September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”—Romans 13:10 (NKJV)
If you were to form a society from scratch, if you were create a diverse community comprised of people from every environment imaginable, it would become painfully apparent within minutes that they would also need a system of governance. Without a code of ethics and conduct, human nature will kick in before you can say “sin,” leading each individual member to act in their own best interests, causing the community to crumble like a sandcastle before a tsunami.
People need to be governed by something in order to survive alongside one another. History shows us this without exception. Regardless of when and where humans have co-existed, there’s always been a system of rule to keep everyone’s heart in check.
We even see this as God formed the descendants of Abraham into the nation of Israel. The Lord miraculously frees them from their taskmasters in Egypt. Then what does He do? Does He tell them, “You’re set free now! Go live in absolute freedom however you want!” Not exactly! The dust of Egypt is barely brushed off of them before God establishes His Law to govern and guide them in their newfound identity and existence. He knew they needed the Law if they were to survive themselves!
Fast forward about 1,500 years and we see the Lord forming something new. This time, it’s not a sovereign nation but a spiritual community . . . the church, comprised of any and everyone who places their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. And just as God gave Israel His Law to preside over and protect them, He gives the church something that will enable it to not only survive but thrive . . . love!
“Love,” which in the original Greek language (agape) is the quality of love that God exercises towards us. It refers to the unconditional and selfless benevolence towards others. Once someone trusts in Christ, they not only become part of His church, but they’re also given a new spiritual nature by the Holy Spirit—a nature that has access to God and His spiritual resources. And chief among these divine resources is love (Romans 5:5).
Herein lies the genius of God! The love He provides for His church fulfills every aspect of the Law, and then some. When the love of God is motivating and guiding someone, not only do they not need to worry, but they can expect blessed outcomes. Where the Law restricted the worst from happening, love releases the best to happen. Agape love sets self-interest to the side and seeks out the opportunity to sacrificially serve the needs of others. We can rightly say that there’s never been, nor can there ever be, a greater governor than God’s love. And the quality of relationships in His church should be the best the world has ever witnessed.
As Christians, we need to be continually reminded of this because we can easily forget the great gift that God has given to us by giving us direct access to His love through His Spirit. Everything we need to thrive as a community of faith is as close as the new nature within us. The only question is whether we choose to draw upon the limitless account of divine love the Holy Spirit desires to bestow on us. Knowing this, let’s receive what He freely gives.
Pause: How is the genius of God displayed in this passage?
Practice: Think of a time you personally witnessed the power of God’s love as described here. What difference did it make? How can you do the same for someone today?
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank You for providing Your love as the basis for how Your people are to relate and interact with one another. I ask that You would continually help us to keep this truth and our access to Your love before us, and that we would more and more be known by Your love and work among us. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.