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Romans 13:9,10 – You sháll love your associate

04-01-2022 - Posted by Hans

For this; “You shall not commit adultery,” “you shall not murder,” “you shall not steal”, “you shall not testify falsely”, “you shall not covet”, “and if there is any other precept, it is summed up in this saying, in this: “You shall love your associate as yourself.” Love is not working evil to an associate. The complement, then, of law, is love.

Paul lists some commandments from ’the ten Words’, all of which relate to the relationship with one’s associate. They are negative commandments (prohibitions): they tell you what one should not do to one’s neighbor. It is the least you can expect from someone who loves his neighbor. Of course he stays away from his wife, does not kill or rob him, nor will he try to take anything from him. However, loving is positive and therefore so much more than this minimal. Love is rightly “the complement of the law”.

Think about what had been established much earlier in the Roman letter. While the law is formally only for Israel (3:19), morally it often applies universally (2:14). As in the examples above. But above all, the law is prophecy. It foretells and announces what will happen. Everyone will love God above all things, and love his neighbor as himself. What a promise!