Love, Not Law, as a Standard for Conduct

Before reading this, I strongly encourage you to read the last post, "Cliff Notes on Galatians," an abridged version of the theological substance of the Galatian Epistle.

The way I understand Paul on the theme "love versus law" in Galatians — and this is radical coming from a (now former) Pharisee, mind you — is something like:

"It's no longer beneficial for you to judge your actions by asking 'Is this against the Law, or according to the Law?' Instead, judge your actions by asking 'Is this what love does, or is this not what love does?'

"Love is a better 'standard of conduct,' because it is more comprehensive than the Law. Love will tell you what shouldn't be done, but even more so, it will tell you what should. It analyzes your motives and requires actual transformation, and it reflects the character and nature of God. It is at once both simple and deep: being one thing easily identifiable once you know it, and the one answer universally applicable to every question of action. There is nothing that is more practical, yet it is at the same time inexhaustibly rich, abstract, and profound. Every theologian, poet, and philosopher to ever live could waste themselves on fishing out its truths without successfully plumbing its depths, and every pragmatic man of simple action could find in it his final, universal principle of living and the ultimate how-to to every human interaction and question of morality.

"All the Law is summed up in this one thing: Love. Now that you are free from the Law and have the Spirit of God in you, it isn't important to spend your time analyzing your conduct for its compliance with a list of rules. It's not all about that. What is important is accepting the full weight of truth of God's love and letting it overflow out of yourself in every way that you relate to God, Humanity, and Creation."


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