Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Fulfilling of the law.—The form of the Greek word implies not only that love helps a man to fulfil the law, but that in the fact of the presence of love in his heart the law is actually fulfilled.
The principle here stated is beautifully worked out in 1Corinthians 13:4-7.Habakkuk 2:15, "Wo unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that putteth thy bottle to him, and makest him drink also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness."
Therefore ... - "Because" love does no harm to another, it is "therefore" the fulfilling of the Law, implying that all that the Law requires is to "love" others.
Is the fulfilling - Is the "completion," or meets the requirements of the Law. The Law of God on this "head," or in regard to our duty to our neighbor, requires us to do justice toward him, to observe truth, etc. "All" this will be met by "love;" and if people truly "loved" others, all the demands of the Law would be satisfied.
neighbour; therefore, &c.—As love, from its very nature, studies and delights to please its objects, its very existence is an effectual security against our wilfully injuring him. Next follow some general motives to the faithful discharge of all these duties.Romans 13:8. It may thus be formed: That which worketh no ill, or doth no hurt to our neighbour, fulfilleth the law: but
love worketh no ill to his neighbour; ergo. That this is the property of love, see 1 Corinthians 13:4,5. When he saith, Love doth no hurt, this is implied, that it doth good to his neighbour. Where only negatives are mentioned, the affirmative also is included; and the negative only is set down in this place, that it may the better correspond with the foregoing verse.
therefore love is the fulfilling of the law: so far as a man loves his neighbour, he acts agreeably to the law, and the particular precepts of it above mentioned: what the apostle says of love to the neighbour, the Jews frequently say of love to God;
"he that loveth God (they say (d)) , "hath fulfilled the decalogue", both above and below.''
And again (e),
"there is no service like the love of God, R. Abba saith it is , "the sum of the law"; for the ten words of the law , "are herein comprehended", or "fulfilled":''
and elsewhere (f) they observe,
"that , "the whole law is comprehended", or fulfilled "in love".''Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Romans 13:10. Since all, that the law forbids us to do to our neighbour, is morally evil, Paul may now summarily conclude his grounding of the commandment of love, as he here does.
ἐργάζεσθαι, with τίνι τι instead of τινά τι is also found, though not frequently, in the Greek writers; comp. 2Ma 14:40; Eur. Hec. 1085 and Pflugk in loc.; Kühner, II. 1, p. 277.
πλήρωμα νόμον ἡ ἀγάπη] ὁ γὰρ ἀγαπῶν τὸν ἕτερον νόμον πεπλήρωκε Romans 13:8. Other interpretations of πλήρωμα (“id quod in lege summum est,” Ch. Schmidt, Rosenmüller; “plus enim continet quam lex, est everriculum omnis injustitiae,” Grotius; see on the other hand Calovius) are opposed to the context. Comp. Galatians 5:14, where the point of view of the fulfilment of the law by love is still more comprehensive. Observe, moreover, that πλήρωμα is not equivalent to πλήρωσις, but in the love of one’s neighbour that whereby the law is fulfilled has taken place and is realized.
The commentary on this point, how love works no ill to one’s neighbour, is given by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.Romans 13:10. ἡ ἀγάπη … κακὸν οὐκ ἐργάζεται. This is all that is formally required by the law as quoted above (οὐ μοιχεύσεις, etc.): therefore love is πλήρωμα νόμου, law’s fulfilment. Of course love is an inspiration rather than a restraint, and transcends law as embodied in merely negative commandments; but the form in which the law actually existed determines the form in which the Apostle expresses himself. It is apparent once more that νόμος is the Mosaic law, and not law in general; it is from it the prohibitions are derived on the ground of which the Apostle argues, and to it therefore we must apply his conclusion, πλήρωμα οὖν νόμου ἡ ἀγάπη.10. Love worketh, &c.] Such is its very nature,—to avoid the kind of acts which as a fact the Law forbids. Therefore Love (“Charity,” 1 Corinthians 13, &c.), though its action is not, strictly speaking, originated by the Law, but the necessary result of its being Love, is in perfect harmony with the Law—which is the precept of Eternal Love; and so is the surest secret of fulfilling it.
his neighbour] Lit. the neighbour: the neighbour in each case.
the fulfilling] Better, the fulfilment. The Gr. word means not the process of obedience, but the result of the process; obedience as an accomplished fact. For this view of Love, see note on Romans 13:8; “hath fulfilled.”
The doctrine of this passage (that to love one another is the true secret of obedience to the Divine Law,) is in perfect harmony with the doctrine of the “bondservice” of the Christian, as stated in ch. 6; for the true secret of that bondservice is adoring gratitude for emancipation from the slavery of sin; a gratitude which after all does but joyfully recognize the unchangeable fact of the lawful claim of the Creator and Redeemer to the devotion of the whole man. Thus love to God is in fact the full acceptance of His will, His law; and love to others for His sake is therefore the sure way to carry out that law in its special precepts regarding duty to fellow-Christians and fellow-men.—Manifestly the law is to be the authoritative guide of “love.” Love is not “a law unto itself,” but the “fulfilment” of the definite and objective rule of God’s revealed will.Romans 13:10. Κακὸν οὐκ, no evil) Moreover, most duties are of a negative character; or at least, where there is no one injured, positive duties are pleasantly and spontaneously performed. Where there is true love, there a man is not guilty of adultery, theft, lying, covetousness, Romans 13:9.
 Οὖν, then) Love is not extinguished of itself; for well-doing, unless it meets with some obstruction from some evil, goes on without interruption: hence it is that from the avoiding of evil the fulfilment of the law, which also includes good, is derived [is made to flow].—V. g.
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