[Gospel is that we must believe Jesus Christ, with proof that we obey his commandments, for our everlasting life. Any other gospel is perverting the gospel of Christ. The Bible invariably says that we must believe and obey the gospel, in order to escape the vengeance of our Lord Jesus Christ, in flaming fire.]
Jesus Christ told his disciples in Matthew 28:20: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Here, Jesus Christ refers to all that he has commanded to his disciples. His disciples should teach all of them to those who will believe him. So, if you will believe Jesus Christ, you must be taught all that he taught his disciples, and you will be asked to observe them all. It is a tough predicament. It is not like what our preachers are saying. They say that Jesus loves us and so we can get away with any sin. Jesus Christ says that we must observe all that he has commanded his disciples to do. What he has commanded them? It does not seem that Jesus Christ is asking us to take shelter in his abundance grace, love and mercy.
The laws and commandments of God are spiritual and people of the world or carnal people will not and cannot obey them. Romans 7:14 says: "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." But there are two factors that can help us, not only to obey God, but it will make us so easy to obey the commandments of God. They are: 1) God's grace and 2) Our love toward God.
1) God's Grace to Us: But if they repent and humble themselves before God, God will give them grace and will enable them to obey his commandments. "James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:" God's grace will make us perfect to obey him. "2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." So, by the grace of God--the strength of Christ--that rest upon us, we can obey God.
2) Our Love toward God: Let us look at the two commandments that Jesus Christ preached. Matthew 22 says: "36) Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 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. 39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." So, the two commandments are: 1) Love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. 2) Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Let us start with the first of the two. How to love God with all what we are? Jesus Christ says in John 14:15: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Here, we are caught in a circle. His commandments are to love him, and to love him is to keep his commandments. So, we got stuck and we do not know where to start. 1 John 5 says: "1) Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." Here God says that Jesus Christ is the Son of God the Father. And if we love the Father, we will love the Son also. Here, God establish the principle that if we love the Father, we love his sons also. "2) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments." Here, God applies what we have studied in verse 1. That is, if we love God, we will also love his children, who is our brethren, that is our neighbor. If so, we fulfill the second commandment also, even without our knowledge. "3) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." Now, God says that we keep the commandments and it is so easy. Actually, we learn here, who is our neighbor. We will not love the world, even though we live in the world. We will not have strife with the world, but the commandment is to love our neighbor, who is the sons of God, who is our spiritual brethren, but not the world.
So, we must begin our love with God the Father and Jesus Christ, as a family of Father and Son. Now, we extend this love to the children (family) of God, that is, we love our brethren, neighbor (it is not the people of the world, but our own). Verse 3 says that this is God's love, and this is keeping the commandments of God without even knowing it, and this way of fulfilling his commandments is not grievous (not hard) at all. This is actually our life of love to God and to our brethren. Further, the commandment expects us not do any evil against our neighbor. Romans 13:10 says: "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." So we can obey the commandments of God and it is not hard at all.
God gave Ten Commandments to the Jews. Jesus Christ said if they keep these commandments they will have eternal life. Jesus Christ says in Matthew 19: "16)... what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17)… if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Let us study how the Jews can obey the Ten Commandments and go to heaven. Then John 1:17 says: "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ gives grace and truth. This is the power of God and the revised Ten Commandments, which is the commandments of Jesus Christ. But Christians say that nobody can obey the commandments. Let us review them one by one.
1. Deuteronomy 5 says: "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." What God requires here is not to have any other God, but him, who is the Creator, and who brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt. It is not hard, not to have any other God other than our creator.
2. "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:" To make the idols and to worship them is hard. It is easy, not to do anything. So, it is an easy commandment to obey.
3. Verse 11 says: "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." Few zealous Christians take the name of the Lord in vain to show off their zealousness for God. They must stop this ignorance and give more reverence to God. But, I don't think that the Jews take the name of God in vain, as much as Christians do. However, this commandment is not hard to obey. If we do not put up a show, it will take care of itself.
4. Verses: "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." The main Sabbath day is Saturday. It was given to the Jews. It is a day to take physical rest and it is not about church worship. Jesus Christ has repealed this commandment of physical rest to the New Testament believers and gives them an eternal rest as in Hebrew 4:1-11. You will find the details of this commandments, by a click on this link: "Sabbath." To take rest is an easy commandment.
