Previously: The Sabbath, part four
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. Romans 13:8-10
Paul is telling us that the saying, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” summarizes about half of the Ten Commandments, for the commandments that he quotes are from the Ten Commandments. In essence he is saying that the Commandments define what love is and looks like for us.
This is important, because today people come up with their own definitions of “love.” The Episcopal bishop, who is a homo[s-x]ual and lives with his partner, is making it his mission in life to get the Church to see that homo[s-x]ual “love” is included in the definition of love. Is he right? If he is right, then the word of God contradicts itself by saying that homo[s-x]uals will not inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore, we know that the Episcopalian bishop cannot be right in his 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. 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 has defined love for us. When Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor, He wasn’t giving a new commandment outside of the Ten Commandments. As Paul mentions in Romans, He was merely summarizing the Ten Commandments.
1. Have no other gods before God;
2. You shall not make idols to worship;
3. You shall not take the name of YHVH in vain;
4. You shall honor the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
These four commandments define for us what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
5. Honor your father and mother;
6. You shall not murder;
7. You shall not commit adultery;
8. You shall not steal;
9. You shall not bear false witness;
10. You shall not covet.
These six commandments define for us what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves.
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 Jewish 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.
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.
The last part of the assumption that we have been examining: “Following commandments as obligations has been done away with by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the “law” that we obey today is the law of love. How we are to live proceeds from our hearts now, and does not require us to adhere to a written code;” is that how we are to live proceeds from our hearts and does not require us to adhere to a written code, and we will look at it next time.
To be continued …
Update: continued in The Sabbath, part six