Romans 13 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law. Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on Messiah Yeshua, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.” Romans 13:10-14
Today’s passage begins with a pretty bold statement about love and the Torah’s requirements. It echoes Yeshua’s statement.
“‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the L_rd your G_d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Torah and the Prophets.’” Matthew 22: 36-40
Remember when the Beatles sang, “All you need is love”? No doubt, many naïve followers of Messiah Yeshua tried to weave Yeshua and Paul’s statements together with those of John Lennon & Paul McCartney. While they seem to say the same thing, these statements are very different, in essence.
We use the word “love” often in our culture. We say we love our mothers, and we also love rock music. Some people say they love the person they are dating, so they sleep together. Others remain abstinent because they love the person they are dating. (They rightly know that G_d would never approve of extra marital sex.) So, the real question is: What kind of LOVE fulfills the Torah?
Paul (not McCartney) goes on to define such a love as being self denying and others-serving. Displays of selfless love are not catalysts for salvation; rather, they should be our response to having already received salvation by G_d’s grace, through our faith in Yeshua. The Torah is not fulfilled by our fervent devotion to Messiah. Instead, His overwhelming love for us, while we were yet sinners, has satisfied the Law’s requirements, on our behalf.
“For G_d so loved the world, that He gave His only Son; that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
When believers accept the challenge of “loving others as Yeshua loved us”, we are fulfilling the Torah…not as a means of salvation, but out of our appreciation for the salvation we have received from Yeshua, alone…it is our outward acknowledgment that we understand Yeshua fulfilled the Torah, on our behalf.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, August 27, 2013