Romans 13:10
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerNewellParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBVWSWESTSK
(10) 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.

13:8-10 Christians must avoid useless expense, and be careful not to contract any debts they have not the power to discharge. They are also to stand aloof from all venturesome speculations and rash engagements, and whatever may expose them to the danger of not rendering to all their due. Do not keep in any one's debt. Give every one his own. Do not spend that on yourselves, which you owe to others. But many who are very sensible of the trouble, think little of the sin, of being in debt. Love to others includes all the duties of the second table. The last five of the ten commandments are all summed up in this royal law, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; with the same sincerity that thou lovest thyself, though not in the same measure and degree. He that loves his neighbour as himself, will desire the welfare of his neighbour. On this is built that golden rule, of doing as we would be done by. Love is a living, active principle of obedience to the whole law. Let us not only avoid injuries to the persons, connexions, property, and characters of men; but do no kind or degree of evil to any man, and study to be useful in every station of life.Love worketh no ill ... - Love would seek to do him good; of course it would prevent all dishonesty and crime toward others. It would prompt to justice, truth, and benevolence. If this law were engraved on every man's heart, and practiced in his life, what a change would it immediately produce in society! If all people would at once "abandon" what is suited to "work ill" to others, what an influence would it have on the business and commercial affairs of people. How many plans of fraud and dishonesty would it at once arrest. How many schemes would it crush. It would silence the voice of the slanderer; it would stay the plans of the seducer and the adulterer; it would put an end to cheating, and fraud, and all schemes of dishonest gain. The gambler desires the property of his neighbor without any compensation; and thus works "ill" to him. The dealer in "lotteries" desires property for which he has never toiled, and which must be obtained at the expense and loss of others. And there are many "employments" all whose tendency is to work "ill" to a neighbor. This is pre-eminently true of the traffic in "ardent spirits." It cannot do him good, and the almost uniform result is to deprive him of his property, health, reputation, peace, and domestic comfort. He that sells his neighbor liquid fire, knowing what must be the result of it, is not pursuing a business which works no ill to him; and love to that neighbor would prompt him to abandon the traffic; see 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.

Of the law - Of the Law of Moses, but particularly the Ten Commandments.

10. Love worketh no ill to his—or, "one's"

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.

This verse is an argument to prove what was proposed, 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.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour,.... That is, the man that truly loves his neighbour, will contrive no ill against him, nor do any to him; he will not injure his person, nor defile his bed, nor deprive or defraud him of his substance; or do hurt to his character, bear false testimony against him, or covet with an evil covetousness anything that is his; but, on the contrary, will do him all the good he is capable of:

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".''

(d) Zohar in Deut. fol. 111. 3.((e) Zohar in Deut. fol. 113. 1.((f) Moses Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora, praecept. affirm. 3. prope finem.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
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 ἀγάπηκακὸν 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.[140]

[140] 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.

Romans 13:10
Romans 13:10 Interlinear
Romans 13:10 Parallel Texts

Romans 13:10 NIV
Romans 13:10 NLT
Romans 13:10 ESV
Romans 13:10 NASB
Romans 13:10 KJV

Romans 13:10 Bible Apps
Romans 13:10 Parallel
Romans 13:10 Biblia Paralela
Romans 13:10 Chinese Bible
Romans 13:10 French Bible
Romans 13:10 German Bible

Bible Hub

Romans 13:9
Top of Page
Top of Page