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August 28, 2016
“Love is the Fulfilling of the Law”
Matthew 22:35-40; Romans 12:1-2; 13:8-10
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original tounless properly quoted/cited. As always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well. Blessings!)
The Bible emphatically tells us, “God is love,” (1 John 4:8). Over and over again we see His greatest attribute played out through the pages of His written Word and performed in the lives of men and women everywhere and through ever age.
Love is the realization of all God is and what He calls us to be, feel, and operate in our daily lives.
Love is the greatest thing we can do for another. It’s the greatest gift we can give. It satisfies all aspects of our relationship with God and man.
Speaking in the realm of physics it was Isaac Newton who said, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” If we applied a similar thought to the greater mind found in our Lord Jesus Christ, and worked it into our character toward God and man, we come up with, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets,” (Matthew 7:12).
In other words, how we live and treat others causes a “reaction”, if you will. One hopefully that is spawned with love, satisfying every avenue the law was originally designed to do.
Matthew 22:35-40 “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Malicious intents were some of those who stood in the crowd amongst the people who came to hear what Jesus had to teach the multitudes.
In this particular chapter, after telling the parable of the marriage feast and those who took it lightly and the one who entered not attired in the proper wedding garment, the Pharisees took offense, knowing the teaching spoke of them, and “took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk,” (Matthew 22:15). Sending to Him Herodians, Sadducees, Scribes (as Mark 12:13 notes), and lawyers (as today’s lesson calls some) – all had the mission of testing Him to make attempts “to catch him in his words,” (Mark 12:13).
Luke also verifies this, saying, “that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor,” (Luke 20:20; read 9-19 for more).
The lawyer in today’s text with questioning geared toward the purpose of bring harm to Jesus, spoke and asked, “”Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Most Bible students and teachers alike agree that there were 613 laws for the Jewish people to follow. What is the most important thing one should focus on?
The number one priority in anybody’s life is God. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Everything within our inner being should be wholly and completely devoted to God: the emotions, mind, will, and strength.
Before we can have a balanced and true love relationship with one another there has to be an established love relationship with God.
Traveling back in their history we see the same instruction given through Moses to love God in an uninterrupted fashion and to teach their children to do the same (see Deuteronomy 6:4-7).
After laying out the first and great commandment, Jesus went ahead and filled the lawyer in on the “second” one which is, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Referring back to the Old Testament we see in Leviticus 19:18 where they were taught: “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD,” (emphasis mine).
Love is selfless, patient, and kind (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7) and is the greatest thing that any human can show to anther (1 Corinthians 13:13). Anything opposite of that operates against the way God wants us to interact with one another.
Most of today’s woes and troubles extend from a lack of love one toward another. People have grown to be self-seeking, tearing down human relationships through their own egotistical view of self. But, if love is allowed to flow freely as Jesus teaches, and humans respect one another as they do themselves, the things that separate relationships will disappear and the world would be a much better place to live.
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Everything the law and the prophets were intended to teach mankind can be fulfilled in loving God and loving people the right way.
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Our Christian walk becomes His service. The way we honor Him is in a life lived for Him. No longer do we bring before Him animals to the altar. Rather, we offer of ourselves and “present your bodies a living sacrifice.” When we are speaking of presenting of our selves, we are talking of making a conscience choice to give ourselves away to Him, as our gift, that He might use this life as He sees fit. It is a purposeful action as we lay ourselves down before Him at His feet.
And, when we come before Him with the offering of our lives, the standard, as with any offering ever presented to the Lord, is high. We are to be “holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
There is to be no half-hearted devotion. William Law states, “This, and this alone, is Christianity, a universal holiness in every part of life, a heavenly wisdom in all our actions, not forming to the spirit and temper of the world but turning all worldly enjoyments into means of piety and devotion to God,” (Quote Source: Searchquotes.com).
With that being said, one must ask if we are operating in “universal holiness in every part of life;” or, are we looking to “heavenly wisdom in all our actions?” For if we’re not, how can we possibly, in the shortcomings of humanity, love one another in a way that fulfills the law? Could this be the untainted, sacrificial offering of our lives Paul alludes to here in Romans 12:1-2?
He calls us to be “holy” (set apart) and “acceptable” (approved by God). These two are our measuring rod by which we can take account of our Christian walk. in that we can ask ourselves are we living lives that are set apart for the Master’s use; lives that are pleasing to Him? For that’s what holiness demands.
Psalm 4:3 tells us, “But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself . . .” When one is committed to God and committed to live as He wills, he becomes an instrument, a willing vessel fit for the Master’s use (see 2 Timothy 2:21 for example).
A life of love is a great marker that tells if we are up to par with the Master’s requirements to be set apart for His use. Love is more than what we say, it’s how we walk; it’s how we live our lives before God and others.
