Romans 13:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 13:10, NIV: Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:10, ESV: Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Romans 13:10, KJV: Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Romans 13:10, NASB: Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.

Romans 13:10, NLT: Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God's law.

Romans 13:10, CSB: Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.

What does Romans 13:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In verse 8, Paul made the statement that those who love have fulfilled the law. He concludes his explanation of what that means in this verse.

Paul showed previously that we will, by default, end up keeping the whole law if we simply obey the command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Leviticus 19:18). Now he makes it clearer still: When we are acting in love, we will never hurt anyone. Thus, love fulfills the intention of every other commands given to protect people from harm.

We should be careful, though, not to read Paul's words here to mean that the command to love our neighbors has now become the equivalent of the law of Moses. Paul is not teaching that if we succeed in loving others, we will obtain on our own the righteousness of God. Paul has been extremely clear that those who are in Christ have died to the law and have been released from the law (Romans 7:4–6).

Nor is Paul's command suggesting that anything which displeases or bothers another is, by definition, unloving. For example, Christians are commanded to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15); truths such as the reality of our sin are sometimes hard to hear. What Paul means is that acts of love—in and of themselves—are not a source of harm. When we act for others' best interests, we're not doing anything to harm them.

Paul's point here is that those who are in Christ are called to keep on loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we were able to do so perfectly—which we are not—we would perfectly keep the law—which we can't. That distinction is one Paul has already addressed in this letter (Romans 3:10; 7:22–23).