“Owe no man anything, but to love one another:  for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the Law.”

            In the preceding verses Paul has been showing the duty, reverence, and obedience, which all Christians, from the highest to the lowest, owe to the civil government official; whether he be emperor, king, proconsul, or other state officer.  But here he beings to show them their duty to each other: but this is widely different from that which they owe to the civil government.  To the civil government they owe subjection, reverence, obedience, and tribute; to each other they owe nothing but mutual love, and those things which necessarily spring from that love. 
           Therefore, Paul says, “Owe no man.” It’s as if he had said: “You owe to your fellow brethren nothing but mutual love, and this is what the law of God requires, and in this the law is fulfilled. You are not bound in obedience to them as to the civil magistrate; for to him you must needs be subject, not merely for fear of punishment, but for conscience sake: but to these (fellow believers) you are bound by love; and by that love especially which utterly prevents you from doing anything by which a brother may sustain any kind of injury.”

“Owe no man anything
Literally:  “To no one owe nothing.”–Paul now comes to enforce the duties which we owe unto our neighbors; the first of which is, to render and pay to everyone what is due unto him.

Discharge all just obligations. Not only pay all tribute that is due, but also pay all that is due every man. The church member who makes debts and does not meet them, violates this command. Do not be in debt to anyone.  Paul  particularly instructed Christians to pay to them their just dues. From this command the transition was natural to the subject of debts owed in general, and to instruct not to be indebted to anyone.  Christianity is not designed to break in upon the proper order of society, but rather to establish and confirm that order. 

“but to love one another”
Literally:  “Except the loving one another.”–Moral duties are mutual debts which we owe to another; one of these mutual debts is that of love; a debt we can never fully discharge, but must be ever paying, and yet always owing: 

Love to your fellow men will lead you to fulfill towards them all your duties.  We should feel that we owe this to all men; and though by acts of kindness we may be constantly discharging it, yet we should feel that it can never be fully met while there is opportunity to do good.

“for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the Law.”
Literally:  “For the {one} loving the other has fulfilled the Law.”–In what way this is done is shown in verse 10.

            The Law, in relation to our neighbor, said to be simply that we do no ill to him. But love to him would prompt no injury. It would seek to do him good, and would thus fulfil all the purposes of justice and truth which we owe to him. In order to illustrate this, in the next verse Paul runs over the laws of the Ten Commandments in relation to our neighbor, and shows that all those laws proceed on the principle that we are to love him, and that love would prompt to the fulfillment of the law, which says we will not steal, kill, commit adultery, bear false witness, covet, and hence this love fulfills the Mosaic Law. The Law itself is but love in action, regarded as a matter of duty.

“For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt no bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there by any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

“For this”
Better rendered as: “For the {commandments}.”–This which follows is the summing up of the laws. This is to regulate us in our conduct towards our neighbor.

            THIS:  (Grk.–touto)–The word, “this” here stands opposed to “that” in verse 11. This Law of Love would prompt us to seek our neighbor's good.

The fact that our ultimate salvation is near, should prompt us to be active and faithful in the discharge of all the duties we owe to him.  Paul is referring only to the Second Table of the Law, as love to our neighbor is what he is treating here.

“thou shalt not commit adultery
Literally:  “Do not commit adultery.”–All the commands which follow are designed as an illustration of the duty of loving our neighbor.

          Paul does not enumerate all the commands of the Second Table. He is showing what they generally required. He has omits the command to honor our parents. The reason might have been that it was applicable to his purpose when discoursing of love to a neighbor–a word which does not immediately suggest the idea of near relatives.
He that loves another will not deprive him of his wife, of his life, of his property, of his good name; and will not even permit a desire to enter into his heart which would lead him to wish to possess anything that is the property of another: for the law-the sacred Scripture, has said: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

“Thou shalt not kill,”
Literally:  “do not do murder.”–There has been much confusion caused by the lack of proper     teaching regarding this commandment. 

KILL:  (Grk.–phoneueô)–Literally:  “do murder.”

