A NEW COMMANDMENT
8 Owe nothing to anyone
except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled
the law. 9 For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT
MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any
other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR
NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore
love is the fulfillment of the law.
There are those who think like this: Oh, Jesus
have given us a new commandment, and it is only this that we
shall love each other. And that is true. But what makes it so wrong
for us, is that we naturally think absolutely wrong about it, if we
have not made any experiences under the Law, and has come to God as
completely lost and damned sinners. Or else we think: This
we can surely do!
We are after all caring and loving and compassionate people. Are we
not? But did you notice what was said in our passage here: Love does no
wrong. (v.10). No wrong! Completely nothing! Never! The one
who does something wrong to his fellow-being, in thoughts, words or deed,
has accordingly sinned against the love. By that you have sinned against
the commandment Jesus has given you.
Have you never gossiped about anyone? Thought anything evil about
anyone? Been envious? - If so, you have broken this commandment,
because "love does no wrong to a neighbor!" (Rom. 13:10).
Have you gotten into this commandment because you have
not seen what it in reality means. That is what it says further: -
therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law! (v.10b). The
fulfillment of the Law!
John writes something peculiar about this new commandment in his
letter: Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but
an old commandment which you have had from the beginning;
the old commandment is the word which you have heard. On the other
hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in
Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light
is already shining. (1 John 2:7-8).
It is not something new. Love has always been the fulfillment of
the Law, and that has always been the reason to why people has
never been capable to keep or fulfill the Law: We do not have this love!
How shall you reach the goal then? - When you lack the assumption.
What we people lack in our character, our personality, we just have to
live with it. I am thinking of the foundational traits you cannot get
this anywhere! A human who for example lacks conscience well,
conscience is not something you can buy anywhere. What we are, we are! -
Nothing can change that. It is this true acknowledgement the Spirit of
God drives a human being to and before a human being gets there, it
will never be able to understand and grasp Gods way or thoughts.
The Psalmist expresses it among others like this: Before I was
afflicted (humiliated) Norw. transl.) I
went astray, But now I keep Your word. And: It is good for me that I
was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. (Ps. 119:67 and 71).
This humiliation he points at was accordingly an assumption.
Without it, the other thing would not been possible. And this
humiliation is the true acknowledgement that we have pointed at, when
man realizes the truth about himself: I am lost! I lack the
actual assumption to have anything to do with God.
Therefore God could not let it depend on us, when it came to our
salvation. There was no assumption in creation itself. He had to give
birth to a completely new one, a Substitute, one who could count for
everyone else in their place. And then He let all others have the
benefit of His work.
When God now has done it, and already brought
a complete salvation for you, why do you think that it also depends
on something in you, and your contribution? Then the salvation would
not have been completed! Not until you also had added your
thing to it! How can it be that Jesus, the Son of God, He who was
sent to earth to fulfill the salvation for us, in fact shout out from
the cross for at least 2000 years ago: It is finished?
A human being who immediately thinks: Oh so good, He
does not demand anything from me, than loving others! - That human
being lacks something substantial. In the worlds point of view, there
is no lack - but now we shall see a little of how different it looks
from Gods aspect, than ours. We do say in this world that when a human
is ill, he lacks something, and when he is well,
he have. And that is right, when it comes to life here on earth,
and we so quickly transfer this into spiritual connections too. But
in the connection we now talk about, we are completely wrong when
we think we are well. - We then lack something, and that is the true
acknowledgment, because the truth is on the contrary: We are ill.
Jesus Himself says about this: It is not those who are
well who need a physician, but those who are sick. (Luke 5:31). So,
as long as one believes of oneself to be well, one do not go to the
doctor to be healed. And then one keeps on walking the same road,
and believes in Jesus as much as one self thinks one has the need
of. Therefore also this great boldness towards this new commandment:
Oh, think of that! - this is all!
But you who have seen something of what this implies
and wants to go to heaven you must listen now, about what the
Apostle says about love. - You must listen carefully, because this
is vital: In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved
us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John
It is these those who have seen this and live there
- those are the ones who have been given this new commandment
from Jesus - yes, a fulfilled commandment! You shall not pass
before God by your love, either to Him or your fellow-beings,
but by His love to you. Therefore: Love each other!
The believers are the free ones! And what
do they believe? Yes, the Gospel! - They believe that they
have received everything both to life and god fear in Him!
It says, therefore we are so guilty to love each
other. Yes, it says guilty! - But not in the sense that we
should be saved by it, or be lost if we are not doing it, but because
we have met and stand in the midst of such an incredible love, which
from second to second cleanses us from all of our sin and unrighteousness.
Are we not guilty then to love each other? For sin shall not be master
over you the Word says, and then it adds: - for you are not under
law but under grace. (Rom. 6:14). Not because we under the Law, go
in for fighting against sin, but because we under grace have been
set free from it, by Jesus Christ.
You are set free from sin, both from its fault and defects
and results! - No, not in you, but in Him. When are you going to start
believing? This you shall believe, even if you were struck down 100
times a day, you shall see some of this after a while - that He
has conquered! But just believe! - How wrong it may seem just do
not do as those we have warned you against, those who believe in themselves
and the Gospel therefore is just empty words. They have never experienced
the power in it, because only lost and helpless sinners have that:
Think about this, that God does not only receive me, but receives
me with joy again and again, despite everything in me, for
Are you that evil? - It still does not change His goodness?
Are you so full of sin? - He does not become unclean because of that?
Are you so fake? - He does not become a hypocrite by that? Are you
so untrue in all of yours? - It does not make Him a liar? - Does not
His Word stand firm despite that? The one who comes to Me I will
certainly not cast out!
To be a believing Christian, is to believe in Christ!
And forget oneself!
Holy Bible New American Standard Version
Translator: Benedicte Holtan Smart