An expert in the law of Moses who questioned Jesus about eternal life knew the command of Leviticus 19:18, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” However, he thought he had a way around the obligation to carry out this command in his dealings with all people for Luke 10:29 reads, “But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” He was satisfied in not loving those different from him in terms of race, status, gender, education, etc. by redefining the word neighbor to mean only those predominantly like him. Jesus answered his question with the story of the Good Samaritan to show that even this mixed race—with the bitter hatred that often existed between them and Jewish people in the first century—were included in God’s command to love neighbors (Luke 10:30-37). We should be on guard against narrowing the application of God’s word by redefining the terms, lest we fail to do what God has commanded. We tend to evade our responsibility to follow God’s commands by limiting the scope of application so that it excludes our situation. In regard to the primacy of this command even for us today under the New Testament, the inspired apostle Paul wrote, “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Rom. 13:9).
Consider the command, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Ex. 20:16). Does “bearing witness” imply only a judicial application—that I may lie if I am not in a courtroom setting? No. Consider passages like Ephesians 4:25 and Colossians 3:9-10 among many others. False charges and insinuations made in private conversations still harm others. Slander robs a man of his good name, which is more valuable than great riches of silver and gold (Prov. 22:1). The cowardly spread falsehoods in private about an individual they don’t like, but will never confront the individual nor make the same accusations in public under judicial oath. Yet, God clearly condemns such cowardly liars (Rev. 21:8).
Does the word neighbor imply that I may lie to enemies (since I don’t consider them neighbors)? Some propose it does. Frame wrote, “The requirement to tell the truth is conditioned on a relationship, that of ‘neighbor.’” However, neighbor is not intended to give us license to lie to certain people, but rather to show the most hateful example—in harming the person next to you—in the whole category of the sin. God did this with the positive command, “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex. 20:12) in that it is a situation of respect that is easiest for us to accept. That command does not mean we don’t respect other rightful delegated authority in our lives (such as civil government). The tenth commandment is, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17). Would it be all right to covet your enemy’s house or wife since you don’t consider him a “neighbor”? Certainly not. Just as Jesus rightly extended the application of “neighbor” in Leviticus 19:18 to one whom the Jewish lawyer would consider his enemy, so we must do with these moral commands from God.
Let us be on guard against attempts to sidestep the application of God’s word to our own hearts and lives when it becomes difficult. Some commands of God may be qualified, but that is a discussion for another time. For now, let us resolve to do—rather than dodge—God’s commands.
 John M. Frame, The Doctrine of the Christian Life: A Theology of Lordship (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2008), 839.