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Love is “the law written in our hearts”

Which Commandment Motivated the Heart of the Good Samaritan?


 Was it one of the Ten Commandments?

  1. Do not kill? No!
  2. Do not steal? No!
  3. Do not lie? No!
  4. Do not covet? No!

Love thy Neighbor? YES!!!!


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In today’s study we are going to be discussing the Covenant of love and Mercy which God has made with us in Christ Jesus. This message is so jammed packed with Good News, that you will likely want to listen to this message over and over again. Your heart will be thrilled and deeply touched by today’s message. Your immediate reaction will be that you will want to share it with everyone you love and care about. That is the effect of the Gospel. It satisfies our inner most longings, and inspires us to want to share its wonderful message with others.

God has promised to us mercy. He has promised to us compassion and forgiveness. God has promised us eternal life. God has promised to give us all the love we could ever want or need, so much so that it will be like a fountain that over flows unto joy, and bliss.

Before we can get to all this wonderful good news, we need to take a moment and look at the New Covenant and see what it is not. Some read about God writing his laws in our hearts under the New Covenant and immediately think of the Ten Commandments.

The New Covenant is the promise that God will be merciful, and put the love of God in our hearts, bring healing, happiness and eternal life. Let us look at a few verses that contrast the Old Covenant Law, and the Promise of the new covenant. We will clearly see that the New Covenant Promise, cannot possibly be the Ten Commandments written in the heart as many have supposed it to be.

Ten Commandments is not the law written in our hearts”

The “BETTER PROMISES” under the new covenant prove “the law written in the heart” is not the same law given at Mt. Sinai

Luke 1:72
To perform the MERCY PROMISED to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;

Hebrews 8:6 (Introduction to the New Covenant)
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was ESTABLISHED UPON BETTER PROMISES

Romans 4:13,14,16
13 For THE PROMISE, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and THE PROMISE made of none effect.
16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end THE PROMISE might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Galatians 3:17
And this I say, that THE COVENANT, that was confirmed of God in Christ, THE LAW, WHICH WAS FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY YEARS AFTER, cannot disannul, that it should make THE PROMISE of none effect.




In the book of James, we find the apostle describing the “Royal Law” and the “Law of Liberty” these are the SAME law. James 2:8 specifically tells us the “Royal Law” is, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

James 2:8

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

1 Corinthians 3 speaks of the two laws, and describes the tables of stone as a “ministration of death” with letters that kill. v. 6,7. The law written in the heart (not stone) brings “Liberty!” v.3, 17. Galatians 4:21-31 says the covenant made at Sinai is brings bondage, not liberty! Love is the “Law of Liberty”

James message was if we love our neighbor we will not merely say so, but will do something to show our love. If we love our neighbor we will not show partiality, we will give food to the hungry, clothes to the desolate, and visit the fatherless and the widow. If we love our neighbor we will not hold grudges or resentfulness, but will forgive and be tenderhearted. The Royal Law according to James was to love our neighbor.

This is exactly what the Good Samaritan did

The Ten Commandments do not teach us to be Good Samaritans or to love our enemies. The Jews despised the Samaritans, so the Good Samaritan did in fact love his enemy when he cared for the Jew who was attacked on the road by robbers. The Good Samaritan is more than a story about doing charitable deeds, it represents the two covenants!

  • The Good Samaritan: Represents those who do not have the law, but have the law of love in their hearts.
  • The Levite and the Pharisee: Represents those who lived under the law, but did not love one another.

Which of the Ten Commandments motivated the heart of the Good Samaritan? The Ten Commandments were a law of DO NOT’s! Love not only teaches us to refrain from the DO NOTS! Love gives us the Do’s that the Ten Commandments “do not!” Love teaches us to be kind, gentle, long-suffering, patient, merciful, and forgiving. The Good Samaritan demonstrates love is greater than keeping the law the Levites and Pharisees observed. They kept the law, but did not love their neighbor.

Love is truly the GREAT COMMANDMENT. Not only did it teach us not to lie, or steal, Love teaches us what the Ten Commandments did not. Love teaches us to be forgiving, merciful, long-suffering, patient, and compassionate; and to have empathy, to give food to the hungry, clothing to the desolate, and shelter to the fatherless and widow. Love teaches us to do no harm to our neighbor.

The New Covenant law to Love, is superior when compared to the Old Covenant Ten Commandment law. Not only does love teach us to refrain from adultery, it teaches us not to lust. Not only does love teach us not to murder, Love teaches us not to be angry with another without a cause, or to hate. Love not only teaches us not to covet, Love teaches us to esteem the needs of others as greater than our own Philippians 2:2-4.

The ROYAL LAW is Love they neighbor See James 2:8.

Galatians 5:14

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

If I love my neighbor according to James I will not respect a rich man more than a poor person. I will visit the fatherless and the widow, I will give clothes to the desolate and food to the hungry. The entire point of James Book is if I truly love others, I will take action and not merely use words.

Romans 13:8

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Jesus taught this same thing in one of his parables. A certain tree had not produced fruit. Christ said let it alone another year and if it still does not produce fruit cut it down. A person can say, “I am a good tree” all he wants to, but if he does not produce fruit, his words mean nothing!

The Ten Commandments were a list of DO NOT’s!

The Law of Christ not only prohibits a person from lying and stealing and murder it is much more than that! The Law of Christ teaches us how to be Good Samaritans! To love our enemies, just like the Good Samaritan did. The Ten Commandments taught nothing about mercy, longsuffering, and compassion. They never commanded forgiveness!

The Law of Christ not only prohibits lying and stealing and murder, it does what the Ten Commandments never could! The Law of Christ written in our hearts teaches us to forgive. Love has that power. Love is forgiving, and compassionate, and longsuffering. Love is what moved the good Samaritan. Which of the Ten Commandments do you think moved him. All they said was DO NOT! Love taught the Good Samaritan to DO SOMETHING, that the Ten Commandments DO NOT!

You referred to James 2:10. This is the same thing Paul said else where. IN both Romans and Galatians we are told that anything less than perfect obedience to the law results in being under its curse. Paul concludes, THEREFORE NO FLESH SHALL BE JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW!

James statement is immersed with examples of what true love does when faced with a decision. Love takes action! The Covenant at Mt Sinai produces BONDAGE (see Galatians 4:21-31) Whereas the Law of Christ produces LIBERTY! See 2 Corinthians 3:17. Just a few verses earlier in 2 Corinthians 3:7 we are told the law ” written and engraven in stone” was a “ministration of death!” It was “glorious” but its “glory has passed away.” We are no longer under the ministration of death written and engraven in stone. We are under the law of liberty.


James is admonishing us to LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR IN ALL THINGS, and contrasts that by stating that if we fail in one point we really do not love others the way we think we do. That is the point in James 2:10. It is important to see the BIG PICTURE of James in order to understand the smaller details.

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