Don’t you know people identify you by the way you walk? You can tell if someone is tired by the way they walk. They may seem just a little slower and less focused due to exhaustion. If someone walks with a limp they can be identified as being sore or perhaps injured. A straight, persistent gait can imply confidence. Someone with pep in their step can give the impression of happiness. And, if you act like Jesus and love like Jesus people will pay attention to that walk as well.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” In Christ we are made new. We stand out from the world’s system as His disciples. The world operates with animosity, hatred, and evil intent. Our functions are marked by the love of the Father that dwells in us via the Holy Spirit.
You know, children have a wonderful imagination. Give them a batch of playdough and they will twist it and form it into whatever their little heart’s desire. When we are remade and reborn in Christ we are no more pliable to the world’s design on our lives. Our standards are higher now. We operate with a renewed mind. We are called to, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 2:5).
His character becomes our character. His selfless love becomes the way are to love. His sacrifice marks out for us how to live lives of sacrifice as well. He is our example in everything, and we, having now been renewed, are to follow Him.
Romans 13:8-10 “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Love is the number one principle with God and it should be our number one principle in dealing with each other. Therefore, Paul teaches the church in Rome, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another.” Love is a debt we can never repay as the preciousness of His ointment, His blood, flowed fiercely from Calvary’s cross into our lives undeserving. Yet, it is something we are still commanded to extend, without ceasing or discrimination, to those in our surroundings showing of whom we belong.
“Love one another.” Jesus Himself said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” (John 13:35). Many look at a lot of other markers to determine if one is in Christ. Much of what they look for is outward symbols to verify their status as a Christian but here we see the inward working of the heart, the love that we show toward one another shows to whom we belong. The true love that we have for one another separates us from those who are characterized as being of the world.
Every day each of us are faced with a multitude of choices. From the time we rise in the morning, we have many things that vie for our attention, calling us to follow their direction. Some choices will lead us closer to God, and some choices will divert our attempts at living holy and loving people the way God calls for us to love people. Therefore, every day we must choose on purpose to put on love as He did.
Giving some examples from the Ten Commandments, Paul shows that love in operation supersedes what the law could do. Quoting five of the six commandments dealing directly with human relationships (honor thy father and mother were left out here in his retelling), Paul lists these “Thou shalt nots” of the law: “Thou shalt not commit adultery, kill, steal, bear false witness, and covet.” These are offenses committed toward others. Opening up to them their history in pursuing the law, Paul reminds them that these are the boundaries of human relationship.
Yet, with all of them written and stated and passed down generation after generation, mankind has failed to live a life of pure holiness. Rather, than pursue the law Paul taught them to pursue love, for if one loves than all these other things will be taken care of because, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Everything that the law could do, love can do better.
(Click here for PDF: Love is the Fulfilling of the Law Sunday School, or simply use print button below. Enjoy!)
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Memory Verse: Love is the Fulfilling of the Law Memory Verse
Activities from previous lesson that can be used for this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Coloring Sheet: Love is Number One Coloring Sheet (Use this PDF link for accurate printing)
Draw the Scene: God’s Love Our Love Draw the Scene (Use this PDF link for accurate printing)
Draw the Scene: Love One Another Draw the Scene (Use this PDF link for accurate printing)
Below are Activities/Links/Resources to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
“Peacock Heart Craft” (A wonderful craft from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, telling all that love is and is not. Enjoy!)
“A Love Vase” (This is a simple craft that will allow your students to demonstrate in their flowers exactly what love really is. Enjoy!)
“Heart Laced Bookmark” (Can someone say, “Easy!” Yes, this is. Simply print out onto cardstock, have students decorate with a verse from today’s lesson and lace it up with yarn or ribbon. What a nice reminder for them to take home and use. Enjoy!)
“Love in 1 Corinthians 13″ (Here you will find a multitude of printable activity sheets that will really help with this lesson: coloring sheets, flip charts for students and teachers, and more. Enjoy!)
“Love” (Here you will find great help and explanation, along with video links and ideas for 1 Corinthians 13. Enjoy!)
“Love is . . .” Coloring Page
“Let Us Love One Another” (Coloring/Activity Sheets)
“Love One Another” (How does making “friendship stickers” sound? This and another activity can be found on this link. What a creative way to show love! Enjoy!)
“Love One Another” (A creative classroom project which involves a big red heart and students’ self portraits. Very nice! Enjoy!)
“True Christian Love Activity” (Creating collages that demonstrate true love. Wonderful and easy if you have old magazines and such lying around. Click here to learn more. Enjoy!)
“As I Have Loved You” (Children’s Bible lesson and activities with printable sheets and group activities that include a “Sucker Relay,” “Bubble Popping,” and more. Enjoy!)
“Teaching Kids How to Love God and Love Others” (Sunday School Lesson Help)
“Love Bible Verses for Children” (Easy printable activity for kids. Enjoy!)
“Love One Another Printable Mobile” (AWESOMENESS! ENJOY!)
“Love One Another Craft” (Simply follow the directions listed and your students will have a special, beautiful reminder of today’s lesson. Enjoy!)