If you love me . . . part 4



If ye love me,

keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15


Keeping the Royal Law


The Royal Law of Christ moves man. Like rivers flowing from Eden, our souls are nourished and washed by the One who shed His blood; giving us waters from which we will never thirst again.


The word “keep” is critical to understanding our responsibility in the Royal Law. To ‘keep’ means to protect, to maintain, to watch over, and to preserve by keeping intact.

Adhering to the Royal Law’s underlying principles has profound affect on our relationship with God. This is seen individually before and after the fall, collectively at the time of the flood, in the wilderness outside Canaan, and after entering the promised land.

We have yet to see its culminating effect when the seventh seal is opened and there is silence in heaven for about a half an hour, Revelation 8. According to Jesus, we will be judged by every word and deed we do.


For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,

who left his house,

and gave authority to his servants,

and to every man his work,

and commanded the porter to watch.

~ Mark 13:34

————-

For the Son of man shall come

in the glory of his Father with his angels;

and then he shall reward every man

according to his works.

~ Matthew 16:27

————-

every man’s work shall be made manifest:

for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed by fire;

and the fire shall try every man’s work

of what sort it is.

~ 1 Corinthians 3:13

————-

If a man therefore purge himself from these,

he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified,

and meet for the master’s use,

and prepared unto every good work.

~ 2 Timothy 2:21

————-

And, behold, I come quickly;

and my reward is with me,

to give every man according as his work shall be.

~ Revelation 22:12


At the second coming, we will see the effects of obedience and disobedience to the Royal Law.

Our reward or punishment is based upon its sincere application or our disobedience according to the light we have.


Many in the past and even today suffer (allow)a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.’ If we fall into this category, we must strive to overcome, here as an example.

We are exhorted to fully know how to keep the doctrine of Christ in all manner of life, purpose, faith, suffering, love, patience, persecutions, afflictions (2 Timothy 3:10).

Though the passage above reveals the full gamut of an untamed sinful heart; There are many more subtle forms of the same type disobedience occurring today in the church.

They all stem from disobedience to the principles we are called to ‘keep,’ so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


An Example From America


It is this very same reason that America has lost the ability to adhere to its core values and laws. We the people now tolerate,  ignore and in some cases, approve of laws that are in contradiction to the constitution.

Sooner or later, the foundation on which we stand will become so weak that the whole stream of viability will be lost.

However simple or complicated a rule is: be it constitutional law, biblical covenants, or a game of Checkers, if the original intention is lost, the application is misconstrued, meaningless, and we walk in ignorance and apathy to the truth.


The principles of the Royal Law are found in the Garden, given in Old Testament commandments, and are explained in detail in the new. Every word and thought in the Bible permeates the Royal Law.

We won’t study the Garden principles here. They are better viewed in the context of perfection before and after the fall but here is the commandment.


Then the Lord God took the man

and put him into the garden of Eden

to cultivate it and keep it.

~ Genesis 2:15


The Royal Law in the O.T.


Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5


Love


Love is the preeminent element, the glue that holds the Royal Law together. The meaning is identical in the New Testament.

וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥wə·’ā·haḇ·tā This commandment to love occurs 4 times in the Bible. There are many other variations such as Deuteronomy 10:19 (וַאֲהַבְתֶּ֖ם – wa-’ă-haḇ-tem) below, but we are focusing on those found in the Royal Law.

The first two times God uses the word ‘to love’ describes how we are to love our neighbor.

The other two instances teach how we should love God. When Jesus gave the Royal Law, he told the Jews what they should have known all along if they had “kept” the commandments of God.

Below are the four instances of the Old Testament Hebrew word love found in the Royal Law plus a variation.


Thou shalt not avenge,

nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people,

but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:

I am the Lord.

~ Leviticus 19:18


Because God deals honestly and faithfully with us, we are to show the same honesty and faithfulness to our neighbor. This verse is connected to the previous verse showing how we are to have the same characteristics found in longsuffering when we are wronged by our neighbor.

We are to forgive those who transgress against us. We are to put off all malice, to put on brotherly love, forgiveness, and kindness; remembering when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Any anger or hatred toward others should not be kept in our heart. We are to take no notice of it, nor keep a record of it. This is one of the things we are commanded “not to keep” as noted in 1 Corinthians 13:5.


