The apostle Paul is asking the church of Galatia to avoid justification by the law. If anyone is striving for righteousness by following the rules of the Old Testament, then such person is no longer living under God’s grace. When we strive to pick ourselves up by our own bootstraps and pretend to follow the law, we are rejecting God’s gift of forgiveness and grace. Paul clearly states that if we are in Christ Jesus the law is of no effect, and we are made free by His sacrifice. Such freedom gives us liberty from the law. That doesn’t mean that we should pursue our carnal desires. Instead, our main focus should be to love God and one another.
Love fulfills the law, and in this particular verse Paul is quoting Jesus’ reply to the question: What is the greatest commandment of all? This was an important question since the Jews had to follow God’s Commandments, and the 611 laws added by Moses in the Torah. But Jesus’s response was astonishing! He condensed all the commandments into two: “‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul... And You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets” (Mathew 22:35-40). Amazingly, Jesus said that all the prophets through history were asked to testify for the love of God and one another.
True Christianity is not about following rules, but is a life devoted to love God and our neighbor, through Christ Jesus. The key to loving others is by asking ourselves a simple question: If I was this person, what would I like someone to do to me? If we think this way, we are not going to break the commandments since we wouldn’t like anybody to break such laws against us. No one would like to be lied to, robbed, cheated, or hated and murdered. In conclusion, do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12).
- Written by Ray Angulo