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The Law Of Love

Galatians 5:14-15
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (NIVUK)

Paul was writing to believers who were arguing with each other. The issue was whether or not you could be a true Christian if you did not also fulfil all the Jewish laws. The legalists were so insistent that they were right that they behaved like wild animals, biting and tearing at each other with sharp claws. Paul then drew them back to the law they were supposedly defending.
He pointed them to Leviticus 19:18 which says, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.” That law was endorsed by Jesus in Matthew 22:39. So, Paul protests, how can God’s ‘law-lovers’ hate people so much! It is an absurd contradiction. The end of that process is destruction, not building up the church.
The ‘law of love’ is a good test for devotion to God. Violent disagreement is as wrong in the church as it is in the home. Hatred should not find a home among God’s people. That does not mean that we should agree with people who teach and do what is wrong, or trust those who do not hold to the truth; but we should still love them. Jesus did that: so should we.

God of love and peace. Thank You for Your love towards me while I was a sinner and far away from You. Thank You for Your patience with me when I wander and fail to trust You. So I am sorry for the times when I have angrily attacked those who I believe are wrong, and have not loved those who have opposed me. Please help me to see that You are their Master as well, and that You will help me to honour You as I stay close to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams