Bible Holiness

This post is etched from a paper I am reading about holiness.

It is written by Edgar Painter Ellyson.

My hope is that this will help one of you reading to more completely understand this often misunderstood and neglected core element of Christianity.

Areas Italicized are my attempts to generalize the concepts and to help the reading flow.


But ye have not so learned Christ;

if so be that ye have heard him,

and have been taught by him,

as the truth is in Jesus:

that ye put off

concerning the former conversation the old man,

which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

and be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

and that ye put on the new man,

which after God

is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying,

speak every man truth with his neighbour:

for we are members one of another.

Be ye angry, and sin not:

let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

neither give place to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more:

but rather let him labour,

working with his hands the thing which is good,

that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Let no corrupt communication

proceed out of your mouth,

but that which is good

to the use of edifying,

that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God,

whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger,

and clamour, and evil speaking,

be put away from you, with all malice:

and be ye kind one to another,

tenderhearted, forgiving one another,

even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

~ Ephesians 4:20-32


 The Bible is the book of Christianity. It is God’s revelation of truth to man.

It reveals God to man and man to himself. The Bible makes known to man his true nature, his moral condition and his need as they cannot be known without the Bible.

It reveals the fact of sin and of redemption that is otherwise undiscoverable by man.

It reveals inerrantly “the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation; so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined to the church or faith of believers.

Holiness is the only moral standard held in the Bible. It recognizes the fact of unholiness but gives to this only disapproval and condemnation.

The Bible offers no compromise with sin; its only offer is salvation from sin, and this results in holiness.


All men are religious and there are very many religions in the world. But there is only one true religion; all others are false religions.

These all have their holy places and things and persons, which express devotion to their gods. But a devotement to such gods is far from true holiness.

It may be a deep devotion and be manifested in great sacrifice, but it cannot be true holiness when it is devoted to a false god, to that which is not God.

True holiness is devotement to the true God and to His program. It is a condition of being set apart from the common, the secular, the worldly, the temporal, for the sacred.

One who is holy must still have to do with the temporal and secular but he is no longer of the world; he is in the world but not of it; he does not belong to the common herd.

He has a citizenship at present in this world, but his chief citizenship is in heaven; One is his master, even Christ.


Holiness is a Moral Term


Holiness being devotement to God, and He being a moral person, holiness must have moral values. True holiness is freedom from sin.

Webster’s definition: Spiritually whole or sound; unimpaired innocency and virtue, free from sinful affections, pure in heart, guiltless.


God hath not called us unto uncleanness,

but unto holiness

~ 1 Thessalonians 4:7


Holiness is the absence of moral uncleanness; it is moral purity. True holiness then may be quite simply defined as devotement to God and freedom from sin.

In verse 22 above, true holiness is negative, is subtraction, is elimination, is eradication.


That ye put off concerning the former conversation


Concerning the life you have been living, your natural inherited nature, “the old man,” your inherited Adamic nature, “which is corrupt” through the fall.

This calls for forgiveness and cleansing and a changed moral nature. Sin has once changed this nature from holiness, and grace can change it back again to holiness.


In verses 23, 24, holiness is positive, something received, something that one is really made by divine grace.


Be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

that ye put on the new man,

which after God is created in righteousness,


. . . being born of and baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is the Christlike which is the state of true holiness. It is a state of rightness with God and with man, of purity of heart and of blameless behavior.

It is not faultless, not freedom from temptation or mistake, not perfection of thought and action, but blameless as to motive, and pure in heart.

It is not sinless as judged under the law, but is free from guilt as judged under grace; all guilt and pollution are gone.

Holiness is an inward condition or state which manifests itself in certain characteristics of living so it may be known by its fruit.

In verse 25, they that are holy, “put away lying,” they put away the false, the deceptive, the hypocritical, and . . .


speak every man truth with his neighbour.


They are genuine and dependable. They recognize their membership in the neighborhood group, that “we are members one of another” and must not misrepresent or in any way injure the others by our speaking.

They may sometimes be mistaken and that which they speak may on this account not be the truth, but they do not lie because they are sincere in believing that what they are saying is the truth.

If they discover their mistake they immediately correct it.


In verse 26, holiness destroys none of the normal faculties nor does it interfere with their normal functioning.

These faculties were given to us in the divine creation for our benefit; they are essential to the present life, and their normal and legitimate gratification is helpful to life at its best.

