Day 36 - 40

Day 40: Abide & Obey-Part 2

“Abide and Obey”

Precept #6

“At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:20-21)

               What would you say if I told you that there are more commandments in the New Testament than in the Old? What would you say if I told you that the apostles gave us even more commandments than Jesus gave in the gospels? They say that there are 613 commandments in the Torah, or “Older” Testament. 248 come as things to do. 365 come as things not to do. It is also said, that there are around 1050 commandments given in the New Testament. I cannot say for sure, I have never counted them all. I’m sure you can find websites online that list every single one if you are interested. As for the statement: “The apostles giving us more commandments than Jesus did in the gospels.” We read in the Bible, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1Co 14:37) We read again, “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.” (1Th 4:2) In addition, we find, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Ti 3:16-17) I believe this includes the New Testament we have now, yet at the time, they did not have a New Testament collection of books. Therefore, they are specifically talking about the “Older” Testaments writings. Jesus even confirms the validity of the “Older” writings when He was tempted, “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Luk 4:4) He was quoting the “Older” Testament. Therefore, the argument “that was only the Old Testament, so it doesn’t apply” does not hold any water. Let me give you another example. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pe 1:20-21) They are talking about the “Older” Testament here. Now here is the kicker, what is prophecy really? Let us read, “…I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev 19:10b) Thus, everything in the “Older” Testament is a testimony of Jesus. Some want to throw the baby out with the bath water. That would be a great mistake. It is all Jesus, and it all applies to our lives. Now some things concerning the ceremonial laws of sacrificing have been done away with. They are nailed to the cross. There is no better sacrifice than that of Jesus. Most people get lost in the discussion because they do not realize there are two laws. The ceremonial law of sacrifice has been canceled completely, see Colossians 2:14-18. Now the “Royal Law” or the Ten Commandments of God remains, See James 2:8. We keep the royal law not to earn salvation but to prove our salvation through obedience. Read Colossians chapter 2 for the ceremonial law, and Romans chapter 2&3 for the Ten Commandments. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Rom 3:31)                                {See: Appendix B for a complete list of the 10 Commandments} Page 330

               So you might be thinking to yourself, how am I going to keep 1050 commandments? Good question I do not know. God’s law is ever expanding to those who do not understand the root of the law. Jesus tells us how to understand Gods law, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Mat 22:36-40) So everything stems from love and these two commandments. If you need some clarification then you have the Ten Commandments found in the book of Exodus, chapter 20. We read, “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” (Jas 2:8-11) If you still need even more clarification, you have 1050 in the “Newest” Testament. The point being; the more focused your love is on God, you will then need less dictation concerning the Law. The Book of Galatians in the Bible does an excellent job explaining this. It starts out dealing with the futility of trying to keep the sacrificial law, and ends dealing with the royal law. It is best summed up in this, “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” (Gal 5:18) This is not saying there is no law, or that we should ignore the law. It is saying, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16) Or as it is better said, “… (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) …” (1Co 9:21) If we do not fulfill the desires of our flesh, then we no longer are slaves to sin. Then at that point, we naturally do that which is in the law. The spirit leads us to obey and abide. The greater you focus your heart on God, the less you need to be told how to love Him! “The anointing that ye did receive from him, in you it doth remain, and ye have no need that any one may teach you, but as the same anointing doth teach you concerning all, and is true, and is not a lie, and even as was taught you, ye shall remain in him.” (1Jn 2:27)

              As Christians, we call Jesus our Lord and Savior. How can He be our Lord, if He never gave us any direction? How can we claim Him as such, if we do not obey Him when He does? These are very pertinent questions when dealing with Abiding and Obeying. Especially when we consider every promise, gift, and blessing stated in this book depends upon it. All of these beautiful revelations of God’s love, and Jesus’ love for us, are directly connected to Jesus being our Lord. Without His lordship over our lives, we are on the outside looking in. Jesus gave us the perfect example through obedience to the Father. Let us read, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Rom 5:19) Jesus suffered greatly to remain obedient to the Father. Even in the garden when Jesus asked to not suffer, He remained obedient. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” (Heb 5:8) If we want to have the relationship Jesus has with the Father, then we must do the things He has done. We will never go wrong following the example set before us. For this is the mantle upon all who call themselves Christian. We must act like Him.

