Thursday, July 26, 2012

What were Jesus’ commandments?


1John 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
What does Jesus mean when he says keep my commandments? Does he mean keep the Decalogue (Ten Commandments?) I have heard and read so many people that teach exactly this. How can one square this with Colossians 2:13-14? If God canceled the written code and nailed it to the cross, how can Jesus mean that keeping his commandments is keeping the Decalogue? The answer is that it cannot or the text contradicts itself. Either God canceled the written code through Christ or Jesus demands that we keep the Decalogue, it cannot be both.

Let me try to unpack this a little. Those who say that Jesus commandments and the Decalogue are one in the same thing assume this because they see the entire scripture as the word of God. However, we have proven beyond doubt with overwhelming scriptural evidence that Jesus and his first century followers redefined the *word of God* to mean the gospel. This is the only way that one can square John 14:15 with Colossians 2:13-14. So then, what are Jesus commands anyway? The answer to this question is clearly stated in 1John 3:23-24  “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.  (24)  Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”

While I will admit that loving one another is covered in the Decalogue, it must be seen in light of grace producing love. That is what Paul meant when he spoke of faith working through love. Faith in God’s grace produces love for God. Resting in this fact provides the ability to love one another. It is not a situation of read and do, rather it is a situation built on trust and love. That is, trusting in God’s grace provides the ability to rest, and resting produces the love for God that will lead to true love of others. The evangelical world has this process exactly backwards and it will not work backwards… not ever! They adamantly claim they are right in this when they are wrong.

It is best understood by the difference between the *law of the Spirit of life* and the *law of sin and death.* It is essentially the same law. The difference comes in the operation of obedience. The law of sin and death resides in a read and do mentality. The law of the Spirit of life resides in trusting in God’s grace for no condemnation… not ever! The law of sin and death produces fear. The law of the Spirit of life produces love. The reason that the law of the Spirit of life produces love is directly because there is no condemnation… not ever!

Jesus said this: John 3:17-18  “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  (18)  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” It should be plain as day. Evangelical dogma and doctrine distorts and convolutes a concept that is so simple.

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