These are all to be used but holiness calls for their functioning without sin.


Be ye angry, and sin not.


Have a keen displeasure and disapproval of evil with no wrong feeling toward the person doing the evil. So are we to have affection and sin not, to have joy and sin not, to serve with our hands and sin not.


Verse 27 states that Satan is opposed to God and to holiness, and he seeks to destroy holiness.

He is the enemy of man’s highest interests and ever seeks to prevent his becoming holy. To become holy and to maintain holiness one must resist all of the attacks of Satan.


Neither give place to the devil.


Resistance is always the attitude of holiness to the temptations from the devil.


In Verse 28, he who is holy will not knowingly take that which does not belong, to him, that to which he has no right.


Let him that stole steal no more.


He will carefully respect the property rights of others. He will not feel that the world owes him a living and must give it to him.

He will not be a beggar or a charity sponge calling for dole. If he is able he will work


with his hands the thing, which is good


 and earn his own honest living, and then go beyond


that he may have to give to him that needeth.


He prefers giving to, rather than receiving from, charity.

In verse 30, the life of holiness must be lived under the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit; no man is sufficient of himself. He is our keeper.

Therefore the one who has been made holy will have great carefulness against displeasing the Holy Spirit and breaking the fellowship with Him.


Grieve not the holy Spirit of God,

whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.


The life of holiness is a life wholly under the mastery of the Spirit, a life of obedience to His leading.


Verses 31, 32 states that holiness calls for right attitudes toward other persons. It feels kindly toward and treats others with consideration.

It holds no grudges and forgives freely


even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.


Holiness is a Religious Term


Holiness has a distinctly religious meaning. Religion is man’s belief in God, his attitude toward and experience of God; it is faith, devotion, worship and service on this level.

Webster defines holiness as, “set apart to the service and worship of God; hallowed; sacred; reserved from the profane to the sacred and to God and His service.”

It is full devotion to God, loving God with all the human powers, life fully devoted to the fellowship and service of God.

True holiness is devotement to the true God and to His program.

It is a condition of being set apart from the common, the secular, the worldly, the temporal, for the sacred.

One who is holy must still have to do with the temporal and secular but he is no longer of the world; he is in the world but not of it; he does not belong to the common herd.

He has a citizenship at present in this world, but his chief citizenship is in heaven; One is his master, even Christ. 


Reading about holiness in the Bible carries my love of God to greater heights.

I hope it does for you too.


Sin, Origins, and Propogations

The Fall, Our Legacy


Understanding how sin entered the world is a very important question to ask as a Christian. This post attempts to skim the surface of our fall in the Garden of Eden taken from a literal view of scripture. 

We will not look too closely at Satan except to show how he, as the father and embodiment of sin, introduced sin’s corruption to humanity and the world.

There is no redemption for Him or his angels. They saw and lived in heavenly glory with God. When they fell, God let them fall all the way to Hell.

Humanity is another story. God came down to us, lived with us, and redeemed us from our fall. We are commanded to pursue this beautiful redemption.

Lets explore this a bit. Like most of my posts, there are twists and turns along the way. But the points sought are found and they are valuable.

Just bear with me and be patient.


Turn from evil and do good;

then you will dwell in the land forever.

~ Psalm 37:27

———-

Depart from evil, and do good;

seek peace, and pursue it.

~ Psalm 34:14


We can change from a sinful life to righteous life. Thanks be to the Lord!

God can truly redeem us from our sin so we no longer have to continue in it.

Sin is serious. It is evil and we must avoid it at all costs. God promises us a way out.

Adam and Eve did not avoid it. With their choice was brought us many sufferings. 

We are given the opportunity to break the link in the chain of sin in our lives.


What shall we say, then?

Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

God forbid!

~ Romans 6:1

———-

Everyone who practices sin

also practices lawlessness;

and sin is lawlessness.

You know that He appeared

in order to take away sins;

and in Him there is no sin.

No one who abides in Him sins;

no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.

Little children,

make sure no one deceives you;

the one who practices righteousness

is righteous,

just as He is righteous;

the one who practices sin

is of the devil;

~ 1 John 3:4-8a


The Keys to Life


And the LORD God took the man,

and put him into the garden of Eden

to dress it and to keep it.

