Heeding the Lord’s Commandments in Faith
In giving us many of His reformed commandments under the Law of Faith, the Lord asks us why do we call Him Lord if we do not do what He says [e.g., obey Him].
Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
This is a good question the Lord asks of us, and we should ask ourselves often if we find ourselves not conforming our behavior to His spoken commandments. While we by no means save ourselves [from sin], the narrow way of truth tells us we very much will need to be focused on doing the WORD, which means being obedient to the commandments the Lord has spoken.
This exhortation is written with great humility and godly fear, as we are fully aware of our own shortcomings and failures. We are thankful the Lord is merciful to awaken us to our deceit and sloth that has crept into our walk of faith. As His called, chosen, and faithful ones, we are to be saviors to those in the world, but we cannot be saviors if we do not hold onto the Lord’s law and His precious Gospel. The Lord is waking us up and putting His light in us, and the glory of the Lord is rising up within those He is saving.
Isa 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Isa 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Isa 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
We all fall asleep and grow weary. But now is the time to arise.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
The resurrection of Christ in us is His very commands and words that are Spirit [Joh 6:63] rising up in power within His kingdom within us. This is the power unto salvation to all who truly believe. The rising up of Christ’s commandments with power is the heart of the Gospel and we are not ashamed to proclaim it to anyone.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The further we progress with the Lord, the few disciples walking with us become even fewer. Their falling away coincides with the increasing demands the Lord makes on us as we grow in knowledge and maturity. Eating His flesh and drinking His blood by giving up our life in obedience to Him is not for many.
Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
When the Lord comes, He brings division and, over time, calls out a tiny escaped remnant onwards to maturity. All Jews first believe in the Lord, but amazingly so, the Lord can quickly take away the truth, and most wander away. We have seen this manifest before, with many mighty in the faith falling away. The Lord has empowered us to write boldly so we may snatch those sleeping from the fire that is taking them away from the Lord. Lord willing, some are given to continue in His word who keep and hold dear His commandments, thus becoming “disciples indeed.”
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Many have become confused over strivings over the law of Moses and how it applies under the law of faith. If we are in Christ, that law is gone and has no application in our walk, having served its purpose of bringing us to Christ.
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
The end of the carnal law for a carnal nation is not the end of the Lord’s reformed commandments that raise the bar for righteousness. A walk of faith is the very beginning of the application of the new commandments of the Lord. We fear some have drifted from the truth in this age of separation and no longer believe in specific commands we must obey. The words of Christ and the truth that is found in the “sum of the word” betray such a belief.
Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Our freedom from the law of carnal ordinances that defined the Law of Moses is not a license to sin. True worshippers in truth, need to be loving God and others, which is defined as obeying the Lord’s commandments.
Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love [1Jo 5:3 – obeying the Lord’s commandments] serve one another.
Failing to embrace the Lord’s commandments, many have departed from the Lord and reject those bringing the truth in hopes of awakening them from their slumber. This is not a new experience as it is all warned about and foretold in the prophets.
Jer 44:10 They are not humbled even unto this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before you and before your fathers.
Jer 44:11 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah.
Isa 5:24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel
The eternal law of the Lord never passes away. This law referred to the law of Moses in the shadow of the OT, but it speaks of the law of Faith and the Lord’s commandments for the true spiritual Jews to come. The entirety of the Old Testament ministration was not for the benefit of the Jews that lived back then; instead, it was all done for our benefit [1Pe 1:9-10], who would be born of the Spirit many years later.
1Co 10:11 Now all these things [the entire OT events] happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the age are come.
Only the carnal law and ordinances (said to be “not good” and was only a means to bring us to Christ) were done away with on the cross. If one is dying daily with Christ on the cross, they are following the law of the Lord of hosts. Otherwise, we become castaways, says the Lord, who will cut us off. Paul warned about being lazy and that we need to run the race to obtain the prize that is salvation.
