The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

Love does no harm to a neighbor (PDF) PDF version

Love does no harm to a neighbor

We find this passage in Romans 13. There, starting from verse 8 we read:

Romans 13:8-10
"Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there isany other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."

"Love does no harm to a neighbor". We will not do any harm to our neighbor when we love him. We will not steal him, nor lie to him, nor deceive him nor harm him in something. All the law, the "you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet and any other commandment" as the Word says, is summed up in this single phrase: in "you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Here is what the Lord said concerning the magnitude of this commandment:

Mark 12:28-31
"Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?" Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. `And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. "And the second, like it, is this: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

Though the scribe asked Him for the first commandment, the Lord answered him with two commandments. The "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength" and together the "you shall love your neighbor as yourself". As He said this commandment is LIKE the first one. As another gospel adds to these words of the Lord: "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:40). Also as I John 4:20-21 tells us:

I John 4:20-21
"If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And his commandment we have from him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."

Many try not to fail in this or the other point, or not to deviate from this or that commandment. However, what the Word of God tells us is that all this will come to pass, will be kept, simply when we love our neighbor. All the commandments are summed up in this love. If we don’t love, then we will in vain try to keep what only through love can be kept.

Anastasios Kioulachoglou