And the LORD God commanded the man,

saying,

Of every tree of the garden

thou mayest freely eat:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,

thou shalt not eat of it:

for in the day that thou eatest

thereof thou shalt surely die.

~ Genesis 2:15-17


Here God gave Adam four commandments. The first three are what he was responsible to keep (or do). The third was what he was forbidden to do.

Even though God gave these commandments to Adam, they applied to Eve and all of their posterity together. As long as Adam and Eve and their children obeyed these first four commandments, they would live in perfect harmony with God in the Garden.

But alas! They did not have the opportunity of bear children before the stain of sin entered their hearts!

With their fall, a framework of sin was shapened around us: They neglected their responsibility and the whole world is suffering for it.


We should consider the spiritual side of the first three commandments God gave to Adam. As these build upon each other in a beautiful and harmonious way:

If we dress (build and develop) the garden of our life (our soul, spirit, and body) as God calls us to do, we will keep that which God has so graciously given us, a life eternal in Him. 

This is what God offers to everyone; a restored life through the second Adam (Jesus) that produces the fruits of obedience, leading to holiness, and eternal life.


So also it is written,

The first man, Adam, became living soul.

The last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit.

~ 1 Corinthians 15:5


The promise of giving life to our spirit continues in us when we remain in His love and keep His commandments to do good and refrain from sin.


Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.

My Father will love them,

and we will come to them

and make our home with them.

~ John 14:23

———-

And hereby we do know that we know him,

if we keep his commandments.

~ 1 John 2:3

———-

Let us therefore fear,

lest, a promise being left us

of entering into his rest,

any of you should seem to come short of it.

~ Hebrews 4:1


We must highly and reverently consider the holy calling of God on our lives. It is not a calling of compromise, of sin, or of backsliding.

One of the first things we are called to do is fear the Lord for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We fear him because we realize our sin and His righteous judgment deserving of that sin.

His wisdom calls us to repentance unto good works leading to holiness and purity, where God is truly abiding in our life.

Paul said:


but I declared to those in Damascus first,

and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea,

and to the Gentiles,

that they should repent and turn to God,

performing deeds consistent with repentance.

~ Acts 26:20


What about the Law?


Sin is disobedience to Jesus’ commandments, not the law in all its details as found in the O.T.

The O.T. law and all its ordinances have complex meanings, examples, and lessons for us to benefit from. They are not the subject of this post.

We will briefly describe what the law does for us: It points to and reveals our death in sin, leads us to grace, and through faith, brings us to life Christ.


But before faith came,

we were kept under the law,

shut up unto the faith

which should afterwards be revealed.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster

to bring us unto Christ,

that we might be justified by faith.

But after that faith is come,

we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

~ Galatians 3:23-25


Christ did not come to abolish the law. He came to fulfill it.


Do not think that I have come

to abolish the Law or the Prophets;

I have not come to abolish them

but to fulfill them.

~ Matthew 5:17


So the law points to Christ and the commandments Christ gives us directs us to our Father in heaven. This leads us to perfect freedom from the law of sin through the work of the Holy Ghost.


Did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law,

or by hearing with faith?

~ Galatians 3:2

———-

For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus

has set you free from the law of sin and death.

~ Romans 8:2


O.T. law is a comprehensive subject and here we are trying to generally understand the origins of sin before the law and how it applies to us now. 


The Beginnings of Sin


We need to look at the very beginning to see how we were led into this deception of sin that defines all the corruption in the world.

It has helped me understand how we work, what are some of our frailties, and important elements to consider if we are to endure victorious in Christ.


The Serpent


Now the serpent was more subtil

than any beast of the field

which the LORD God had made.

And he said unto the woman . . .


Subtil (עָ֭רוּם) is found 7 times in the bible and implies craftiness, prudence, or sensibility.

It implies an inherent ability or advantage over those who do not possess knowledge of good and evil; like Eve or ones who are still innocent of Satan’s subtle and worldly ways: infant, child, those suffering from mental retardation.

In reality, the subtlety of Satan applies to all of us. We just become wiser of his ways and if we heed Jesus’ instructions to follow Him:


Behold, I send you forth as sheep

in the midst of wolves:

be ye therefore wise as serpents,

and harmless as doves.

~ Matthew 10:16


The Garden is where Satan sought to destroy innocence in all its delicate purity and beauty.

What is important here is to understand that Satan was the direct cause of the temptation that led to Eve’s transgression.