1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Seeing how quickly the Lord can take away the truth from His priests that were once cherished in our hearts is a fearful thing. We have seen the Lord cut off many once mighty in the Lord, so we best be on guard to ensure the Lord’s commandments do not leave our consciousness.
Eze 7:26 Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.
Our professed faith is dead without the accompanying good works, and those works the Lord has purposed is that we obey His commandments. New Testament witnesses also show that we must diligently walk the walk of faith [evidenced by our obedient works/deeds] all the way to the end, or else we will not make it. Our love waxing cold is our obedience waxing cold; thus, we fall away slowly but surely. Be on guard.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love [obedience] of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
All the Apostle letters and the Gospels consistently warn us that we must stay the course and be careful how we walk. It is fearful seeing how such an essential truth and understanding as “we must obey the Lord’s commandments” can be taken out of one’s mind.
Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
Do not forget the lessons we have been given to learn.
Jud 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
We are called to do everything in the ability the Lord has given us to be conformed to His righteousness. If we lose the zeal to engage in the fight, we have fallen from grace, and our faith is now dead and devoid of works. Our obedience is a key part of the light others see in us when we exemplify Christ in our behavior. We are to be a light unto the world, and here is how that is done. Christ says to love all men as He has loved us, which means giving to all who ask. Here more specifics are provided in a commandment that lives to this day.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
James gives an example of the commandment to do good to others, witnessing that our obedience to that command is the work the Lord seeks to prove our faith. Faith in action manifests these works, which is the fruit of obedience.
Jas 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
Jas 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Some want to argue that we do not save ourselves through our own works. That is absolutely true, but we must embrace the sum of the Scriptures to find the whole truth that in harmony. Yes, It is true that whether we rise or fall in obedience or disobedience, ultimately, that is still His work as salvation is of the Lord! Yet we are admonished to strive/work for the higher calling. The harmony of this is exemplified well in these verses.
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
We work out our own salvation [Phi 2:12] under the greater truth that the Lord is working all things, even our salvation [Phi 2:13]. Admonishing one another to be holy and resist that which causes us to disobey the Lord is the truth that is not contrary to the sum of the word. Christ, Paul, John, Peter, and James all said that if our faith is true, we strive to be holy and obedient. A sampling of Scriptures that are part of the sum of the word:
Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Luk 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
Rom 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Yes, “Christ living in us” gives us the overcoming in due season. Yet the same Apostle tells us we have to work to manifest our obedience to Christ actively. We have to walk and war in the Spirit; it is called the fight of faith to obey the Lord.
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
How can we obey without knowing or thinking about our Master’s commandments? We pray all are awakened to the same error and sloth we were shown in ourselves. Only by His mercy were we awakened and in obedience to Him, we now boldly speak this word.
Whether we accept the Lord’s truth and obey is all up to Him in the end. But it is an egregious error to say we are free from commandments, and it is a subtle way of turning grace into a justification for a slothful walk (lasciviousness). The error comes by twisting the Scriptures, confusing the law of Moses with the eternal words and commandments of the Lord. Peter warned of this for our remembrance, as it takes just a few subtle lies to pervert the Gospel if we are not on guard. We must always remain steadfast and zeroed in on obeying the Lord, defined as loving God and our brothers.
2Pe 3:16 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.
2Pe 3:17 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.
We should remember Christ suffered all the same temptations we face yet was without sin and, by doing so, provided us the prime example to follow.
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Dwelling in obedience is dwelling in love, which is the same as dwelling in God and is how we are perfected in this age.
1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
Paul aptly addressed the misunderstandings of those coming out from the law of Moses into the law of Faith. The lesson applies to all who come out of the carnal law and walk under the law of Faith. We are not earning our salvation but proving our faith as we strive to obey the Lord and are given the overcoming in due time.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine [Christ’s commands] which was delivered you
These warnings from John take on a new understanding once we are mercifully awakened from our sleep in Christ. We must remain vigilant and guard against deception and a slow drift into a spiritual sleep that has us departing from the Lord’s commands.