            “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Act 5:29) What is there to obey if there is no law? Obviously, there remains something to be obeyed. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” (Rom 6:16-17) Yes, and these teaching are found in the New Testament. You see, lawlessness is satanic. Satan broke the law of heaven and then encouraged Adam and Eve to break the law given in the garden. We are encouraged on how we are to deal with Him, and anyone he sends to deceive us into lawlessness. Let us read, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2Co 10:4-5) It is obedience that destroys the work of the Devil. We must obey, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” (1Pe 1:2) “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” (1Pe 1:17)

            Jesus, speaking of the Devil’s character says; “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (Joh 8:44) Satan broke the law of heaven. He wants the children of God to do the same, so he will become our lord through disobedience. “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luk 16:13) We have a choice to make. Either we serve God through obedience, or the Devil is our lord through rebellious disobedience. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” (Eph 2:1-2) We cannot claim rebellion and salvation. “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” (Eph 5:6) The anger of God is against all disobedience. For the father of lies is the lord of disobedience. We must move away from these things, turn to Jesus, and obey. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:” (Col 3:5-6) Live with repentant hearts and you will do just fine. Remain in humble obedience and your Father will lift you up.

             If we make Jesus our Lord through obedience, we have these guidelines to show us the path. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1Jn 3:3-4) We have a choice laid out before us. We must choose how we will walk this earth. Did you know that obedience brings Glory to God? “Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection [obedience] unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;” (2Co 9:13) To choose disobedience is to deny God His glory due unto Him. We see this at the end of time in the book of Revelation, “And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.” (Rev 16:9)

            Works and obedience are two different things. It gets confusing if you do not separate the two. Works are done to earn something. Obedience is to abide within the Lord and His will. We cannot work our way to heaven. We can obey the One who has saved us and invited us into Heavens inner courts. Salvation is not of matter of work or earning it. However, I will say it is a matter of obedience. Without obedience, why would you be baptized, take the Lord’s Supper, share your faith, stop sinning, etc? Obedience teaches us how to walk with our Lord and God. There is no salvation in a life of willful rebellious disobedience, period! Jesus did not come to save us from our sins and the consequences of our sins; just so we can go about freely enjoying what put Him to death in the first place.

            This leads us to repentance. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Act 2:38) How would we know what to repent of, unless there was law to show us our failings? Then once we have repented, which by implication means to turn from breaking the law. How then can we say it is okay to break that which we just repented of? It makes no sense at all. If we repent then that means we no longer do those things we just repented of. If we rebelliously turn again to that which we just repented of, it is not repentance at all. Once we were lawless and sinful, now we are Holy and law-abiding. We repent of breaking the law; this is done by keeping the law. It is impossible to say we have faith without repentant obedience. Allow me to prove this to you. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Eph 2:8) This is just and true. Now let me prove my point. Let us read, “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” (Rom 16:26) Again let us read, “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:” (Rom 1:5) Once more let us read, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev 14:12) You see faith and obedience inseparable. This is not working to earn salvation. Salvation is already ours. This is faithful obedience to the one who has saved your soul. Obedience is how we handle this free gift.

            Allow me to prove this point even further. “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (Jas 2:14-26) Faith without the corresponding action is not faith at all. This is one of the reasons when Jesus comes back, He will reward us for the works we have done in this life. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev 22:12)

            A day of judgment is coming upon the earth. The lawless ones will have to answer to a Holy and Righteous God for the decisions they have made. Jesus describes it in the following way; “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mat 13:41-43) Again we read, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (2Th 1:7-10)  

            We have covered a lot of ground. I hope it is clear how important obedience is to our Daddy. I also hope you understand that we cannot earn salvation through obedience. It truly is a gift. Since we have received this gift, we have been instructed on how it is to be handled. We prove our salvation by obeying and abiding. It is the proof of our faith. We have a Holy and righteous God who has called us to be Holy and righteous. If we fail, He will forgive us. If we struggle, He will empower us. He loves us too much to leave us in the destructive lifestyle of sin. We are called out of the lust of the flesh into the Spirit of God. We cannot bring our sin with us. We must leave it behind. We cannot walk in the light and bring the darkness. If Jesus is our Lord, we must follow His example of obeying the Father. This is how we must handle our free gift of salvation. If you want to enter into the deepest intimacy possible with God, you must enter in by the manner He has laid out for you, obedience! Obedience is the love song that stirs the Heart of your Daddy. It makes a melody of song by which you can sing in unison with your maker. Obedience is nothing more than dancing with your Father. In rhythmic fashion, He lifts you up and spins you around as you follow His lead.  

Let’s Pray “Daddy, it can be confusing sometimes trying to understand the Bible. I know that each book was written to different groups, with different issues. I also know that is why the Bible almost seems to contradict itself. Some had faith without an understanding of obedience, and others thought obedience alone would be good enough. I now know that one without the other makes the other to be nothing at all. Help me to make my faith to materialize through my obedience. Let me not trust in my ability to obey to be the source of my hope in eternal life. This is how I understand it, Daddy. In Jesus, we find life, by faith I believe in Him, since I believe, then I also obey. I cannot say I believe if I do not obey. For what good would a belief be if it never changed the way I acted? Therefore, in this, I commit my soul into Your care for my salvation. I also commit my life to Your ways through obedience to the teaching of Jesus.” In Jesus’ precious and holy name we pray, Amen!

~We Shall Be Like Him – 1 John 3:2~

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