Love Cancels Out The Law? Huh?


#1

Could someone clarify Romans 13:8 Love Fulfills the Law.
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

I just heard the most confusing interpretation of the above Scripture:

I was told that if you have truly loved then the law has been fulfilled. Which basically means that love cancels out the law. Right after theres a whole list like adultery, murder, stealing, etc, but love cancels it all out.

Huh??? What? I thought sin separates us from God and that God cannot be near any sin so why would it be ok if I sin? If I love God then I do not want to offend Him and I have a deep hatred for sin.

Do they mean that I should understand that if I do sin, then its ok don't worry, Jesus still loves you, repent and restore your relationship with God and try really hard not to sin? I was thinking they were confused regarding the Law (the 10 commandments) and the Law (Torah 616 extra pharisee laws). Because if your explaining this to someone, this is very misleading that the 10 commandments don't matter anymore. And if thats the case, well no wonder this world is in the state its in!


#2

[quote="peace2u2, post:1, topic:330379"]
Could someone clarify Romans 13:8 Love Fulfills the Law.
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

I just heard the most confusing interpretation of the above Scripture:

I was told that if you have truly loved then the law has been fulfilled. Which basically means that love cancels out the law. Right after theres a whole list like adultery, murder, stealing, etc, but love cancels it all out.

Huh??? What? I thought sin separates us from God and that God cannot be near any sin so why would it be ok if I sin? If I love God then I do not want to offend Him and I have a deep hatred for sin.

Do they mean that I should understand that if I do sin, then its ok don't worry, Jesus still loves you, repent and restore your relationship with God and try really hard not to sin? I was thinking they were confused regarding the Law (the 10 commandments) and the Law (Torah 616 extra pharisee laws). Because if your explaining this to someone, this is very misleading that the 10 commandments don't matter anymore. And if thats the case, well no wonder this world is in the state its in!

[/quote]

D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 8-9. But that you love one another. This is a debt, says St. Chrysostom, which we are always to be paying, and yet always remains, and is to be paid again. --- He that loveth his neighbour, hath fulfilled the law. Nay, he that loves his neighbour, as he ought, loves him for God's sake, and so complies with the other great precept of loving God: and upon these two precepts (as Christ himself taught us, Matthew xxii. 40.) depends the whole law and the prophets. (Witham)


#3

[quote="thistle, post:2, topic:330379"]
D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 8-9. But that you love one another. This is a debt, says St. Chrysostom, which we are always to be paying, and yet always remains, and is to be paid again. --- He that loveth his neighbour, hath fulfilled the law. Nay, he that loves his neighbour, as he ought, loves him for God's sake, and so complies with the other great precept of loving God: and upon these two precepts (as Christ himself taught us, Matthew xxii. 40.) depends the whole law and the prophets. (Witham)

[/quote]

I'm still confused... I'm interpreting it that then its ok to break the law!


#4

No you are reading it the wrong way. First realize that God's and the bible's definition of love is not the definition that the world gives to love. What this means is that when you love exactly the way the bible tells you you fulfill the law. It is not saying that it is ok to break the law because if you really love then you are not breaking the law. Take at Francis of assissi for example he loved the way the bible tells us and he fulfilled the law. He never broke the law because if you break the law then you are loving the work way which is not love. Does that makes it clearer for you?


#5

Hey peace2u2, I don't see how fulfilling the law cancels out the law. How does it logically follow that if you fulfill something you cancel it out? If love fulfills the law, why should that mean the law is cancelled out? Check out what Jesus says--

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the great and first commandment.
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." (Mat. 22:34-40).

Basically, you know that someone loves God and others if he keeps the law. When he breaks the law, he is not loving. The Law depends on love in the sense that when you fail to love you break the law and when you break the law you are failing to love. Love does NOT cancel out the law.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mat. 5:17-20).

The fact that Jesus fulfilled the law does not mean that we can forego the law entirely. He says "I came to fulfill the law" and then cautions against breaking the law. So, fulfilling the law does not mean that the law is cancelled.


#6

Hillel the Elder, Jewish sage and scholar a near contemporary of Jesus put it this way -

"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."


#7

This is the way I've always thought of it. Love fulfills the law because because it encompasses everything in the law. (Love being "agape" here, the highest and most perfect love. Divine love or "gift-love" as CS Lewis calls it. Love that gives without anything in return)

If we have love, real love, then we won't commit adultery, we won't commit murder, we wouldn't steal anything from our neighbor. We would worship God above all else, we wouldn't misuse His name. We would follow Him perfectly. Love fulfills the law because ultimately that's what the law is all about, love! It shows us what we do and don't do if we have real love.

That's what St. Paul was getting at. Not that if we love we can break the law, and everything's perfectly fine, but that if we love, we WOULDN'T break the law. Because that's what the law is all about, love. That's what it points to.

Does that make sense?


#8

[quote="peace2u2, post:1, topic:330379"]
Could someone clarify Romans 13:8 Love Fulfills the Law.
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

I just heard the most confusing interpretation of the above Scripture:

I was told that if you have truly loved then the law has been fulfilled. Which basically means that love cancels out the law. Right after theres a whole list like adultery, murder, stealing, etc, but love cancels it all out.

Huh??? What? I thought sin separates us from God and that God cannot be near any sin so why would it be ok if I sin? If I love God then I do not want to offend Him and I have a deep hatred for sin.

Do they mean that I should understand that if I do sin, then its ok don't worry, Jesus still loves you, repent and restore your relationship with God and try really hard not to sin? I was thinking they were confused regarding the Law (the 10 commandments) and the Law (Torah 616 extra pharisee laws). Because if your explaining this to someone, this is very misleading that the 10 commandments don't matter anymore. And if thats the case, well no wonder this world is in the state its in!

[/quote]

I think the question is how much do we really love G-d and each other if we do not obey the Law? In Judaism the Law is more than the Ten Commandments, but let's just stay with that. If we do not follow the Ten Commandments, there is hardly any love in what we do; thus it is not a case of love cancelling the Law, but rather the fact that without the Law, there is no real love and, at the same time, without love, the Law is not properly fulfilled.

On a more technical note, Hillel the Elder and then Jesus both said that the Torah (Written Law) is in essence teaching us to love G-d and love our neighbor: all the rest (the details regarding how to do so) is commentary.


#9

What does it mean to "cancel out" the law?

Since the laws and commandments are aligned with love of God and neighbor, to me love "cancels out" only in the sense that to truly love God and neighbor is aligned with the law (perhaps even beyond its letters). If I do not love God and neighbor, then there is no love and the law is not "cancelled". If I love as God commands us, then I also fulfill the law and perhaps do more things that the law does not mention which are still in sync with the will of the Father. Since love is bigger than the law--in fact, it can be summarized in the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." then I obey God already and it can argued that law is replaced by love as a guide---BUT in love I still could not fall into disobeying the law.


#10

yes, all of the posts were very helpful. Thanks, I understand it better now. It would have helped if the person had explained it the way that you all did!

Thanks,
Peace


#11

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