This being the case, having set our foundation for this teaching, we will explore the royal law of the bible. James 2:8 says, “If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well”.
Again, as a reminder the word royal in this particular law has made this a kingdom law because royal deals directly with kingdom living, and according to the bible if we complete or achieve this law we are doing well or better yet doing well in the kingdom, so let us dissect this law and attempt to get a better understanding as to why it’s labeled a royal law.
The royal law states that we should love our neighbor “AS” we love ourselves. Now many of us when reading this statement ignore the full understanding as to what it is saying to us. The meaning of the word as implies: to the same degree, amount, or extent, similarly, or equally to something or someone.
So, in essence the royal law is suggesting that I love my neighbor according or similarly to how I love myself, which clearly indicates that I have to master or at least understand how to love me before I can honestly exercise loving someone else. Most folks believe loving themselves means to buy a new outfit, treat yourself to a vacation etc. however this misunderstanding of loving one self is entirely superficial and is void of any form of root or substance.
Based on the above understanding, the next question that should be asked is how do I love myself? Of course outside of being egotistical or self centered? Well! The first thing I have to do in achieving this objective would be observing what the biblical principles states concerning this matter.
The biblical principle states, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” Prov. 23:7. The bible goes on to suggest to me that all matters begin from my heart which includes love Matt. 15:18-19. so, now that I have an understand of these principles I must determine that in order for me to love me and others for that matter it is a must that I revisit the present condition of my heart in terms of what I have defined love to be or not be, because this heart condition directly impacts how I will demonstrate love towards others.
According to scripture it tells me the original state of my heart before transformation, that is my heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9)….. Wow! To deceive mean to make someone believe something that is not true. So in terms of my heart’s present state it is convincing me of things that are not true, especially the reality of love. Secondly, I’m told that it is desperately wicked, meaning that it is conjuring up evil continually. So it is made even clearer why I must revisit its condition.
Now, as a believer the kind of love that I should be practicing here, aught to be an agape love: meaning a love that comes with no conditions, the one that does not require something from someone else in order to be activated. I must review my heart and ask myself the question, do I love myself in spite of what has happened in the past? The second question I must ask myself, have I forgiven myself for what I or someone has done to me in the past? And thirdly, am I truly happy. If you’ve answered no to any of the above questions my suggestion to you, is that you presently have a heart condition, which is in urgent need of repair. Unfortunately, this condition has disabled your ability to love with out condition (agape love). What does this all mean? Well it indicates that what ever age you are now, let’s say your thirty years old, well for thirty years you’ve been loving yourself and others with conditions.
Firstly, to begin the repairing of my heart/mind, so that I can begin loving myself and exercising agape love, I must begin casting down any and all imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5). An example of this would be, the knowledge of God says to me love my enemies; however my imagination immediately fights Gods command by resisting, with the excuse that my enemies have done me wrong. At this point your thoughts are being exalted above the knowledge of God, which now make this a stronghold in your mind.
The truth is you must bring this and any other like thoughts into captivity to the obedience or order of Christ according to scripture. This activity is classified as spiritual warfare and the battlefield for this is your heart/mind. This is an on going fight, your renewed spirit in Christ is saying love those that hate you, your natural mind is saying absolutely no, because they’ve wrong you or they don’t deserve it.
This is indeed a stronghold, strongholds are literally mind sets. A determine way of thinking with no compromise, consistently fighting against anything that resist it.
Please don’t be discouraged, because there is hope. The Apostle Paul, through his divine revelations, offers hope to those who desires to be successful in this on going battle. Paul said, “Be not conformed or in harmony to this world, but instead be “TRANSFORMED” by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2).
The word transform comes from the Greek word metamorphoo, which is where we get our English word metamorphosis which is defined as a marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function through process. An example of this would be a tadpole transforming into a frog or a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. The bottom line folks, is the old identity must, die to bring about the new identity; we must relinquish our way of thinking to embrace the new way. God’s word says there is a way unto us that seems right, but at the end of that way is destruction (Prov. 16:25).
So renewing my mind suggests that I must read and study God’s laws or his word, which will begin the process of destroying what I have determined to be love. That love came with conditions, which is the old way of thinking. The word of God will simultaneously transform me into my new way of thinking, and that new way is there are no conditions to loving me or others. The royal law is a way of life, better yet a mind set that supersedes my natural five senses. Meaning I love myself and others in spite of whatever challenges that love.
in order to maintain and sustain The royal law, I must guard my transformed heart/mind with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Prov. 4:23) Maintaining my newly transformed heart indicates that I must guard and monitor what my eyes see and my ears hear, because these are the points of entry to my heart, which when left unchallenged caused the original pollution.
Only Agape love can cover a multitude of wrong.
By: KEVIN L A EWING