easier it is to explain it to someone else? Thats what is happening here. He knew the scriptures so closely that he was able to turn almost 400 laws, into 3 sentences. WOW, he is so freakin rad.

Joshua 1:8 says “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”.

How are you at doing that? I am lame. Working on it though!

2.) Now to the question, how do these 3 lines cover all the law of the OT. Well I will just use the ones that it mentions in the verse do not “commit adultery, murder, steal, covet” etc etc. My question is this, if you are truly seeking to live a life of love, would any of these be on your mind. Would you think “I sure do love that person over there, I think I will go steal something from them.” Of course not, that would be absurd. Ok here is a more challenging one. Adultery, ok now most people might be saying hey im waiting until I am married, rad, good for you. But remember, Christ said even to have lustful thoughts was like committing adultery in your heart, OH SNAP GUILTY AS CHARGED!!! Now if I truly looked at every girl as a sister and loved them with the love of Christ would it ever cross my mind to committ adultery (in my mind or otherwise) of course not. Those are only 2 examples of how love fulfills the law. I am sure you can find tons more.

As you can tell from the phrase “love is the fulfillment of the law” Love is a key element to a Christians life. Love is a fruit that should automatically come about as we grow closer and closer to our Lord. So next time you are in a long checkout line, or at the DMV, or being harassed by an annoying customer and you want to just snap. Imagine you were that customer. Would you want this person to be mean, and belittle you? Maybe you are just having a bad day, be an example of Christ to them. Show them curtosy, love and respect, ask them if they need prayer (that will really catch them off guard.) we need to be willing to step out like that.

just love people as Christ loved us, it is so huge.

Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.
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Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.