Scripture Reading: Luke 6:20-42
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced [convicted] of the law as transgressors.
Royal Law—Law of the King, or the king of all laws. Commit sin—work sin—ergo root. Respect of persons is the opposite of that same Royal Law. Love loves all regardless of our partisan, identity judgments. Writing to people who think they are keeping the law. James is rejecting their claim.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Love is always due; other debts (those in verse 7) do not cancel love. Love is the various commands of the law. If you love; you do the whole thing. Lists laws relating to neighbor. Love the Lord fulfills the rest. Love restrains us from evil and drives us to all good. Love wants to please its object, not hurt it.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Liberty—freedom from sin, from bondage, from fear, not freedom to indulge the flesh! Serve—be in bondage to one another. Love proves your freedom. You are so free you don’t worry about you anymore; but pleasing others. Opposite of love is fighting and arguing. The Spirit leads you to love.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Faith works by love—faith exhibits its energy by love. Doing a religious ritual is not what faith is about! Anyone can do a ritual. Only those in the Spirit can truly love all. “Faith makes a man seek to do the will of Christ; love tells him what that will is.”
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh [by violence] away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Do good—do beautiful things for them! Bless—praise, speak well of, celebrate. Offer—give or present to someone. Kind—useful, mild, pleasant, gracious, benevolent. Merciful—compassionate, tender,
Only being born again can free you up for this selfless love. Otherwise you’re stuck in fear and have to fight for your own. Being born again frees you from fighting for what you had in your first birth.