Introduction | Table of Contents | Chapter 15

For the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a change also of the law. (Hebrews 7:12)
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 NKJV)
"Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12 KJ2000; see also Matthew 22:37-40).

With a New Covenant comes a new commandment. The old is fulfilled in the new. Love is the fulfillment of the Law.

In His sacrificial love, Jesus filled up the just requirements of the law. In His perfect sinless life and in the offering of His body for sin He blotted out the ordinances that were against us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Colossians 2:14). Jesus came to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15-17) so we could walk in spiritual righteousness, not by our fleshly efforts, but by His Spirit dwelling within us.

Love is the new commandment.

With this New Covenant came a new heart on which the commands of God are written and there also came His Spirit put deep within us producing the desire and ability to please Him. The commandments of the Old Covenant are fulfilled by the perfect life and sacrifice of Christ! It is FINISHED! Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17 AMP). The word fulfill here in the Greek is very implicit. In Thayer's dictionary we read the following:

Thayer Definition:
1) to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
1a) to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally
1a1) I abound, I am liberally supplied
2) to render full, i.e. to complete
2a) to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim

Jesus did what sinful man could not do. He filled up to the brim all the just requirements of the Old Covenant law. When He came to John the Baptist to be baptized, John did not want to do it. He said, "I have need to be baptized by you, and come you to me?" Jesus answered him, "Permit it to be so now: for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then John baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:14-15 KJ2000). Jesus came to fulfill all righteousness and to impute that righteousness to all who would believe in, trust in and rely totally on Him as their Savior and Life. Paul wrote, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:2-4 KJ2000).

Today many insist on bringing the old covenant law into the New Testament church. They pick and choose parts of the old law that they can use to put the body of Jesus back into bondage. The law of the tithe and the priest cast system are favorites. Some denominations even insist that we obey the Levitical laws of Sabbath keeping, and abstain from meats. Paul wrote about this attack on the church back then. "Let no man therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ" (Colossians 2:16-17 KJ2000).

The body is not of or under the law of the Old Covenant. When Jesus died on the cross He totally filled-up the requirements of the law. We cannot add anything to His perfect sacrifice. We are now free in Christ as we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. We seek the substance that is Christ, not the shadow. We are free to love and thereby fulfill the law. Any obedience that does not flow from love is nothing.

Paul explains, "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'You shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:8-10 NKJV). And Again, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Galatians 5:14 NKJV).

Walking in Jesus' new commandment, the love of God that He has shed abroad in our hearts, is walking in the fullness of the law and the prophets. John wrote, "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us" (1 John 3:22-24 KJ2000). The fruit of the law is death, but the fruit of the Spirit is love (Romans 7:5 and 8:2, 1 Corinthians 15:56, and Galatians 5:22).

Remember, the law of love in Christ Jesus fulfills all that was written in the old law and with a new heart and a new Spirit within us, we can walk it out with all men.

Paul wrote about the effects of the Spirit of God living within us. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control: against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23 KJ2000). Jesus put it this way, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40 KJ2000).

John, the apostle who Jesus loved, had much to say about love.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. (1 John 4:16-17 ESV)
Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:6-11 ESV)

Love is the witness that we are Jesus' disciples, not tongues or prophesy and anything else. Jesus said, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35 NKJV). Tongues and prophesy will cease but love abides forever.

Keeping Jesus' commandments, walking by the voice of His Spirit, is always accompanied by His love. Jesus said:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:9-13 KJ2000)

Introduction | Table of Contents | Chapter 15

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