Love Fulfills the Commandments

MEMORY SELECTION: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” —Luke 10:27

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Matthew 22:34-40; Leviticus 19:33,34; Deuteronomy 6:4,5

WHEN father Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden, God implanted the divine Law in his heart; that is, in the sense that he was created in the divine image and possessed those attributes of heart and mind that were in full accord with his Creator. Later, mother Eve was created, and soon afterward our first parents disobeyed God’s instructions. As a result sin, selfishness, and the death penalty were inherited by Adam and Eve’s posterity. They lost their original relationship and favor with God.

A long time went by and then God gave the written Law to the children of Israel. The Ten Commandments represented what the Jews should know and do to demonstrate their worthiness to receive God’s blessing and to live as perfect men. None, of course, were able to keep the laws because of inherited weaknesses.

When Jesus was born he studied the Law to insure that he would keep it in every particular. He dedicated himself to that purpose and thus became the great Messiah. Our Lord was essentially the second Adam. By taking Adam’s place in death, he thereby purchased the entire human family. In due time and in accordance with the divine plan for the eventual recovery of the human race to perfection, mankind will again have the Law of God written in their hearts.

During our Lord’s ministry he was challenged many times in connection with his dedication to God. On one occasion selected scripture reading, Matt. 22:34-40) a certain scribe questioned him about the commandments and which one of them was the most important. Jesus realized the intent of the question and recalled a passage from the Hebrew scriptures that sums up all the commandments, when it says (Deut. 6:4,5): “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Jesus pointed out, therefore, that the concept of love embodied all the commandments of the Law. Love is the principal ingredient for the people of God to bear in mind.

Then Jesus further directed the scribe to the passage in Leviticus 19:33,34, where we find the second portion of the divine instructions concerning love: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” There, summed up in a few words, are the two great commandments that manifest God’s infinite mercy and compassion for the welfare of the human family. The standard of righteousness is perfect love. And as Jesus said (Matt. 22:40), “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets.”

The Law of God has been known by the children of Israel for centuries, and it has been passed on to other peoples along the way. None, however, have been able to fulfill its requirements, nor have they comprehended the deeper meaning and significance of keeping the spirit of the Law. Throughout the Gospel Age the footstep followers of Jesus have endeavored to grasp the spirit of God and of our Lord Jesus and have come to appreciate the arrangements which have been made for the whole world of mankind in the future millennial kingdom of Christ.

The Apostle Paul grasped the spirit of love. He pointed out (I Cor. 13:1-3) that if he had the ability to speak all the languages in the world, could prophesy, and have understanding of all the mysteries known to men, sold all his goods to feed the poor, and even if he were to lose his life by fire because of his faith in Christ, if he did not possess that special godlike quality of love, there would be no lasting value to his consecrated life. Then he says: “Love suffers long and is kind. Love does not envy. Love is not boastful; is not puffed up; acts not unbecomingly, seeks not that which is not her own; is not provoked to anger; does not impute evil; rejoices not with iniquity, but rejoices with the truth; covers all things; believes all things; hopes for all things; endures all things. Love fails not at any time.”—vss. 4-8, Emphatic Diaglott

Dawn Bible Students Association
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