Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
8 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.
11 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.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Ellen White wrote of God’s Law, “There is not a negative in the Ten.” That could seem confusing, seeing the list of “Don’ts”—but the Hebrew is literally “No murder,” “No adultery,” etc. It’s a collection of promises:
- You will honor those who gave you life.
- You will treasure life.
- You honor the bond that makes two into one.
- You will honor the right of ownership.
- You will honor the power of true words.
- You will be content with what you have.
Jesus answered the lawyer’s question: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like [it], namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12:30, 31 [all texts KJV]). “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:40).
The Ten that Jesus condensed into The Two is really The One Law of Love. It’s the essence of God’s character—and the “design law” that describes how God created the universe to operate. Transformed by love, you pass from the slavery of selfishness and attempted lawkeeping, to the liberty of Grace.
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).
Virginia Davidson, Artist—designing and building stained glass windows
Spokane Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church, Washington State, USA