Previously: sabbath, a perpetual commandment
So far we have seen that the testimony of the four witnesses (Moses, the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles) is that the written commandments have not passed away. But is not the only law that we obey today the law of love?
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.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Rom 13:8-10
Paul is telling us that the saying, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” summarizes the Ten Commandments, half of the commandments in fact, for the commandments that he quotes are from the Ten Commandments. In essence he is saying that the Commandments define what loving our neighbor looks like for us.
This is important, because today people come up with their own definitions of “love.” The churches who are ordaining homo[s-x]ual clergy argue that homo[s-x]ual “love” is included in the definition of love. Is that right? If that is right, then the word of God contradicts itself by saying that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore, we know that those churches cannot be right in their definition of “love.” How does Paul know that homo[s-x]ual “love” does not come under the definition of love? He got that idea from the Torah, the five books of Moses.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Pro 14:12). We cannot be trusted to come up with our own definitions of right and wrong, love and hate; it will not be true. But God who is Love has defined love for us. When Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor (Mat 22:37-40), He wasn’t giving a new commandment outside of the Ten Commandments. As Paul instructs us in Romans, He was merely summarizing the Ten Commandments.
The Law of Love:
|Love God||Love your Neighbor|
|1. Have no other gods before God;||6. You shall not murder;|
|2. You shall not make idols to worship;||7. You shall not commit adultery;|
|3. You shall not profane the name of YHVH;||8. You shall not steal;|
|4. You shall honor the Sabbath day to keep it holy;||9. You shall not bear false witness;|
|5. Honor your father and mother;||10. You shall not covet.|
The first column defines for us what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second column defines for us what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves.
How does honoring the Sabbath day show love to God? My guess is, it is an act of faith … because He asked it of us, we obey Him without understanding how it shows Him love, since He told us that the one who loves Him, obeys Him (Joh 14:15, 1 Tim 1:5, 1 Joh 2:3-6). How does honoring parents show love to God? My guess is, the authority they have has been given to them by God … and so to honor them, is to honor Him.
So yes, we are to obey the law of love today, but how do we know what love is? The Ten Commandments tell us. The rabbis even say that the entire Law, 613 commandments, are summarized by the Ten; and a study of the books of Moses will confirm that this is so. This is why Jesus can say that on the two greatest commandments all the Law hangs (Mat 22:40).
Therefore the Ten Commandments are our guide, so that we may be sure we are truly walking in love and not in some man- made idea that is not love in God’s sight.
Continued: sabbath a gift of grace