Ecclesiastes 12:13 "...Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
Why would God create rules?
Good parents set house rules and carry out discipline, knowing by experience the snares and temptations their children will be privy to. In the same way, the Lord also knows the weaknesses of human nature.
It's safe to say Jesus understands first-hand the kind of trouble and chaos we can get into without having some guidelines to live by.
Thus, as the laws of our government tell us how to behave as civilians so that peace and safety are ensured, so God's Word should function as a governing rule in our hearts and lives.
Deuteronomy 11:1 (ESV) “You shall therefore love the Lord your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always.
Why would God allow commandments to be written if He didn't have some sort of purpose for them? Would He have allowed the entire Bible to have survived this long just for His people to accept the portions they wished to and only obey what was convenient for them?
Driving at appropriate speeds may not always be convenient, but it is in the best interest of ourselves and those around us.
Likewise, we as committed Christians do not have the right to pick and choose which laws of God we will follow and which ones we will not.
There is a common misconception that most commandments, especially from the Old Testament, are no longer relevant.
Yet Malachi 3:6
and Hebrews 13:8
both exclaim God does not change. If the Word is God and His expressed thought (John 1:1
), then His Word does not alter either.
Jesus Himself said: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill
...Whosoever therefore shall break
one of these least commandments
, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven
." (Matthew 5:17-20
If all commandments prior to the Gospels were to be ignored, Jesus would have said so. But as the passage states, He came to make the commandments more precise and understandable.
"...blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it
Today, too many preachers are worried about being politically correct, frightened and unwilling to speak against sin.
I don't recall Jesus being that way, though.
He wasn't too concerned with being popular or widely accepted for what He preached.
He wasn't afraid of hurting feelings when He called out the pharisees, exposing their corrupt ways.
In Matthew 15:9
(ESV) He recites "...in vain to they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men
.'" Over time, mankind has given his own interpretation to scriptures in order to appease society's current issues and modern controversies.
In turn, new doctrines are formed based on only part of the Truth while the rest derives from cultural traditions or opinions. Unfortunately, this only causes a white-washing of once-poignant words. Sugar-coated truth tends to be of no effect (Mark 7:13
Many argue that stressing the importance of commandments only creates outwardly pious church-goers and religious fanatics while neglecting to actually restrain people from doing wrong.
But the Laws of God are not intended to be followed purely out of obligation. We aren't saved by the "good" works we do or the "bad" ones we don't do (James 2:14-26
Remember, if we love God, we will keep His commandments
The laws were formed out of love and grace in order to help us. That doesn't mean, however, that we should take love and grace for granted to live as we please.
Following the Lord requires devotion and diligence on our part--including dying to our own desires and opinions on a daily basis.
Many may recall the comparison between the first brothers, Cain and Abel.
Abel, out of conviction of what he knew God desired of him, sacrificed a lamb. Cain brought God what he thought would suffice from all his labors: an offering of the best of his harvest.
But what does God say to the latter? Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22
Let us not take our example from Cain and try to satisfy God in our own way. Let's not be guilty of omitting scripture, either purposely or by taking another man's thought for our own.
"...And if any man shall take away
from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life
..." Revelation 22:18-19 (KJV).
God has an order for everything--nothing is done or spoken by Him accidentally. So when He requires something, He means it.
Just because we don't understand something doesn't make it less true or important. Search the Book He authored and ask Him sincerely for revelation. He will not disappoint if we truly seek to know and obey all
of His commandments.
Labels: actions of love, Christianity, commandments, God's Word, law, no compromise, obedience, order, revelation, rules, sin of unbelief, spiritually speaking, what we don't understand