| Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:|
Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14
In OT the commandents were the specific things God instructed His people to do mainly thorugh the prophets and the anointed leaders. They had the old law to follow.
Jesus said all the law and the fufilling of the law and phrophets could be summed on in this one thing--love your nieghbor as yourself and love God with all your heart, mind soul and strength.
Today we are able to be lead by the Holy Spirit if we will take the time to listen and be still before Him.
But what does it mean to you to keep His commandments? What are His commandments? How can I know that each day I am walking in His commandments? If we want to make it our goal to please the Lord above everything else, how can we do that? Anyone have any thoughts on that? Thanks.
| 2011/7/25 11:40|
| Re: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:|
What are His commandments?
In the OT there were carnal ordinances. When we say carnal we simply mean that these ordinances were of the flesh or were kept out of fleshly observance. The writer of Hebrews brings this out and makes a very powerful contrast between the carnal ordinances and the things of the Spirit ushered in by Jesus Christ.
Heb 9:10-28 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. (11) But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (13) For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (16) For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. (17) For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. (18) Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. (19) For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, (20) Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. (21) Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. (22) And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (23) It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (24) For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (25) Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; (26) For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (28) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Notice that the carnal ordinances are referred to as a PATTERN of the things in the heavenlies or in the Spirit. Now the pattern is only a representation of a thing and not the thing itself. Jesus made this point in the Sermon on the Mount. He began by saying that unless the righteousness of the people exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees that they would in no way enter the kingdom of God. Now the kingdom is not some location called heaven that is out in space somewhere, nor is it a reward for good deeds, but it is found in restoration to right relationship with God. Romans 14:17, 1 Cor. 4:20
I am now part of or in the kingdom of God. That kingdom will one day be established in a very literal way on this earth in the reign and rule of Jesus Christ. The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was a carnal righteousness, we understand they were not really righteous in Gods eyes, that the people despaired of ever attaining. To them the Pharisee was the pinnacle of righteousness due to the zeal with which he kept the law. Jesus statement would have pulled the rug out from under everyone on that mountain. Then Jesus illustrates His point with statements such as, Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. The commandment did not deal with lust. A Pharisee could lust all he wanted to and still have kept the law in respect to adultery. Jesus shows the people that what true righteousness looks like is something the law with its carnal ordinances does not even begin to approach unto.
But the law was good enough to accomplish the purpose for which it was sent. It brought man to a point of despair at ever being good enough by keeping ordinances in his flesh. If it is used lawfully, 1Ti 1:8-10 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; (9) Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, (10) For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
Rom 7:12-14 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (13) Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. (14) For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Gal 3:19-25 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (20) Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. (21) Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. (22) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (23) But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. (24) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Given the purpose of the OT law and the righteousness that is provided without the law and given the aggregate of Paul and Jesus teaching on the law, I must conclude that the commandments Jesus refers to are not found in the carnal ordinances. Look at these two passages.
Rom 7:1-13 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (2) For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (3) So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (4) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (5) For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (6) But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (7) What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (8) But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. (9) For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (10) And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. (11) For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. (12) Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (13) Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
Heb 10:1-18 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
The shadow is not the thing. Jesus did fulfill all the law and the prophets. He fulfilled the prophets when He said and did exactly that they foretold. He fulfilled the law in that He became the one sacrifice that set us free from carnal ordinances to serve in newness of life. He has set us free from the carnal ordinances which were a mere shadow or representation meant to serve as an insurmountable obstacle between mans ability and righteousness and has instead written His laws, His true commandments, on our hearts. Jeremiah 31:33, Heb. 8, Heb. 10. So when I serve Him out of relationship and are obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit I will by the very nature of regeneration and righteousness keep the commandments of God.
I will give a very practical example. The law does not speak at all about television. Television is not evil. Yet I have had God lead me to NOT have a television. I have obeyed. This was Gods commandment. Some of these commandments are universal. For example we are to forgive our brother. We have no choice. Some are unique as me not owning a television.
I encourage you to study all the scriptures that speak to our liberty in Christ. Paul totally annuls the dietary laws as he speaks of eating in faith.