5. Verse 16 says: "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." Honor thy parents means, for young children to obey the parents, married children to take care of their old parents with gratefulness. But, 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 the other children who are not in the mission, according to Matthew 8:21-22. Matthew 8 says: "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." This is not an impossible commandment to obey.
6. "17) Thou shalt not kill." It is revised as, you do not hate but love your brethren. It is easy not to kill.
7. "18) Neither shalt thou commit adultery." It is revised- we must have no sexual desire toward anyone other than our spouses. Any perversion is abomination. God has blessed the marriage bed. Husband and wife are for each other. Singles: if you burn, marry and enjoy life. Husband and wife are for each other.
8. "19) Neither shalt thou steal." Usually false preachers intimidate people saying, did you not take a paper clip from your office, and such things. Tell them to keep their mouth shut. Poverty is the cause of stealing in most places. Christians should help their brethren. If we are in an economically well to do country and if you are stealing, there is no excuse. We can live without stealing.
9. "20) Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour." Evil people always talk lies about other people and destroy families. I know such people are even in churches. They are of the devil. But, those who have a desire to live for God, will not do this. It is not a hard commandment to obey.
10. "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." The commandment does not say, not to have desire. It says not to desire the things of your neighbor. Have your own, but do not desire which belong to others. Is it hard? No.
So, the general outcry of the preachers saying that we cannot keep the commandments, is a lie. False preachers are the one, who say this and they deceive people. They work for Satan.
Jesus Christ has upgraded the Ten Commandments demanding a higher righteousness. This is known as the commandments of Jesus Christ. 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. If we do not obey them, it is sin, then we will not inherit the kingdom of God. We have to fulfill the minimum requirement since it is set by the Lord. The devil always rebelled against God and now he makes sin loving Christians to rebel against his commandments. Most Christians become willing victims to Satan.
Jesus Christ began to preach repentance. Matthew 4:17 says: "… Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Then he followed with preaching the gospel. Matthew 4:23 says: "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, ..." Matt 9:35, Mark 1:14, Luke 7:22, and a few other verses say, that Jesus Christ has preached the gospel. He did not preach his death and resurrection as the gospel, which is the story of his life. The gospel is that, what we must do to inherit the kingdom of God, and it is not to accept his story. But, all preachers, preach the story of Jesus Christ as the gospel and do not preach what Jesus Christ preached as the gospel. So, they deceive Christians with false and fake salvation.
God the Father, who was dwelling in the Man Jesus, gave commandments through him. "John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, ---. 24 --- the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." The commandments of God, even in the Old Testament settings, are spiritual. "Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual:" The New Testament commandments were given in the perspective of the kingdom of heaven. It is revealed to his disciples, but not to others. Matthew 11:25 says: "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." 13:11 says: "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." God's word is understood only by his disciples.
Jesus Christ tells Christians in Matthew 5:20: "... 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." Christians have to obey the commandments from the roots. That is, they have to nib sin in the bud. Example: 1) First Jesus Christ points us the Old Testament commandment. 21 says: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:" Then he tells the spiritual application of the commandments in the next verse. 22 says: "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." However, if we have a godly cause, we have the right to defend the cause. Example: 2) They should not look at a woman with lust so that there will be no chance for adultery. So also they should not hate a person, so that there is no chance to kill, etc. Matthew 5 says: "27) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Then, Jesus Christ tells them to kill the deed of the body of sin: "29) And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." Even though he did not mean to mutilate the body, he use such a language to emphasis his point.
The commandments of the Lord appear to be very rude. But it is practical and we are given grace, power, and the holy spirit from God. They can lead us in the ways of God and to destroy the deeds of the flesh to become the sons of God. John 1 says: "12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. 16) … of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." Luke 11:13 says: "... how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Romans 8 says: "13) ... but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 17) ... if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;" Christians can obey the commandments of God by his power, grace, and the Holy Spirit and destroy the sinful deeds of their flesh. Then they become the sons of God and they will inherit the kingdom of God. To receive grace, click on this link: "Grace of God."
Matthew 19:21 says: "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 cost. Mark 10 says: "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 higher cost. Matthew 16:24 says: "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. They are required to risk their own lives. Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3: "14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15) Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:" Here we see that his high calling came to him after he became perfect and that is why, in verse 15, he extends such a calling to them that has attained perfection. God gives them special grace to fulfill their calling. The dedication of an apostle is not expected from an ordinary believer. An ordinary Christian should not look at an apostle and wonder how much hardship he had to go through, and it should not discourage him from running his own race.
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