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Romans 13:8– No one owing anything except to be loving each other.

04-01-2022 - Posted by Hans

To no one owe anything except to be loving one another, for he who is loving another has fulfilled the law.

Literally translated we read in verse 8: Do not owe anyone anything. In Greek, such a double negation means to reinforce the negation. Even though debt is sometimes unavoidable, it does not alter the fact that it is a negative concept. Debt relationships are therefore never glorified in Scripture, but rather discouraged. For he who is in debt is by definition not free and “the man who borrows is a servant of the lender” (Prov.22:7).

The only debt we would have to another is to love one another. Here too, “to love” is the verb form of the Greek word for “love”: agape. That is not love that is evoked by qualities of the other (attractive, sympathetic, meritorious, etc.) but it is a love ‘free of charge’. It is the love that God has for every creature, unconditionally. That is why God’s love goes out to his enemies (5:10). This love is not based on feeling but on knowing: the other is loved by God!

Whoever loves the other in this way (so as God!) has fulfilled the law. There is nothing more. This love gives meaning to everything.