The Devil alone is the instrument from which all evil emanates. 


The subtlety that the serpent presented to Eve powerfully and immediately inculcated doubt, confusion, deception, desire, and rebellion.

The strategy of Satan addressing Eve instead of Adam is also interesting because Adam was present during the conversation.

It is not clear whether Adam intentionally abdicated his responsibility to rebuke Satan and protect Eve because it is unclear whether or not he understood who Satan was.

One of the biggest deceptions today is the idea that Satan is not real. Not many people in our country believe in a literal, fallen, an utterly evil angel going to and fro on this Earth.

This may very well be part of the deception played out in the Garden. Since Adam and Eve did not possess knowledge of evil before the fall, it is reasonable to think they did not realize the danger before them.

Nevertheless, Satan used a multifaceted approach, undermining God’s authority given to man, placing Eve in the decision making role, and disrupting the natural order of the husband/wife relationship;

All the while, manipulating their perception of God and the world around them.


And the LORD God said,

It is not good that the man should be alone;

I will make him an help meet for him.

~ Genesis 2:18

———-

For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

And Adam was not deceived,

but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

~ 1 Timothy 2:13-14


Adam cleaved unto his wife as God commanded for they had become one flesh.

Because of this design, perhaps Satan surmised that Adam would likely continue cleaving to Eve, follow her lead, and eat of the forbidden fruit.

It is important to understand the structure God has designed for man and woman to follow. Within this design, we can how to better serve our Lord in holiness and love. 

To better understand this, study Ephesians 5 where the roles of husband and wife are explained. They reflect the relationship of Christ and the church, loving and sacrificial.


The Serpent


The word serpent, נחש (nachash), means to view or observe attentively, to use enchantments, through the acquisition of knowledge by experience.

It is quite possible that the serpent stood upright, because when he was cursed, he was cast to his belly. And from that point forward, his had to eat the dust of the ground all his days. 

The serpent was superior to all the other animals of creation. No animal today stands erect like man. The closest is the ape and many consider it most like man but that was not the case long ago in the garden.

The serpent was much closer to man than any other animal we know. He talked, reasoned, and disputed with Eve. She was not astonished or afraid by his physical properties.

As a side note, many snakes still have four appendages were feet/legs once were. They have even discovered fossilized snakes with legs.


The Serpent’s Venom


Yea, hath God said,

Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?


Here is the first temptation, doubt.

The conversation the serpent was having with Eve was apparently a continuation from a previous conversation about the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 

We do not know how long this conversation took place (or how many occurred) before he introduced temptation to doubt the veracity of God’s word.

We do know that he used subtlety, sensibility, and knowledge; and was most likely preparing to attack Adam and Eve as he keenly and patiently observed and watched them.

In their Adamic and sinless perfection, they both possessed disadvantages and infirmities that Satan sought to use.


These same infirmities and imperfections exist in us and have been compromised from the moment we were conceived and are commensurate to the sin we entertain.

We must consider our weaknesses and place all our trust in God: Look not upon the wisdom of the world for answers.

The world heaps doubt and deceit upon the simplicity of our minds, seeking to bring it under more and more deception and darkness.


Eve’s First Response


And the woman said unto the serpent,

We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

But of the fruit of the tree

which is in the midst of the garden,

God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it,

neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.


Her first act to address this temptation was to discuss and entertain the temptation, rather than seeking her husband on this matter, she engaged Satan directly.

We may not know where our temptations are coming from but we must be acutely aware and defer to God’s counsel and guidance for help.

Eve has not yet succumbed to the temptation but its demise was developing quickly by one of the most powerful and beautiful angels of God had formed (until sin was found in him-this is a great mystery).

The scriptures do not indicate why, but Eve was incorrect in her statement about God’s command not to touch the fruit. God only told Adam not to eat of the tree.

This factor may be explained by the possibility of Adam instructing to her to not even touch the tree lest they fall into temptation to eat . . . but we really don’t know.


Temptation


Temptation is not sin. It is a precursor that can lead to sin. 

We must put our whole life under God’s authority, if we are to overcome (sin that is in) the world.

God provides us a way out of every temptation so we do not have to sin. We should walk worthy of Him.


We are a chosen generation,

a royal priesthood,

an holy nation,

a peculiar people;

that ye should shew forth the praises

of him who hath called you

out of darkness into his marvellous light:

~ 1 Peter 2:9

———-

He himself bore our sins

in his body on the tree,

that we may cease from sinning

and live for righteousness.