         Far too many people use it as a general probation against any and all forms of killing, including keeping a government from doing it is task of executing murders (Gen. 9:6)–“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed:  for in the image of God made He man.”  God has never rescinded this command or changed His mind about Capital Punishment, and He never will because He can never change (Malachi 3:6), and therefore His commands or His Word can never change.
There are also those who use this as an excuse to not serve in the military, or to in any way fight to protect their country, or the law of the land.  However, God does not consider killing in war to be covered in this prohibition.  It is God Himself Who has set up governments and nations, and He expects His people to defend those nations which He has created.  Patriotism is also basically a creation of God’s, along with His creation of governments.  If God’s people will not protect the governments and nations which were created by Him, then who else will do the job?  Are we to expect Satan’s people to protect what God has created?  Such an idea is too rediculous to even give consideration.
A good example of one of God's people defending his country is shown when David came out and killed Goliath (I Samuel 17). In fact, David even referred to the armies of the living God” (I Sam. 17:26).  David was a man of whom people sang that he had killed his “ten-thousand,” and yet God called him the apple of His eye (Deut. 32:10).  Again I ask, if God’s people will not defend the nations which God has set up, are we to expect that Satan’s people will defend them? Again I say that, SUCH AN IDEA IS TOO ABSURD TO EVEN THINK ABOUT!

“thou shalt not bear false witness”
Literally:  “Do not bear false witness.”–This expression as used here is rejected by the best critics as of doubtful authority, but it does not materially affect the spirit of the passage. It is lacking in most manuscripts well as also the Syriac version.

        FALSE WITNESS:  (Grk.–pseudês)–This commandment is dealing with giving false testimony in a court of law, and is not really dealing with a man telling a lie in the course of a conversation.

“if there be any other commandment”
Literally:  “And if {there is} any other commandment.”–Paul does not attempt to name all the commandments.  The Law respecting parents; or if there be any duty which does not    seem to be specified by these laws, is implied in the command to love our neighbor as ourselves.

“it is briefly comprehended in this saying”
Literally:  “It is summed up in this word in {this}.”  In this word, or command.

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Literally:  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”–The several laws that flow from love are gathered up in this saying as a fountain head.

This is found in Lev. 19:18. If this command were fulfilled, it would prevent all fraud, injustice, oppression, falsehood, adultery, murder, theft, and covetousness. It is basically the same as the Golden Rule.  And if every man would do to others as he would wish them to do to him, all the design of the Law would be at once fulfilled.  Paul is really saying that our love for our neighbor is revealed in what we do rather than in what we say.  He is not putting the Christian back under the Law; rather, he is saying that love manifests itself in not committing adultery, not killing, not stealing, not coveting.  You can talk about love all you want to, but if you commit these acts against your neighbor, you really have no love for him.

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law.”

“Love worketh no ill”
Literally:  “Love does not work evil.”--Neither the ills forbidden in the commandments, nor any other ills or evils. Supreme love to God, and that genuine love to men which springs from and accompanies it, will lead rulers and the ruled to seek each other's good and that of all their fellowmen.

         Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law; for the same love which restrains from evil, also incites us to all goodLove would prompt to one to justice, truth, and benevolence. If this law were engraved on every man's heart, and practiced in his life, what a change would it immediately produce in society.  If all men would at once abandon that which is fitted to work ill to others, what an influence would it have on the business and commercial affairs of men. Oh, how many plans of fraud and dishonesty would it at once put a stop to!  Or how many schemes would it crush!  It would silence the voice of the slanderer; it would stay the plans of the seducer and the adulterer; it would put an end to cheating, and fraud, and all schemes of dishonest  
The gambler desires the property of his neighbor without any compensation, and thus works ill to him. The dealer in lotteries desires property for which he has never toiled, and which must be obtained at the expense and loss of others. And there are many employments all whose tendency is to work ill to a neighbor. This is pre-eminently true of the traffic in ardent spirits. It cannot do him good, and the almost uniform result is to deprive him of his property, health, reputation, peace, and domestic comfort.  He that sells his neighbor liquid fire, knowing what must be the result of it, is not pursuing a business which works no ill to him; and love to that neighbor would prompt him to abandon the traffic. See Hab. 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that putteth thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness.”

“therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law”
Literally:  “Then love {is} fulfillment of law.”–Not the Law, but law in general. The definite article “the” is not in the original Greek text. All divine law is fulfilled by love. God requires nothing which is not comprehended in this word.

        THEREFORE: (Grk.–oun)–Better rendered as, “then” or “because.” “Because love does no harm to another, it is therefore the fulfilling of the law:” implying that all that the Law requires is to love others.

          FULFILLING: (Grk.–pleroma)–Meaning, the completion, or such meets the requirements of the Law. The Law of God on this, or in regard to our duty to our neighbor, requires us to do justice towards him, to observe truth, etc.

All this will be met by and if men truly loved others, all the demands of the Law would be satisfied. Because love does no harm to another, it is therefore the fulfilling of the law: implying that all that the law requires is to love others.

          THE LAW: (Grk.–nomos)–Referring to the Law of Moses, especially to the Ten Commandments.

