THE PRIMACY OF LOVE

Scripture Reading: Romans 13:8-10

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)

Paul understood the importance of love. He wrote a definition of love in I Corinthians 13, where he concludes with these words – “So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13).

Here in Romans 13, Paul writes — “Owe no one anything, except to love each other.” When we became Christians, we were relieved of certain debts — the greatest debt being the debt we owe God for our sins. Jesus paid this debt for us when He went to the cross in our place. However, when we were forgiven, we also incurred another debt — to love one another in Christ.

The Apostle John put it this way — “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him…In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (I John 4:7-11).

Paul says that love is the fulfillment of the law. Remember what Jesus said were 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 the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Loving God, You took the initiative. It was not that I loved You, but You first loved me. Thank You for pouring out Your love on me. Enable me to fulfill my debt to love You and to love others. Thank You for the greatest expression of Your love — the sending of Your Son to be the atoning sacrifice for my sins.

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