For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Thoughts for Today:Although the Old Testament Law is full of commands and prohibitions, many people never look beyond the outward rules to understand its purpose. The focus would seem to be upon our individual actions, but the true target is something different. The Law strikes at the core reason for all of our problems -- humanity's nature. By addressing our actions it reveals the sinfulness and complete helplessness of this nature. Yet, the Law is also powerless to change or enable us to overcome sin. It only points out our weaknesses, failures and susceptibility despite our best efforts. And by doing so, it allows sin to gain an even tighter grip upon us. (Romans 7:18: "For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.")
Conversely, love does what the Old Testament Law could never do. God's love (which we are to reflect) is self-sacrificing. It is the exact opposite of the sinful nature's orientation. When we walk in the one command to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” we reject the urge of self-centeredness and self-interest. As a result, we naturally fulfill the holy commands of the Law.
How does this work? If we love others more than ourselves, then we won't steal from them; we won't hurt (or murder) those we love; and if we truly love our spouses, we won't commit sexual sins. Since we know all sin is selfish, the correct antidote for sin is selflessly loving others as much or even more than ourselves.
Questions to Ponder:Could the Old Testament Law really be as simple as "love"? Try it out. Do you have any problems with sin? Replace the attitude with one of loving others more than yourself. How does this change your desire to sin?