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Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

Romans 13:8-10; Leviticus 19:18; Luke 10:27



A plain sweater, white canvass sneakers, a warm smile and a simple song welcomed us every day to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Fred Rogers became a PBS legend. A few years ago Fred Rogers passed away but his work will live on because he did his best to be the kind of person that every child would want for their neighbor.
As a child I watched Mr. Rogers and as a parent I watched it again. Over the years not much changed with the show; it was the same house, the same trolley to take you to a world of make believe, the same puppets [King Friday the 13th] and the same opening song. Every episode Mr. Rogers always asked the same question in his song: “Would you like to be my neighbor?”


Leviticus 19:18

    Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord. [God said it/Moses wrote it]


Luke 10:27

    And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. [Jesus quoted it to a lawyer]


Romans 13:8-10 [in your lap]

    Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. [9] For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [10] Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. [Paul explained it]


Becoming a Christian should affect every area of our lives/relationships especially!

  • With God

Eph. 2 says we are God’s enemy until we’re saved, our sin separates us from Him.  When we get saved, we’re reconciled to God! “peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinner reconciled!”


Ex.--A man who loves God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength will never take God’s name in vain. He will never place anything above God in his affections. He will remember the Lord’s Day and keep it holy.

If you love your neighbor as yourself, you won’t lie to him. You won’t steal his possessions. You won’t cheat him in business. You won’t violate his marriage. When you love your neighbor as yourself, you’ll never do anything to intentionally hurt him.


Getting saved will affect our relationship with…


  • With believers

Before you were saved you may have felt uncomfortable around someone who was on fire for God, but not now!  And you can love believers even if they aren’t Baptist.

        What would I be if I weren’t a Baptist?  Well...I’d personally be ashamed!  [just kidding]

We don’t have to dot every “i” and cross every “t” exactly the same way to love our neighbor believers!

Getting saved will affect our relationship…


  • With enemies

Before, our attitude was, “I’ll get even”… “revenge”

        Guy said he and his wife had a kissing relationship…all he had to say was good morning, she’d say kiss my grits!

The Bible says to love our enemies, do good to those who abuse us!


Getting saved will affect our relationships!


There’s a word which appears 5 X’s in our Romans passage…Love!  The key to all Godly obedience/the key to fulfilling God’s law!


If your Christian life were a door swinging on 2 hinges, they would be:

Loving God

Loving your neighbor

        All the rest of Christianity swings on those 2 hinges!


Love Thy Neighbor…God said it, Moses wrote it, Paul explained it, Jesus quoted it, so what does it mean?


Luke 10:29 [the lawyer answers Jesus]

    But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?


Neighbor= “one who is near

        We think of the people w/ the loud music and annoying dog!  But in the Bible there’s a wider application because to God, the whole world is one big global neighborhood…we’re all in the ‘hood! 

And our world gets smaller and smaller as technology has allowed us to cross oceans not only in ships, but on planes…we could go to Cleveland today and be around the world tomorrow, or just go home and fax them instantly, and now w/ the internet, well…! [email / instant messaging]

        Really, our neighbor is anyone we meet who has a need!


Text:  Rom. 13

v. 8  “Obligation

Paul says something negative, then something positive.

Negatively:  “owe no man anything”

        Some have supposed this is saying a Christian should never go into debt of any kind…borrowing.  If that were so, then why does the Bible give us guidelines for borrowing and lending?

Sermon on Mt.— Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Matthew 25:27

    Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. [interest]


So, what IS it saying here?  The Bible forbids charging exorbitant interest rates/taking advantage [wish discover and visa went by that!]…and, the Bible forbids borrowing money for things which are unnecessary…but nowhere is borrowing categorically forbidden.

        Business/farm/a home [secured debt:  can be liquidated]

“owe no man anything”—don’t dig yourself into a hole, be good for it!

That’s the negative side…then on the positive side he says, owe this, to love one another—primary emphasis of verse.


As Christians, we all have a perpetual debt we cannot fully repay, a debt of love.

“but drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe”

        We’ll never get out from under the debt we owe to others because Jesus loves us w/ an infinite love, and He never stops, and we can try to repay, but we won’t succeed…but I’m gonna die trying!


The process:  He keeps loving us, we keep loving others [repeat]

        Or, some choose to accept His love, and then love themselves most!

Be kind to people, for the Lord is kind to us

Patient/forgiving/understanding/serve others.


It’s not a suggestion, it’s an obligation!


v. 9  “Explanation

5 of the 10 commandments, listed the way the OT does, negatively, as “thou shalt nots”…but all 5 can be done positively by a “thou shalt”!

Break one of these commandments, and you’ve not only sinned against that specific commandment, you’ve sinned against the law of love…it’s impossible to love your neighbor, and commit adultery w/ them/…kill,--abortion clinic says, honey, you’re not ready for this child, it deserves a better life, if you really love this child, abort it!

Please, don’t ever love me that much!

“Bear false witness”—you can’t love somebody while you’re lying/gossiping about them!


You can’t love your neighbor and say hurtful things about them!

Stealing/coveting demonstrate a lack of love, because you want the best for them, you’re so happy for them!



v. 10        “Illustration

How is love the fulfilling of the law?  Back to Luke 10, Jesus’ conversation w/ the lawyer who said, who is my neighbor?


Luke 10:30-37        Parable of Good Samaritan

3 philosophies of life:


What’s yours is mine and I’ll take it if I can!

Crooked businessman/cheat on taxes/cheat in school/gambler/don’t pay bills…our society is filled w/ takers [take advantage]

Priest and Levite—keepers what’s mine is mine, and I’ll keep it if I can—self consumed, can’t be inconvenienced, don’t wanna get involved.

Good Samaritan—givers:  what’s mine is thine and you can have it if you need it!


No greater joy than giving something you have to someone who needs it.


That’s precisely what Jesus Christ did for us!  We need something which we don’t have—perfect righteousness!


Re 21:27 – [speaking of heaven]

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth…

God will not allow sin into heaven, only perfect righteousness!

Romans 3    


As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…

Doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of good, but not good enough!

Isa 64:6 -

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…


Jesus has what you need! died on the cross in your place, for your sins, to offer you forgiveness from your sins…before dying for you He lived the perfect life you have not been able to, and now offers you His perfect righteousness in exchange for your sin, why?

        Because His attitude was: ‘what’s mine is thine…and you can have it if you need it!’


If you have not been born again, then you need it!

Joh 3:7 -

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Jesus is not just a good way to get to heaven, or the best way to heaven…Jesus said…


Joh 14:6 -

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


Jesus offers you a gift—of forgiveness/of righteousness

Jn. 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

“What’s mine is thine, and you can have it if you need it!”  Do you need it?  You can have it!


Let’s keep it simple. Jesus taught that loving your neighbor means that you do for him whatever you would do for yourself.

  • When you have a need, you attempt to meet it.
  • When you have a hurt, you attempt to heal it.
  • When you have a responsibility, you attempt to fulfill it.
  • When you have a prayer request, you pray for it!

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