Love fulfills the Law
Love fulfills the Law
We’ve been studying a great deal about law and grace, justification by faith and the gift of grace. We know that we are children of Promise, a chosen generation, free from the bonds of law, set apart to enjoy the grace we have in Christ Jesus. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1
To the people who keep stressing the need for circumcision, Paul asks or pleads rather to not miss out on grace. “…you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:4 Because we who have been born again and have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, we have the hope of righteousness by faith in us. The Spirit works in us and provides us the affirmation that we have been justified by faith.
What does this mean for a believer? Does this mean that the minute we are saved, we are boxed up and left to wait for Christ’s return? No. We still have a life on earth. Does freedom in Christ mean that we can have a life of our choice? Paul does not leave us hanging there.
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13,14
Do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh. This liberty does not buy you the ticket for sin. We do “have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” when we stumble and sin, (1 John 2:1) but that doesn’t mean we can take advantage of it at every opportunity we get. Instead, Paul calls us to exercise LOVE. The 4 letter word that is the foundation of Christianity and everything it upholds. All law is fulfilled in that single word, Love. How true! When you show love, you fulfill all law and there is no reason to sin. Any sinful thought or action can be substituted with love.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Notice the phrase “against such there is no law“. There is no law against love, none against joy or peace. No one is going to arrest you for being kind, good or gentle. What an interesting verse. So go ahead and indulge generously in these fruit of the Spirit and exercise your faith, your freedom in Christ. Against such there is no law!
There are clear marks for a person who has laid aside the works of the flesh and has decided to follow Christ. “those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:24-25 The marks of a believer are significant. The liberty in Christ provides him the freedom to employ the fruit of the spirit in his life.
Now that you have been set free from the bonds of sin and law, with the help of the Holy Spirit within you, you can utilize the works of the Spirit in you, with Love being the chief among them!
Read next post in this series: Cross is Enough