But the stranger that dwelleth with you

shall be unto you as one born among you,

and thou shalt love him as thyself;

for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt:

I am the Lord your God.

~ Leviticus 19:34


Strangers or those not considered Israelites were to be given the same consideration in love. This applies to us today. We are to love non-Christians as our self; even those who despitefully use, persecute, or kill us.

We were once strangers kept in bondage of sin and at enmity toward God. ‘Keeping’ or cherishing how God loved us even in our darkness before salvation is the responsibility of every devout Christian.


And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

~ Deuteronomy 6:5


This commandment requires an inward change that can only come by faith through the giving of God’s grace. The transformation of our heart, mind, and soul are demonstrated by Godly obedience in secret and in public.

The heart refers to the inner man, the seat of our understanding. This includes knowledge of our sinful nature and that we can be transformed through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and the washing of the word.

Our soul refers to us as a living being: encompassing all desire, passion, appetite, and emotions. It is the living sustenance that God gave when He breathed life into Adam. This is our earthly self (not necessarily sinful self) connecting us deeply to the creation.

Our soul is contrasted from our spirit which will be discussed later. The main point to be understood is this: the spirit is what connects us to God and the soul is what connects us to the creation.

Our might refers to the abundance of ability, that drive we have within that allows us to achieve great things. It reveals qualities such as diligence, power, and force.


Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God,

and keep his charge, and his statutes,

and his judgments, and his commandments,

always.

~ Deuteronomy 11:1


Within this commandment, the definition of love blossoms. It does so by faithful and diligent (always) ‘keeping’ loving obedience to God and His ways.

God created in us powerful internal compasses so we can grow in love and knowledge of Him after we have been made alive in Christ. These internal tools are then sustained and strengthened as we walk in humble obedience to Him.

Keep here means acting on all four elements of this commandment – charge, statutes, judgments, and commandments.

Charge refers to being a guard, a watchman, someone who works to preserves and protect God’s instruction, word, or law.

Statues refers to applicable ordinances prescribed, or enacted in the Bible. They can apply to nature: The sun, moon, and stars; as for signs, appointed times, etc. Also, harvest times, seasons falls under this realm.

They can be applied to man. Pretty much all biblical posts on this blog but are focused on this application and deeper understanding their meaning.

Judgments belong to God and are according to His revelation toward us. We are told to keep His judgments and walk in the steps of Jesus and the Apostles as described in the New Testament. We are to be judges of righteousness. 

Jesus said that we are to, judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. This can only be under the standard of the Royal Law in humility and complete submission to God’s guidance.

As Christians we are to have these attributes in our heart, voice them openly in love, and make decisions based upon our measure of understanding. In doing so, we keep, learn, and preserve God’s righteous judgment.

We are commanded to be flavorful salt, pure and holy light.

Commandments are simply God’s commandments. We have two. In order to fulfill them, we are to delight our self in the Lord; and he shall give us the desires of our heart.

When we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything else will be added unto us.


And he that taketh not his cross,

and followeth after me,

is not worthy of me.

~ Matthew 10:38


This last one was added because it is representative of the variations of the word love commanded to us. We are to love all people as God loves us.


Love ye therefore the stranger:

for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

~ Deuteronomy 10:19


 The Royal Law in the N.T.


The question was raised in the N.T. what was the greatest commandment. The post here describes the context of the dialogue.

The gospels repeats it three times. The apostles further explain is meaning related to everyday life. By this we know it is for our instruction to keep all the days of our life.


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.

~ Matthew 22:37

————-

and thou shalt love the Lord thy God

with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy mind,

and with all thy strength:

this is the first commandment.

~ Mark 12:30

————-

And he answering said,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God

with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy strength,

and with all thy mind;

and thy neighbour as thyself.

~ Luke 10:27

————-

Therefore all things whatsoever

ye would that men should do to you,

do ye even so to them:

for this is the law and the prophets.

~ Matthew 7:12


The Royal Law sums up how we are to love the Lord thy God, to keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments.


Now the end of the commandment is love

out of a pure heart,

and of a good conscience,

and of faith unfeigned:

~ 1 Timothy 1:5

 


Walk by faith not by sight.

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