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
1Jn 3:9 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.
1Jn 3:10 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.
Whether or not we complete our journey to overcome in this age is truly up to the Lord. Yet we are always admonished to do everything we can to stand and resist the devil and the lusts of our flesh. If we fail, we are to get right back up, keep walking, and pray to the Lord to overcome and that His kingdom comes to us.
Pro 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Christ’s Words and commandments are the light that cleanses us in our journey and brings others to the light of Christ in us. To be a light unto the world, we need to walk in the light of Christ’s Words, including His commandments. We hide that light from others when we are not following His commands yet continue to call Him Lord. We are to show our good works (our obedience, our Godly Love) to others, which brings glory to our Father. That is the light others will see.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
If we do not know His commandments, we cannot keep them. And if we do not keep them, we are told we do not know the Lord and His truth is not in us despite what we proclaim. These are some humbling verses when we examine our walk and see ourselves falling way short of the Lord’s commandments.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
I could provide numerous warnings about falling away and being overcome if we do not walk with vigilance and guard against the deceitfulness of disobedience. We are told that not all given faith overcomes (makes it} in this age, and we best do all we can to ensure our calling and election. Here is just one warning from Peter’s epistle for brevity.
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
One may ask, What is the Holy Commandment? It is the one commandment the Lord gives that encapsulates all the others. We must not turn from this but instead press into the details of the Holy commandment to become like Christ. We all have been asleep.
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
What is love, one may ask? Scripture answers this key question.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
2Jn 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. [of Moses and the law of Faith]
Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Paul gives a broader definition of Love [Charity] to the Corinthians that helps us examine our walk to see if we are doing these things increasingly in our walk. The first and last verses of 1 Cor 13 are key, and remember that love is more important than faith and hope. Love is greater because it is the fruit, or said another way, the result or the PROOF of living by faith. Without love (obedience to Christ) in our walk, our ministry is nothing but a clanging cymbal. Nothing is more important than Love.
1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1Co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
1Co 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come [Christ in our Day of the Lord], then that which is in part shall be done away.
1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Obedience to the commandments is directly tied to loving our brothers and sisters inside and outside the faith. Laying down our lives for others is a commandment from the Lord in following His example. We cannot exhibit these behaviors Paul uses to describe LOVE (i.e., be patient, kind, and bearing all things, etc.] without holding them close to our hearts as commandments by which we shall live.
In closing, it is by faith that we are being justified in the eyes of the Lord; it is not by our own works that are just filthy rags. Our obedience is the good works that are pleasing to our Lord and bring glory to His name. We should strive to please Him and bring glory to the God we say we love.
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
When we fast from our fleshly lust and pray for the Lord to come, which themselves are commandments, He is faithful to reward us with overcoming our sins. The result is we grow in Christ, and the glory of the Lord, our obedience, and the true light arise within us.
Isa 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
The faithful in Christ will not be sleeping; they actively work on their salvation and strive to be like our Holy and perfect heavenly Father. It is not enough to be a hearer only and claim our freedom by our faith, we must indeed become a doer and obeyers of the Word of the Lord.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Lord willing, we prove ourselves as followers of Christ and hold precious His commandments, that is His law. It is on those commandments that we put our thoughts day and night.
Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
When we do this, the fruits of the Spirit will spring forth, and we shall prosper in the Lord. But the ungodly, who cast away the law of the Lord (in error), will be driven away by the winds of deceit.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psa 1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Beware that one is not driven away from the living God by forsaking His eternal commandments.
May the Lord give an understanding of these words of truth which have been boldly proclaimed in this letter. We pray for all and that the Lord’s will be done and that His blessing falls upon us as we admit our faults to Him.
Blessed be the Lord of our salvation.
Pete & Ronel