For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. : In an effort to keep the Law, which no one has ever done, save One (Matt. 5:17-20), these Galatians were, under the bewitching influence of the Judaizers, “observing days, and months, and times, and years” (4:10) in an attempt to remain saved and be sanctified by human effort – as the vast majority do in our time. “Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (3:3). It is an exercise in futility to try to be justified before God by our own works, “filthy rags”, what the Apostle is, in effect, saying. “Yet, show I unto you a more excellent way” (I Cor. 12:31): “Love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law” (Rom. 13:9b-10) – something the modern church is sorely lacking. Our Lord Jesus expressed it this way in a statement familiar to all: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12 – what is commonly labeled the “Golden Rule”). The entire Old Covenant is not just a book of rules and regulations to govern human behavior alone. It is a command to treat others as you would want to be treated. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh: but nourisheth and cherisheth it…” (Eph. 5:29a). Do the same to your neighbor! The question is then raised by one who would try to justify his evil behavior, “And who is my neighbor” (Lk. 10:29b)? What follows is the parable of the Good Samaritan. Our “neighbor” is anyone of any background who has a genuine need. Do you really want to be obedient to the Law of God (but certainly not to gain self–righteousness)? Serve one another in love!! It is the type of love, also rendered “charity” that cannot be generated apart from the Triune God. There are absolutely no conditions attached – no expectation of anything in return. Only a true Christian will have this ability within to be exercised by faith without. This simple truth has taken years for Carl to understand – and he still continues to struggle. If you are born again from above, there exists an inseparable spiritual union (Rom. 8:38-39) because God is a Spirit and we worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:24). Christ lives in you and you live in Him (2:20) in an eternal love union. Whether you feel the love of God or not, or whether you say you love God at any particular time or not, or you may be angry with Him because of unanswered prayer, or not receiving something according to your will, because of the Triune nature of God, with each Person fulfilling his role to perfection, from His vantage point you do love Him at all times with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and you do love your neighbor as yourself in your inner man, your spirit. Being in Christ, the “righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh [like a nonbeliever], but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4). It is only our Lord Jesus Christ who, from conception to ascension flawlessly and totally fulfilled the Law. We are unwilling and thus incapable of doing this. All we can do is to render obedience and thanksgiving. This is a statement of truth made obscure in the “modern church” and was for years a major stumbling block for Carl.
Copyright © September, 2016, All Rights Reserved – Including “Broken Cross” image with verse.
(Note: Don’t let our “Broken Cross” image fool you into thinking this particular cross is pagan in its origin. Actually, designed by the authors, it is intended to depict what legalism and lies has attempted to do to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike other “crosses” you may see which carry a negative connotation, ours is a sign of victory for those “in Christ”.)