Should We obey Commands of Jesus to be Saved?



We are saved by grace and not by works. Then, is it works to obey the commandments or is it grace? Do Christians have just two commandments to obey or hundreds of them? Do we have to obey all commandments or just two in order to be saved?

Christian pastors preach grace. They preach very subtly giving hints not to obey God’s commandments. They say the commandments are works and we are not saved by works. They say that if we try to obey God’s commandments, we are against God’s grace and it will make God angry. Will God be angry at us if we strive to obey God’s commandments? Will God be pleased with those Christians who do not regard God's commandments at all? Is this not ridicules? Yet, preachers defy God’s commandments in the name of grace. It does not make sense. But, they are very popular among Christians. So, let us look into the Bible, and find what God says about this.

1. How many Commandments (Two or Hundreds)?

Christians believe that we have hundreds of commandments in the New Testament and who can obey all of them? Sincere new believers are made to be overwhelmed and almost give up the good fight of faith even before they start. However, God gives only two commandments. Love God and love your neighbor. If you love God you will obey him. If you can not love God, then fear God. Fear will help you to obey God. Either way you will obey God. If you obey his commandments, then you are his son/daughter and you will inherit his kingdom.

False preachers show many commandments from the New Testament to believers in order to convince them that nobody is able to fulfill them. This is a kind of scare tactics to lure them into the deception of Satan. But, they will not introduce the true grace, which is the power of Jesus Christ that will supernaturally be imparted to true believers with which they overcome sin.

2. Requirements to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus Christ once said that believers should exceed the righteousness of the religious leaders to enter the kingdom of heaven. "Matt 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." If Jesus Christ has said this, then nobody can make this requirement void. Further, we must know that God will not contradict himself, but the devil twist the scriptures, so we must be careful and vigilant.

Jesus Christ revealed the Ten Commandments and abridged them. They are to be obeyed in order to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. All true believers will obey this version of the Commandments. Those who have higher callings fulfill their higher requirements. Deceivers enjoy sins and bluff their way to eternal damnation.  

3. Laws of the Jews

God gave the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law to his people, Israel. Mosaic Law was the directive to govern the temple and the nation. Obeying the Ten Commandments makes people righteous. Even though the Ten Commandments were given to Israel, God applied its universal principles to the entire world. The word “law” refers to the Ten Commandments, the Mosaic Law and the commandments of men. "Matt 15:9…in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Col 2:22 … after the commandments and doctrines of men." However, Christians were given neither the doctrines of Jews, nor the Mosaic Law, and so they are freed from the law. Deceivers claim that we are freed to disobey God. Deceivers call the Ten Commandments that were revised by the Lord Jesus Christ, as law and works. This is deception. However, the true believers are free from the law, which are the commandments of men and the Mosaic Law.

4. Commandments of Jesus Christ
The Revised Version of the Ten Commandments

Jews were expecting Messiah to come so that they might receive back the kingdom. "Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" That is the time; God the Word became flesh, a man, Jesus of Nazareth. He preached to the Jews to change their mind (that is to repent) from the kingdom of the Jews to the kingdom of heaven that was at hand.  "Matt 4:17 … Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus Christ has also upgraded the Ten Commandments demanding a higher righteousness. This is known as the commandments of Jesus Christ. The New Testament mentions many sins and those who do them will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. If we list them all, we will see that those sins are disobedience to the Commandments of Jesus Christ. That is, if we obey the Commandments of Jesus Christ our righteousness will exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, and we will enter the kingdom of heaven. We have to accept the minimum requirement since it is set by the Lord. The devil always rebelled and now he makes sin loving Christians rebel. Most Christians become willing victims of Satan.  

5. Commandments and Sins

Sinners do not obey God. Their impulses and actions are against the mandates of the true God, who is the Creator of all that are created. Sinners do not reverence God as the King of all Kings and the Master of the universe. They consider him God who should provide for them and they desire more than he gives. They grumble, rebel and disobey God. Breaking the Commandments of Jesus Christ is the sins of the New Testament believers. Here, their sins are matched with the commandments for you to see. Those who obeyed God did not sin.

1. Deut 5:6 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.  7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me. 

2. Deut 5:8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:  9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them:

3. Deut 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

            Sin list: Backsliding (dogs), blasphemy, boasting, twist the truth of God, heresies, foolishness (foolish talking), disobeying gospel, drunkenness (excess wine), evil, evil eye, idolatry, lying, pride, rebellions (seditions, strife), revelling (enjoy festivities), sorcery, un-repented, unrighteousness, vanity of mind, unyielding (implacable), wickedness, without understanding, witchcraft, and worship and serve creatures rather than the Creator.