I believe we must define the commandments as something other than and superior to the OT law. We please God when we walk in the Spirit, led of the Holy Spirit. We please Him by sold out intimate relationship with Him in which He is Lord of all and we are not lord of anything.
| 2011/7/25 18:13||Profile|
| Re: |
Seems to me you focused erroneously on the wrong part of the verse.
It says "fear God AND keep his commandments." "Fearing God" is stated first. It occurs before obeying God's commandments.
When one fears God you will obey him in whatever he asks of you, whether you live in the OT era or the NT era. The principle is the same: "Fear God". The details of how God will lead you varies. Jesus also says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
When one focuses on obeying commandments apart from fearing God you will become legalistic. When you fear God, walk with Him, you will be walking in his will and by extension obeying his commandments.
| 2011/7/25 18:56||Profile|
| Re: |
love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Doesn't this fullfill the commandments? Humans run the danger of focusing so much on the 10 commandments and other laws that they miss the whole of the law. For if a person loves it usually manifests as keeping laws. How often we make it so hard on ourselves. I also get a kick out of 7th day adventists with this.
| 2011/7/25 18:59||Profile|
| Re: |
For some reason I am having trouble getting the quote funtion to work. Ginny, the following is a quote:
"When one fears God you will obey him in whatever he asks of you, whether you live in the OT era or the NT era. The principle is the same: "Fear God". The details of how God will lead you varies. Jesus also says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
When one focuses on obeying commandments apart from fearing God you will become legalistic. When you fear God, walk with Him, you will be walking in his will and by extension obeying his commandments."
Actually you are saying pretty much the same thing I was saying. When we are in right relationship with God we will be willing to do whatever it is He asks of us. The question I was answering is what are the commandments we as born again believers are supposed to keep. My point is that the carnal ordinances of the Levitical law are not those commandments that Jesus commands us to keep. This is made evident by a great number of NT teachings by Paul and by Jesus. My point was that the commandments we keep as born again believers are not those of "don't eat cheeseburgers, don't wear blended fabrics, offer a sacrifice of a lamb if rich or turtledoves if poor, etc, etc, as the carnal ordinances of the Levitical law set forth. These were only a shadow, only a dim representation of the righteous nature of God meant to condemn and convince man of his sin and show him his need for a savior.
I totally agree that when one relies on keeping commandments apart from relationship (fear of God comes from relationship. I know whom I serve and so I walk in the reverential awe and respect of He who is God and created the universe but condescended to my estate) one will be legalistic. In fact this is the very definition of legalism, trying to approach God on my own merit by keeping law. We live out of relationship, out of regeneration of spirit, out of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for it is not I that live but Christ that now lives in me. I am dead to self, I am alive to God.
The question was not whether or not we should keep His commandments. The question was as to the new covenant definition of a commandment and whether or not it is differentiated from the Levitical law. I believe it is.
Hope that sheds light on what I was saying. I agree with everything you posted.
| 2011/7/25 21:13||Profile|
| Re: |
When first beginning meditation in the books of John over a year ago,this started with comparative work in John 14-21. Atop of this was placed 1st John's 5 chapters, relating them to the first 8 chapters initializing this practice. Seeing so very many more and more scriptures related to these 13 chapters, that i still have not yet progressed beyond these.
(Torah is a slow gradual step by step learning through of phrase added to phrase, day by day, and sometimes even just learning the meaning of names one by one, day by day. This has helped suppliment the 13 chapters which took 10 weeks of endless repetitions to learn in the first place.
This one exercise, has, out of all other disciplines practiced in conforming my reasoning to God's Word has by far been the most rewarding. . .even though it was very slow-going at the onset.
( i now advise any who desire wisdom, knowledge, and understanding into God's Law to do the same.)
You will first begin to regret all the time wasted trying to figure out the ambiguities of Paul's writings. John, with Torah added to it, both being very blunt and to the point, help one clearly understand that what many say about what Paul actually means--in their erring direct contradiction to other scriptures relative to what Paul writes--hardly understand at all what Paul actually means.
(This very thing seems to be why Kefa wrote that "we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
2Pe 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
~II Peter 3.13-18)
The above was first thoughts before beginning to read this thread.
Now after reading through, what follows is relative to discussion, but from a different angle, kinda'. . .