By his wounds you were healed.

~ 1 Peter 2:24


As a Christian, we should not underestimate the power of Satan. Instead, we should cling to God’s love and promises to keep and protect us from those things that seek to separate us from Him.

Michael the Archangel gave us a good example.


But Michael the archangel,

when he disputed with the devil

and argued about the body of Moses,

did not dare pronounce against him

a railing judgment, but said,

“The Lord rebuke you!”

~ Jude 1:9


We must rely on the Lord and His plan for our life and accept nothing less. We are to clothe an protect ourselves in righteousness and in the armor of the Lord, see Ephesians 6:10-20.


The Deception Deepens


And the serpent said unto the woman,

Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof,

then your eyes shall be opened,

and ye shall be as gods,

knowing good and evil.


Here Satan lives up to his reputation, the Father of Lies, by calling God Himself a liar!

By stating that Eve would not die, Satan implies that their is still an option of eternal life (Adam and Eve failed to grasp this).

Satan, the keen observer and predictor of human behavior was telling her indirectly and oh so subtly, that she could eat of the tree of life and live forever after gaining the knowledge of good and evil.

. . . ye shall be as gods, (kelohim)

Kelohim in this context probably meant that Satan was telling them that they would become divine beings like God.

Our first parents had no concept of idolatry or other Gods. That would come later after sin corrupted the meaning of the Lord. 

This is the first incident or hint of idolatry in the Bible and it pointed to man. We need to be very careful to have a proper view of ourself, the world around us, and God in order to prevent falling into this type of sin.


So put to death

whatever in your nature belongs to the earth:

sexual immorality, impurity,

shameful passion, evil desire,

and greed which is idolatry.

~ Colossians 3:5


Satan was trying to persuade Eve with the original sin that brought him down, pride that led to coveting and idolatry (wanting to be like the Most High).


How art thou fallen from heaven,

O Lucifer, son of the morning!

how art thou cut down to the ground,

which didst weaken the nations!

For thou hast said in thine heart,

I will ascend into heaven,

I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:

I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation,

in the sides of the north:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

I will be like the most High.

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell,

to the sides of the pit.

~ Isaiah 14:12-15


The weight of sin enveloped them so completely, the infusing guilt cascaded innumerable degrees of darkness. They failed to remember the remedy, the Tree of Life, growing right in the midst of them. 

Sin was shown to be such a snare that escape was impossible. Truth was obscured. This is also our case except for the fact that the grace of God has been given to us. 


For the grace of God that bringeth salvation

hath appeared to all men,

Teaching us that,

denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,

we should live soberly, righteously,

and godly, in this present world;

~ Titus 2:11-12


Eve’s Second Response


This to me is where it gets interesting. There are concepts here that I have not considered before and have learned an invaluable lesson on the frailties and infirmities that are our part of our humanity.

Our human physiology is separate and distinct from sin although not altogether unhinged from its connections because our mind and body have needs that this corrupt and sinful world can satisfy. 

From the moment we sense the comfort and nourishment in our mother’s womb, we like little kings implicitly desire to have all our self-centered needs met as we quickly learn to appreciate our conscious freedom.


And when the woman saw

that the tree was good for food,

and that it was pleasant to the eyes,

and a tree to be desired to make one wise,

she took of the fruit thereof,

and did eat,


This impression from Eve reveals three universal truths:

  1. our physical body has appetites that need to be met,
  2. there are many things that bring pleasure and satisfy
  3. it is desirous to grow from a state of naivety to knowledge and wisdom.

Eve had it, Adam had it, you have it, I have it. These desires and needs of the body are not sinful in themselves.

It is through the methodology or course of action we take to address these needs that deems certain acts sinful or not. 

Unfortunately, Satan presented to Eve the classic triad of temptation: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life;

Drawing Eve away from the love of the Father and directing her love toward the things of the world around her in order for her to seek satisfaction from them instead of allowing God to meet all her needs.

This phenomena is common to all of us, but we are commanded to redress these abuses of the flesh, lest we perish with the world and its lusts therein.

We are called to overcome even this in our life. With an unwavering, living faith in Jesus this can be a reality in this life!


For everyone who has been born of God

overcomes the world.

And this is the victory

that has overcome the world,

our faith.