4. Deut 5:12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.  13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work.  14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.  15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.  (This commandment was revoked and revised. Sabbath day is to take rest from physical work that has nothing to do with the kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ was shifting the mind of the people from the kingdom of Jews to the kingdom of heaven. So, he preached to enter the rest, which is spiritual that pertained to everlasting life.)

            Sin list: Sabbath day observing is no more a commandment in New Testament.

5. Deut 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Shifted out of the main two commandments. Disciples are excused from it. "Matt 8:21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. Matt 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!") “Honor thy father and thy mother” is no longer included in the New Commandments.

            Sin list: disobedient to parents (Young children obey the parents, married children take care of their parents with gratefulness and disciples, who are in the mission to serve God traveling place to place, are exempted from taking care of their parents and leave the responsibility to other children who are not in the mission (Matt 8:22, Luke 9:60, & Matt 12:47-49).  

6. Deut 5:17 Thou shalt not kill. (Revised- You do not hate but love your brethren.)

Sin list: anger (wrath), debates (argument, variance), favoring sinners, unmerciful, hatred (malignity, despiteful), maliciousness (desire to harm others), murders, rioting (tumults), rivalry (emulations), evil, ridiculing (jesting), and strife (envy in heart).

7. Deut 5:18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.  (It is revised- we must have no sexual desire toward anyone other than our spouses, including any act of perversion.)

            Sin list: adultery, concupiscence (strong lustful desire), filthiness (uncleanness), fornications, homosexuality, inordinate (disorderly) affection, lasciviousness (expressing lust), lusts (even in heart), not having natural affection, perversion, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness (sinning under the cover of grace and teaching others to do the same), and whoremongers.

8. Deut 5:19 Neither shalt thou steal.

            Sin list: covenant breaking, deceit, and thefts.

9. Deut 5:20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

            Sin list: backbiting, false witness, and lying.

10. Deut 5:21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.

            Sin list: Boasting, concupiscence (strong lustful desire), covetousness, envying, deceit, and fornications.

6. The Two Commandments of Christ

If you follow the above commandments carefully, you would have noticed that they are no longer ten, but eight commandments, the fourth and the fifth are being shifted. Now, they are summarized into two commandments. The first three commandments are made as one great commandment. "Matt 22:37 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. 38 This is the first and great commandment." The last five are made as another commandment. "Matt 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Thus the ten were revealed into eight and the eight were abridged into the Two Great Commandments. "Matt 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." The complete kingdom laws of the Bible exist on these two commandments.

We may still summarize them as Love God and Love your neighbor. But extreme caution must be taken when we un-summarize them. False teachers interpret the commandments as they like it. The truth is not for interpretation, but to be found from the original. We must obey these commandments. Those who obey exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. The word of God says these commandments are not hard to obey. "1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."

However, we must fear God and obey God so that you may enter into the kingdom of God. "Eccl 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."

7. Higher Commandments for Higher Callings

"Matt 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." Jesus made this statement to a young rich man. Though this commandment does not apply to a common believer, it has an implication that a higher goal has a higher price to pay. "Mark 10:37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. 38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" Higher calling or higher goals requires a higher price to be paid. "Matt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Apostles are required to deny themselves and pick up their own crosses to follow Jesus Christ.

God gives them special grace to fulfill their calling. Looking at an apostle and wondering how much hardship he had to go through should not discourage an ordinary believer from running his own race. The dedication of an apostle is not expected from a believer. 

8. Conclusion

It is not wise for a high school student to look at a project outline of a postgraduate to be overwhelmed and give up his studies. Instead, he must concentrate on what is given him so that he graduates high school before he gets into graduate studies. "Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. Matt 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Proud believers think that they know it all and they become prey to deceivers, who serve Satan. Let us encourage new believers to humble themselves to join the school of God to graduate so that they enter the kingdom of God.

What is expected of us is simple. We have to obey the two Great Commandments, or we may say the eight commandments of the Ten Commandments, with the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Matt 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." With the grace of God, these Commandments are not hard to obey. "1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." God bless you all and give you his grace. "James 4:6… he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

God Bless You

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

If we love God with reverential fear, we will obey God and We will stop sinning.

 

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Blessings of God

God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you,
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
Acts 3:26
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and
the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
2 Cor 13:14