For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5,6



Rom. 13:8-10

   8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

   There are those who think like this: Oh, Jesus have given us a new commandment, and it is only this that we shall love each other. And that is true. But what makes it so wrong for us, is that we naturally think absolutely wrong about it, if we have not made any experiences under the Law, and has come to God as completely lost and damned sinners. Or else we think: This we can surely do!
   We are after all caring and loving and compassionate people. Are we not? But did you notice what was said in our passage here: “Love does no wrong.” (v.10). No wrong! – Completely nothing! Never! The one who does something wrong to his fellow-being, in thoughts, words or deed, has accordingly sinned against the love. By that you have sinned against the commandment Jesus has given you.
   Have you never gossiped about anyone? – Thought anything evil about anyone? – Been envious? - If so, you have broken this commandment, because "love does no wrong to a neighbor!" (Rom. 13:10).

   Have you gotten into this commandment because you have not seen what it in reality means. That is what it says further: “- therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law!” (v.10b). The fulfillment of the Law!
   John writes something peculiar about this new commandment in his letter: “Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.” (1 John 2:7-8).
   It is not something new. Love has always been the fulfillment of the Law, and that has always been the reason to why people has never been capable to keep or fulfill the Law: We do not have this love!
   How shall you reach the goal then? - When you lack the assumption. What we people lack in our character, our personality, we just have to live with it. I am thinking of the foundational traits – you cannot get this anywhere! A human who for example lacks conscience – well, conscience is not something you can buy anywhere. What we are, we are! - Nothing can change that. It is this true acknowledgement the Spirit of God drives a human being to – and before a human being gets there, it will never be able to understand and grasp Gods way or thoughts.
   The Psalmist expresses it among others like this: “Before I was afflicted (humiliated) Norw. transl.) I went astray, But now I keep Your word.” And: “It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.” (Ps. 119:67 and 71).
   This humiliation he points at was accordingly an assumption. Without it, the other thing would not been possible. And this humiliation is the true acknowledgement that we have pointed at, when man realizes the truth about himself: I am lost! I lack the actual assumption to have anything to do with God.
   Therefore God could not let it depend on us, when it came to our salvation. There was no assumption in creation itself. He had to give birth to a completely new one, a Substitute, one who could count for everyone else – in their place. And then He let all others have the benefit of His work.

   When God now has done it, and already brought a complete salvation for you, why do you think that it also depends on something in you, and your contribution? Then the salvation would not have been completed! – Not until you also had added your thing to it! How can it be that Jesus, the Son of God, He who was sent to earth to fulfill the salvation for us, in fact shout out from the cross for at least 2000 years ago: “It is finished?”
   A human being who immediately thinks: Oh so good, He does not demand anything from me, than loving others! - That human being lacks something substantial. In the worlds point of view, there is no lack - but now we shall see a little of how different it looks from Gods aspect, than ours. We do say in this world that when a human is ill, he lacks something, and when he is well, he have. And that is right, when it comes to life here on earth, and we so quickly transfer this into spiritual connections too. But in the connection we now talk about, we are completely wrong when we think we are well. - We then lack something, and that is the true acknowledgment, because the truth is on the contrary: We are ill.
   Jesus Himself says about this: “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.” (Luke 5:31). So, as long as one believes of oneself to be well, one do not go to the doctor to be healed. And then one keeps on walking the same road, and believes in Jesus as much as one self thinks one has the need of. Therefore also this great boldness towards this new commandment: Oh, think of that! - this is all!
   But you who have seen something of what this implies – and wants to go to heaven – you must listen now, about what the Apostle says about love. - You must listen carefully, because this is vital: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10).
   It is these – those who have seen this and live there - those are the ones who have been given this new commandment from Jesus - yes, a fulfilled commandment! You shall not pass before God by your love, either to Him or your fellow-beings, but by His love to you. Therefore: Love each other!

   The believers are the free ones! – And what do they believe? – Yes, the Gospel! - They believe that they have received everything both to life and god fear in Him!
   It says, therefore we are so guilty to love each other. Yes, it says guilty! - But not in the sense that we should be saved by it, or be lost if we are not doing it, but because we have met and stand in the midst of such an incredible love, which from second to second cleanses us from all of our sin and unrighteousness. Are we not guilty then to love each other? “For sin shall not be master over you” the Word says, and then it adds: “- for you are not under law but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14). Not because we under the Law, go in for fighting against sin, but because we under grace have been set free from it, by Jesus Christ.
   You are set free from sin, both from its fault and defects and results! - No, not in you, but in Him. When are you going to start believing? This you shall believe, even if you were struck down 100 times a day, you shall see some of this after a while - that He has conquered! But just believe! - How wrong it may seem – just do not do as those we have warned you against, those who believe in themselves and the Gospel therefore is just empty words. They have never experienced the power in it, because only lost and helpless sinners have that: Think about this, that God does not only receive me, but receives me with joy again and again, despite everything in me, for Jesus sake
   Are you that evil? - It still does not change His goodness? Are you so full of sin? - He does not become unclean because of that? Are you so fake? - He does not become a hypocrite by that? Are you so untrue in all of yours? - It does not make Him a liar? - Does not His Word stand firm despite that? “The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out!”
   To be a believing Christian, is to believe in Christ! – And forget oneself!


Holy Bible New American Standard Version
Translator: Benedicte Holtan Smart