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:  for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
This verse begins the last part of the chapter, which deals with of our duty towards ourselves.   Paul deals with the subjects of sobriety, temperance, mortification of sin, and all the works of darkness, such as rioting and drunkenness, chambering and wantonness, and the like.

“And that”
Literally:  “also this.”–And do that which I have been urging you to do; i.e., fulfil the law of love in all the instances mentioned above.

           THAT:  (Grk.–toutou)–Better rendered as, “this.”  This word here rendered as, “that,” is connected in signification with the word “this” in verse 9.

Paul’s  meaning may be expressed as: All the requirements of the law towards our neighbor may be met by two things: one is verses 9,-10 by love; the other is verses 11-14 by remembering that we are near to eternity; keeping a deep sense of this truth before the mind. This should prompt us to a life of honesty, truth, peace, and contentment (v.13).


“knowing the time” 
“knowing the time.”–Taking a proper estimate of the time. Taking just views of the shortness and the value of time; of the reason for which it was given, and of the fact that it is, in regard to us, rapidly coming to a close.

            TIME: (Grk.–kairos)–Better rendered as, “season.” A definite or fixed period; a     season. More specific that the Greek word, (chronos) which means time in general.

Considering that the time in which you live is the time of the Gospel, a period of light and truth, when you are particularly called on to lead holy lives, and thus to do justly to all. The previous time had been a period of ignorance and darkness, when oppression, and falsehood, and sin abounded. This, the time of the Gospel, when God had made known to men His will that they should be pure.

“high time to awake out of sleep”
Literally:  “That {it is} now the hour for you to be aroused from sleep.”  That is, out of your stupid, fatal indifference to eternal things.

                        HIGH TIME:  (Grk.–hoti hora)—literally: “that {the} hour.”

           TO AWAKE:  (Grk.–ex hupnou egerthenai)—Literally: “be raised from sleep.”  The dawn of day, the approaching light of the morning, is the time to arouse from slumber.  In the darkness of night men sleep.

          The world has been sunk in the night of paganism and sin.  At that time it was to be expected that they would sleep the sleep of spiritual death. But now the morning light of the Gospel  has dawned.  The Sun of Righteousness has arisen. Now it is time for men to cast off the deeds of darkness, and rise to life, and purity, and action. (Comp. Acts 17:30-31). The same idea is beautifully presented in I Thess. 5:5-8.
          Paul’s meaning is,
Up to now we have walked in darkness and in sin. Now we walk in the light of the Gospel. We know our duty. We are sure that the God of light is around us, and is a witness of all we do. We are going soon to meet him, and it becomes us to rouse, and to do those deeds, and those only, which will bear the bright shining of the light of truth, and the scrutiny of him who is  ‘light, and in whom is no darkness at all,’  (I John 1:5).

          SLEEP: (Grk.–hupnoô)–Inactivity; insensibility to the doctrines and duties of religion; the insensibility and inactivity of sin.

Men, by nature, are active only in deeds of wickedness. In regard to Christianity, they are insensible, and the slumbers of night are on their eyelids.  Sleep is “the kinsman of death,” and it is the emblem of the insensibility and stupidity of sinners. The deeper the ignorance and sin, the greater is this insensibility to spiritual things: and to the duties which we owe to God and man.

“for now is our salvation”— Referring to our final salvation with Christ, towards which believers are every day drawing nearer.

           SALVATION: (Grk.–soteria)–has been here variously interpreted.

           Some suppose that by it Paul refers to the personal reign of Christ on the earth.  And some suppose it refers to deliverance from persecutions.  Others, to increased light and knowledge of the gospel, so that they could more dearly discern their duty than when they became believers. so that they could more dearly discern their duty than when they became believers. It probably, however, has its usual meaning here, denoting that deliverance from sin and danger which awaits Christians in heaven; and is thus equivalent to the expression, “You are advancing nearer to heaven. You are hastening to the world of glory. Daily we are approaching the kingdom of light; and in prospect of that state, we ought to lay aside every sin, and live more and more in preparation for a world of light and glory.”
eternal salvation. That was certainly true of them, and is true of every believer now. Some have thought that Paul referred to the speedy Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not know the time of that event, nor does any man (Matt. 24:36), but it might be that he shared the hope of the early, suffering church, that it would be speedy. (See I Thess. 5:1,2; II Thess. 2:1).

“nearer than when we believed”
Literally:  “Than when we began to believe”– Every day brings us nearer to a world of perfect light. Our final salvation with Christ, towards which believers are every day drawing nearer.