Obeying the Gospel
2 Thessalonians 1:5-8 It is a clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, 6 since it is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, 8 taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
GRACE is the unmerited favor of GOD! HIS GIFT to those who commit their lives to HIS WILL! The only way we can receive this gift is when we LOVE JESUS and Believe in Him. We can’t earn it! We can’t work for it! That includes our keeping of the 10 Commandments that was given to Moses by GOD…because IT’s IMPOSSIBLE for us to Keep THEM…we are sinful by nature Psalms 51:5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me. Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. If we didn’t require the blood of Jesus to cover us, HE wouldn’t have needed to die on the cross for us.
When we’ve been born again and the HOLY SPIRIT enters in and is alive in us we must stay in non-stop communication with God, asking HIS forgiveness and asking for HIS strength and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and work within us. Keep in mind though that His 10 Commandments are our template for morality. We have to strive to give up everything that Heavenly Father requires of us to give up in order to model ourselves after HIS Son.
Romans 8:29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.
We need to recognize how we weak we are and that we NEED GOD and that without HIM, we are powerless! It’s at this moment that we, like Christ in prayer to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, should be sweating blood! Jesus begged God with every fiber of His being for God to take the cup from Him, but if it was HIS WILL, He needed the strength to face the battle ahead. What could ever make us think that we can face anything in this world without falling to our knees in prayer. Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit came to live in us, and because of the Spirit our hearts and mind have the Law of God written on our hearts and in our minds. Romans 2: 14-15 So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts will either accuse or excuse them 16 on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.
OKAY! Now that we’re on the same page, I’m going to talk to you about understanding and living by the 10 Commandments of GOD! Don’t think that I’m talking to you about works or earning God’s favor…once again…I reiterate…if that’s how anyone believes that we can receive His gift of eternal life then that’s a sad mistake.
1 John 3:4 Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.
The Gospel is the Good News of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us sinners. Without His sacrifice, we’d be lost. 1 John 3:21-24 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23 Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.
Now you’re going to say: Oh My…doesn’t OBEY…sound like legalism? However, it isn’t legalism, Jesus (Yeshua) in John 14:15 tells us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments! I believe that the natural response to knowing God and loving God is our desire to obey and in doing so, we bring Glory to God in our obedience.
Obedience – In simple terms, obedience is compliance with an order, request, law or submission to another’s authority. Jesus respected God’s authority. Philippians 2:8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. REMEMBER!!! Obedience will not gain you Salvation! The point is we are expected to obey. When the prophet Samuel admonished King Saul. 1 Samuel 15:22 Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice,to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
I find it quite discomfiting when a Christian tells me that the “LAW” of God was nailed upon the cross, therefore it’s no longer applicable to us. Don’t get me wrong…I totally comprehend that because Jesus died because of my sins and the sins of the world, that if we believe and have faith in him and “obey” him, we will be given the crown of eternal life at his 2nd coming.
I do know that according to the Old Testament, the “LAW” of God was written by the finger of God. This is not to be confused with the hundreds of ceremonial laws that were told to Moses for him to write down as well as the laws concerning unclean foods. There is a distinct difference. The “10 Commandments” were placed in God’s Holy Ark. If you read Rev 11:19 (HCSB) God’s sanctuary in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.
My question is…how does belief and faith in Jesus negate God’s law? If you study the New Testament, you’ll see that Jesus gave us the “LAW” all over again, but in most cases, more specific and easier to comprehend. Jesus says in Matthew 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (my personal thought: I don’t believe He means to abolish the law ~ read the next verse carefully) 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 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.
When Jesus was approached by the young rich man, when asked how He could get to Heaven and have eternal life? Jesus reiterated the law to him:
Mark 10:17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God. 19 You know the commandments:
Do not murder;
do not commit adultery;
do not steal;
do not bear false witness;
do not defraud;
honor your father and mother.”
When Jesus told him to go and sell all of His possessions an give the money to the poor, He went away saddened…was this sadness because even though, he’d kept the other commandments mentioned, maybe this command dealt with Idolatry? That the young man cared more for his possessions than he cared for eternal life with God? Or was he going away saddened because it hadn’t occurred to him to sell his goods for the “love of his fellowman”?
When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, He answered Matthew 22:36-39 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
These two Great commandments encompass the entire LAW of God!
As Christians, don’t we believe that Jesus is God? He has all the same attributes as God (see part 1 of this article: https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/04/13/knowing-god-and-obeying-the-gospel-pt-1/). He’s Immutable (unchanging), Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Love, Truth, Holiness, Eternal, Compassionate, Kind, I could go on and on…but I’ll continue His attributes in another post.
Woefully, in today’s Christianity, we have been taught that the 10 commandments have been nailed to the cross. However, it’s “OUR SIN” that was nailed to the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. When we believe in HIM as the Son of God (fully God and fully man) and that God sent Him to us to be born of the Virgin Mary and that HE died on the cross for our sins, rose from the grave, ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God and that He’ll come again someday to judge us ALL! This is our Salvation!
As hard as I look, I can’t find anyplace in the Bible (the OLD Testament or the NEW Testament) that says God has changed His mind about sin. Before Man was created, because He’s omniscient (ALL KNOWING) He and His Son came up with a plan to save us from our sins, however, that doesn’t mean that sinning is okay with Him.
Romans 3:31 Do we then cancel the law through faith? Absolutely not! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Romans 6:1-2 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Romans 6:15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!
The Apostle Paul tells us of his struggle with sin so if sin is of no importance why would He have said anything at all? It would have been a mute subject. Romans 7:7-12 What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet. 8 And sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the law sin is dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life 10 and I died. The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. 13 Therefore, did what is good cause my death? Absolutely not! On the contrary, sin, in order to be recognized as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment, sin might become sinful beyond measure.
Does this sound like the 10 Commandments have been nailed to the cross? I don’t see it that way…we NEED the 10 Commandments that God wrote with His own finger that tells us what is GOOD for us ~ in order for us to recognize what’s not Good for us. Why would we want them to be nailed to the cross? According to Paul, if we don’t know the 10 Commandments we don’t know sin.
This next example is of Jesus saving the woman who’s going to be stoned for being a prostitute:
John 8:5-11 In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” 6 They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. 7 When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. 9 When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. 10 When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
I personally believe that Jesus meant exactly what He said: “Go and Sin NO MORE!”
James 1:14-15 But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. 15 Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. We need to recognize sin in our lives and be in a constant state of repenting (turning away from sin and towards God). We also need to be in a constant state of prayer so we can build a bridge between us and Heavenly Father through His Son. In previous posts, I’ve talked about taking up your cross…walking away from this world of sin! https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/03/23/take-up-your-cross/
Collosians 3: 2-7 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient, 7 and you once walked in these things when you were living in them.
When the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, we are guided away from sin and when we ask for it, the Holy spirit instills us with God’s wisdom and revelation of what the word is telling us! The WORD is telling us to leave the world! To turn to God in every aspect of our lives…
As children of God and brothers and sisters In Christ..sharing the Gospel isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command:
Matthew 28:19-20 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The Ten Commandments
Exodus 20:1-17 Then God spoke all these words:
2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
3 Do not have other gods besides Me.
4 Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.
7 Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: 9 You are to labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. 11 For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 Do not murder.
14 Do not commit adultery.
15 Do not steal.
16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.