Letter to Christians in Rome: Chapter 13 (pt 12 of 15)

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The third thing Paul says is that, when you love like this, you go beyond the requirements of the Law. The Law says, “Don’t injure your neighbor.” You can do what you want with your own property, but it stops at your neighbor’s line. However, you cannot do whatever you want with his property, right? If you do, you will answer to the law. Love goes a step beyond that. It doesn’t stop with the negative, “Don’t injure your neighbor”; it says, “Do good to your neighbor.” Love him, reach out to him, minister to him, help him. It is simply impossible to help your neighbor and hurt him at the same time. It is impossible to reach out to your neighbor and, at the same time, injure him.

That is why, as Paul says, love will not sleep with your neighbor’s wife or husband. Love will not murder your neighbor, or poison his dog, or throw garbage over the fence into his back yard, or do anything harmful to him. Love will not steal from your neighbor or even keep his lawn mower for more than a month. Love will not covet what your neighbor has, it won’t drool over his pool, or stew about his new Porsche. Love does not want what your neighbor has, but rejoices with him over what he has. That is love. That’s how love fulfills the Law. You don’t have to worry about keeping the Ten Commandments; all you have to worry about is acting in love, paying the debt that you owe every man, every woman, every child, every person you meet. If you pay them the debt of love you will not injure them.

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome


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