~ I John 5:4

———-

Love not the world,

neither the things that are in the world.

If any man love the world,

the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world,

the lust of the flesh,

and the lust of the eyes,

and the pride of life,

is not of the Father,

but is of the world.

And the world passeth away,

and the lust thereof:

but he that doeth the will of God

abideth for ever.

~ 1 John 2: 15-17


They Sinned Together


and gave also unto her husband with her;

and he did eat.

And the eyes of them both were opened,

and they knew that they were naked;

and they sewed fig leaves together,

and made themselves aprons.

~ Genesis 3:1-7


Here, we are shown the garden was not without sin. For the Father of Lies was able to enter the Garden, introduce deception, confusion, and mar the otherwise innocent masterpiece that crowned God’s heavenly creation.

Eve entertained her own physical desires in ways that were contrary to God’s will and through Adam, brought upon us all, the guilt and death that comes from sin.


Let no man say when he is tempted,

I am tempted of God:

for God cannot be tempted with evil,

neither tempteth he any man:

But every man is tempted,

when he is drawn away of his own lust,

and enticed.

Then when lust hath conceived,

it bringeth forth sin:

and sin, when it is finished,

bringeth forth death.

Do not err, my beloved brethren.

~ James 1:13-15

———-

So then, just as sin

entered the world through one man

and death through sin,

and so death spread to all people because all sinned

 ~ Romans 5:12


God’s punishment was a swift, life-time sentence bringing temporal and eternal consequences.


The Solution


Lost sinners and backslidden Christians can be forgiven all their sins if they return to Christ. 


I will arise and go to my father,

and will say unto him,

Father, I have sinned against heaven,

and before thee,

and am no more worthy to be called thy son:

make me as one of thy hired servants.

And he arose, and came to his father.

But when he was yet a great way off,

his father saw him, and had compassion,

and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

 And the son said unto him,

Father, I have sinned against heaven,

and in thy sight,

and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

 But the father said to his servants,

Bring forth the best robe,

and put it on him;

and put a ring on his hand,

and shoes on his feet:

and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it;

and let us eat, and be merry:

for this my son was dead, and is alive again;

he was lost, and is found.

~ Luke 15:18-24a

———-

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men,

him will I confess

also before my Father which is in heaven.

 But whosoever shall deny me before men,

him will I also deny

before my Father which is in heaven.

~ Matthew 10:32-33


If we return to sin after salvation and do not to turn back unto repentance in Christ, our punishment will be greater than if we were never saved.


How much severer punishment

do you think he will deserve

who has trampled under foot the Son of God,

and has regarded as unclean

the blood of the covenant

by which he was sanctified,

and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

~ Hebrews 10:29


Godly sorrow brings repentance resulting in salvation


For the sorrow

that is according to the will of God

produces a repentance without regret,

leading to salvation,

but the sorrow of the world produces death.

~ 2 Corintians 7:10


The act of repentance brings with it fruit.


For we know that our old self

was crucified with him

so that the body of sin might be done away with,

that we should no longer be slaves to sin

because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

~ Romans 6:6-7

———-

Don’t you know

that you yourselves are God’s temple

and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

If anyone destroys God’s temple,

God will destroy him;

for God’s temple is sacred,

and you are that temple.

~ 1 Corinthians 3:16-17


There is only one thing that brings destruction in God’s eyes, and that is sin just like it destroyed Adam and Eve’s life with God in the Garden.

Be very careful what you build upon the foundation of your salvation. It should come from and point only to Jesus Christ our Lord and savior of our soul. 

Man’s method of sin is Satan’s method of destroying his soul.

Adam Clarke


Summary


Reading about the origins of sin in man, we find there are many qualities naturally occurring in us that are subject to being enticed, drawing us away from the truth and love of God.

There are also factors external to our needs that we struggle with: Just looking around our world, we see sinful indulgences akin to the desires stemming from Eve’s thoughts in Genesis 3:6;

We see the sufferings of people, broken families, broken lives lost in sin, wantonness, and darkness;

Or those oppressed by others from the killing of innocent babies in the womb to wars and murder by those who hate God.

Satan and his angels continue to observe and wait, strategizing ways to attack our faith, affect our thoughts, and lead us away from the love of God.

But fear not:


Do not be afraid of those who kill the body

but cannot kill the soul.