When first beginning to meditate John 14, verses 15-18/18-23/23-29 stuck out like three sore thumbs:
"if you love me keep my commandments" all the way onto "he that hath and keepeth my commandments" had me first wondering what these " 'my' commandments " were. At first it was thought that all the imperatives given by Jesus, numbering well over 70 in all were the 'my' commandments.
When i realized that it was not this, because of scriptures that seem not to stand in direct alignment with this 'keeping' --like in Matthew 10-- i just gave up trying to figure it out, prayed about it and left it with God. Like more other things done according to this proceedure, in like manner, after exhausting SELF-motivated human(istic) ingenuity, God had far more room to speak that much more clearly to me without my head or heart getting in the way.
In a blinding flash of holy ghost inspiration (really not so dramatic--more like softly and tenderly), but more than normal excitement resulting, it was clearly seen that the 'my commandments' Jesus told us to keep were the very things he obeyed to please our Heavenly Father: what He was commanded to do. To me, it suddenly became understood that 'abba' (='daddy') had given us guidelines to 'our best life now'-->(see: Duet. 8).
Through the grace given in revealing our best possible manner towards earthly living: health, wealth, prosperity, and in revering our Father--lived out in obedience to the family instruction manual He has freely provided us<--(Torah)the godless people will fear us as well.
After learning 1st John, and already knowing related passages in John, another thing stuck out like a sore thumb as well. It was that Jesus gave us one and only one commandment. Granted it sumarizes everying given us as a thing to do (in the imperative tense), but it was realized that spirit led living as community in the body of Christ Jesus is the summary of all the Law and the Prophets.
In John, Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto thee, that ye. . ."; but finally considering it as that sore thumb standing alone in 1st John gave a whole different perspective. The is not saying that this commandment negated all the other things to be observed, but only that the holy spirit fills our hearts with such immense love for the bretheren that our hearts desire becomes one of doing everything in our power to love the bretheren first and formost, even as our own.
First John three puts the whole matter in the clearest terms:
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
[and below, this section is concluded with keeping His commandmentS(<--plural again, and not as in the one command of Christ Jesus), which again confirmed revelation on the three sore thumbs in John 14--that keeping His commandments is not meant to be understood as keeping what He commanded, but that we keep what was commanded Him by our Heavenly Father]
And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
It is through letting this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, and taking on life as a slave of God our Father, through death to our self-interests, we can with a complete heart live through His spirit walking in this newness of life. . .and suddenly Paul's abiduities began making so much sense, like: many different passages in galatians and romans, but to somewhat clarify, in relation to the aforementioned, verses such as these suddenly made much more sense:
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. . . So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
~Romans 8.2-4, 7-9
Law and commandments has nothing whatsoever to do with making us righteous. Paul emphasises this again and again repeatedly
The Law and commandments are righteous holy and good, as Paul states in chapter 7 of Romans. Earlier on he said that the Law is good if used properly. Obedience to the law is by serving Him, showing love to our Father in heaven by doing what he tells us (will make us prosper in the earth0.
Love for the bretheren is summarized in our servants heart to obey our Heavenly Father, by serving Jesus body on this earth.
Has anyone been confused by the above not made clear enough?
Speak up if you might be confused. I tend to not be so blunt and to the point when writing without major editing.
"In an upstairs room, a parable
is just about to come alive.
And while they bicker about who's best,
with a painful glance, He'll silently rise.
Their Savior Servant must show them how
through the will of the water
and the tenderness of the towel.
And the call is to community,
The impoverished power that sets the soul free.
In humility, to take the vow,
that day after day we must take up the basin and the towel.
In any ordinary place,
on any ordinary day,
the parable can live again
when one will kneel and one will yield.
Our Saviour Servant must show us how
through the will of the water
and the tenderness of the towel.
And the space between ourselves sometimes
is more than the distance between the stars.
By the fragile bridge of the Servant's bow
we take up the basin and the towel.
And the call is to community,
The impoverished power that sets the soul free.
In humility, to take the vow,
that day after day we must take up the basin and the towel.
~Mike Card, "The Basin and the Towel"
| 2011/7/25 23:24|
| Re: |
"Actually you are saying pretty much the same thing I was saying."
I just was not certain this was the case...
| 2011/7/26 9:22||Profile|