Law Vs. Love ?

by Robert

We might assume that Law and Love are opposed, or at least unrelated. We might assume that Love is a warm, fuzzy feeling, whilst Law is a cold, hard fact.

So I might Love speeding in my car. But the Law prohibits me from doing so. But if I love my neighbours out on the roads, I won’t speed, out of concern for their safety.

Biblically, there’s no contradiction between Law and Love. In fact, they’re intimately intertwined: God’s Law IS Love- to love Him wholeheartedly, and to love others as we love ourselves.

At first glance, the Bible might seem to contradict itself on Law and Love. After all it says,

when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.

Deuteronomy 30:10‭-‬11‭ ESV

But also…

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:20 ESV

As usual with apparent Bible contradictions, the answer is in the context. So Paul goes on to say,

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:21‭-‬23 ESV

So our loving law keeping isn’t good enough to make us good enough for God, but even in the Law itself, we’re given clues as to the solution. So those verses in Deuteronomy tall about “turning” to the Lord. We need to repent- to turn to God’s goodness from the filthy rags of our own self righteousness.

Deuteronomy 30 also talks about our need of heart circumcision by the Lord! Sounds pretty deadly- but it’s a spiritual illustration mentioned by Paul in Romans-

But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

Romans 2:29 ESV

By God’s spiritual heart circumcision, Gentiles like me can become spiritual Jews, people of God.

By God’s Spirit we can keep God’s Law of Love.

But in conclusion, a visit to 1 John would be helpful-

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 1:8‭-‬10 ESV

And finally,

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

1 John 2:1 ESV

The Bible doesn’t assume that Spirit filled believers in God will sin. But if (and to be honest when) we sin, Jesus is our advocate.

A lot more could be said but I’ll leave it at that for now 🙂