A debt of love

Paul says that we should not let any debt remain outstanding except our debt of love:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:8-10

What does that mean? A debt of love? How can we have a debt of love?

As I tried to show in my last post, God chose his people and even supplied to them the faith that they would be able to have to trust him and believe his promises.

What is the promise that God gave that we are trusting? It is the promise that Jesus’s blood is the payment for our sins. God sends Jesus – who is in fact the human representation of God himself – to take the wrath and punishment for our sins.

Jesus, in fact at the last supper, said that his blood, represented in that case by the wine in the cup that he handed to his disciples, is the blood of the covenant. This is the new covenant, the new agreement that God is making with his people. Those that put their faith in that blood will have their sins forgiven.

So God showed us an incredible love. He paid for our sins with the blood of Jesus, who was God himself. That is a love that humans cannot begin to understand. Even though we refused and rejected God, he still loved us. He still came for us. He paid for our sins. The holy God loved us enough to come for us.

In fact, this reminds me of another verse that I really like back from Romans 5. It says:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

So as God’s people, we have received his love, and we received it even though we were sinners. It wasn’t after we had decided to follow him. It wasn’t when we “cleaned ourselves up”. He sent Christ to die even while we were sinners. This is the demonstration of an incredible love from the only holy, righteous, and blameless God, showing love, mercy, and grace to his people that he has chosen.

So this is where our debt comes from. God showed us love even though we didn’t deserve it. He showed us love even though we had rejected him. He saved us even when we had no merit for ourselves to be saved.

Now, because we have received this great love, we must go on to do the same for others. We have received a great love from God, and now we must give love to others. We do not simply try to follow the law. That is much too simple. We follow God’s example to love others even when it is not merited. Even when I don’t feel like it. Even when the other person doesn’t deserve it. We love others because God loved us.

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