Main point summary
The Ground for the entire ethical section Ch 13-15
The alla here is opposed to the subjunctive sense of the previous
The emphasis here is to love one another. The owing could refer to being slow to fulfill obligations, both physical and spiritual but here is just a transition to the fundamental topic of loving one's neighbor.
Matt 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28; John 13:34-35
This imperative is offered as a more concrete contrast to the subjunctive and more figurative statements at v12c,13a,13b. Rom 8:2.
Μηδενὶ μηδὲν ὀφείλετε,
Owe no one anything,
εἰ μὴ τὸ ⸂ ἀλλήλους ἀγαπᾶν ⸃ ·
except to love each other,
ὁ γὰρ ἀγαπῶν τὸν ἕτερον νόμον πεπλήρωκεν.
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
τὸ γάρ· Οὐ μοιχεύσεις, Οὐ φονεύσεις, Οὐ κλέψεις, Οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις, καὶ εἴ τις ἑτέρα ἐντολή, ἐν ⸂ τῷ λόγῳ τούτῳ ⸃ ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται, ⸂ ἐν τῷ ⸃ ·
For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery (VI), You shall not murder (V), You shall not steal (VII), You shall not covet (IX,X),” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word:
Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
ἡ ἀγάπη τῷ πλησίον κακὸν οὐκ ἐργάζεται·
Love does no wrong to a neighbor;
πλήρωμα οὖν νόμου ἡ ἀγάπη.
therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
And this [being the case] (v8a-10b)
εἰδότες τὸν καιρόν,
knowing the time,
ὅτι ὥρα ⸂ ἤδη ὑμᾶς ⸃ ἐξ ὕπνου ἐγερθῆναι,
that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.
νῦν γὰρ ἐγγύτερον ἡμῶν ἡ σωτηρία ἢ ὅτε ἐπιστεύσαμεν.
For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
ἡ νὺξ προέκοψεν,
The night is far gone;
ἡ δὲ ἡμέρα ἤγγικεν.
the day is at hand.
⸀ ἀποβαλώμεθα οὖν τὰ ἔργα τοῦ σκότους,
So then we should want (Subj) to cast off the works of darkness
⸂ ἐνδυσώμεθα δὲ ⸃ τὰ ὅπλα τοῦ φωτός.
and we should want (Subj) to put on the armor of light.
ὡς ἐν ἡμέρᾳ εὐσχημόνως περιπατήσωμεν,
We should want (Subj) to walk properly as in the daytime,
μὴ κώμοις καὶ μέθαις,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
μὴ κοίταις καὶ ἀσελγείαις,
not in sexual immorality and sensuality,
μὴ ἔριδι καὶ ζήλῳ,
not in quarreling and jealousy.
ἀλλὰ ἐνδύσασθε τὸν κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν,
But put on (Imper) the Lord Jesus Christ,
καὶ τῆς σαρκὸς πρόνοιαν μὴ ποιεῖσθε εἰς ἐπιθυμίας.
and make (Imper) no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Why discuss fulfilling the law? The OT promise of the New Covenant was that God would write the law on the hearts of His people. Jer 31:33. This is done by the baptism of the Spirit and the life in Christ which fulfills the law, not by being bound to the law but by being bound to Christ to fellowship with him in prayer and worship, and to worship both privately and corporately and to serve wherever He sends us by loving one another, both in the Church and outside the Church. Christ's teaching on the Good Samaritan was about 'Who is our neighbor?' The passage on the law in our text contains no imperatives - it is (v8-10) by and large an observation which provides the ground for v8-14, which taken as a whole provides the Ground for Ch12-15.