Here in Galatians 5, Paul teaches that the law can be fulfilled in one simple statement. What did Paul say we needed to do?
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”Galatians 5:14
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus and the apostles especially John and Paul, emphasize that great commands are to love God first, then love your neighbor as yourself. As we think about, they are not changing the law, they are just shifting how we think about it.
Consider the 10 Commandments particularly commandments 5-10 that deal with how we treat others. Is it really possible to fulfill the law by just loving your neighbor as yourself?
The commandments say:
Do not kill.
Do not commit adultery.
Do not steal.
Do not lie or bear false witness against your neighbor.
Do not covet your neighbor’s wife.
Do no covet your neighbor’s possessions.
If you were loving your neighbor as yourself, would you do you any of those things? Would you lie about your neighbor? Would you steal from them or covet their property? Would you seek to harm your neighbor? The answer is no you would not.
Jesus, John and Paul call us to move beyond thinking of a list of do this and do not do that. They want us to show a deeper love and put the needs of others before ourselves. This is how we show the love of Jesus to others. By showing love to others in this manner, we will also fulfill the law.
Can we fulfill the law with love? Jesus loved us so much he gave his life for us fulfilling the law. Yes, we can fulfill the law with love, too. We take the focus off ourselves and treat with the same love as we love ourselves. This is a sacrificial love that puts others first.