Rather, be afraid of the One

who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

~ Matthew 10:28


God wants us to be restored to Him, walking with Him in the cool of the morning, in the heat of the day, and in the darkness of night.

Love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength. Love our neighbor as He wants you to love yourself. You are called to many precious and glorious promises.

Nothing can separate us from Him, if we abide in His love.


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

shall tribulation, or distress,

or persecution, or famine,

or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written,

For thy sake we are killed all the day long;

we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things

we are more than conquerors

through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded,

that neither death, nor life,

nor angels, nor principalities,

nor powers, nor things present,

nor things to come,

 Nor height, nor depth,

nor any other creature,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~ Romans 8:35-39


Stay in His love.

Abide in Him.

He calls you to every moment . . . 

If You Love Me . . . Part 3

The Commandments


The title of this post, makes me think of the 10 commandments found in Exodus 20:2-17. Surely these are implied in the commandments we are supposed to keep according to Jesus.

These commandments have a very specific nature and a new name, which will be discussed at a later point.


If you love me,

keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15


So, how do we show our love for Him?

I am afraid that we have been so indoctrinated with the belief that we are saved by faith through faith alone, to the exclusion of works having no part of our salvific faith. 

This bias against some of scriptural instruction that supports works as part of our faith comes out of the Christian reformation.

Martin Luther was key in helping the church separate from the misuses of scripture that the religious powers of the day propagated. But Martin Luther tried to do some other things as well.

He wanted to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the Bible. His personal view of salvation by faith alone caused disdain for parts of God’s word, forced him to ignore other parts, and attempt to discredit entire sections of the Bible.

Holding to a doctrine that makes one want to omit God’s word speaks volumes. Nowadays we usually just gloss over those verses, say they do not apply, or ignore their exegetical implications.


Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation elaborated many doctrinal principles found in the gospels and the rest of the epistles. As a result many who hold to a view similar to Luther’s use modern hermeneutic principles associated with their doctrine at the expense of exegesis.

I am by no means an expert or even seriously informed in these two disciplines. Neither will we go into the details of hermeneutics or exegesis here.

Let me just say that as we read scripture, we dare not exclude anything that has apparent contradictions with other scripture or complicates our personal doctrine.

That is exactly what Luther was doing when he proclaimed his doctrine of salvation by faith alone.

Everything in scripture is true and in complete agreement with every jot and tittle found in the Bible. That is the only way to interpret scripture although we may come to different conclusions.

My general rule is, that scripture must be interpreted literally and consistently with the whole counsel of scripture and can only be applied allegorically when a literal interpretation is not reasonable.

I like what George Allen Turner says about exegesis: “Theology should be the result of scientific exegesis rather than determining the exegesis.” (via predetermined doctrinal, hermeneutic principles)


What about Old Law?


The first question is, do we have to follow any of the old testament laws, holidays, or ordinances? I have been doing a lot of studying about Halloween, Christmas, and Easter; particularly their origins.

In this research, I came across Gentiles who follow the Torah and believe in Jesus. Their historical information about the Pagan origins of the above mentioned holidays are accurate but their teaching others to follow their instructions does not mesh with scripture.

To teach Gentiles that they are suppose to follow Torah, or Old Testament law in order to be obedient to Jesus’ commands falls into the same category condemned in scripture as quoted below.

We have already observed that Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. But what does this mean?


The early Christians were all Jewish and they religiously practiced O.T. principles such a dietary laws, fasting, feast days, Sabbaths, and sacrificial offerings.

There were basically no Gentiles or Gentile Christian practices in existence until 8 years after the church was born at Pentecost. This caused a problem when the Gentiles entered the church.


Then fourteen years

after I went up again to Jerusalem

with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 

And I went up by revelation,

and communicated unto them that gospel

which I preach among the Gentiles,

but privately to them which were of reputation,

lest by any means I should run,

or had run, in vain. 

But neither Titus, who was with me,

being a Greek,

was compelled to be circumcised:

~ Galatians 2:1-3


This incident shows that the spiritual Jewish believers did not try to make Gentiles follow their laws. Both Barnabas and Titus were accepted as proper and genuine disciples of Christ.

Circumcision was clearly not a requirement. To teach gentiles to do so was severely rebuked.


And certain men which came down from Judaea

taught the brethren, and said,

Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses,

ye cannot be saved.

~ Acts 15:1

————-

Forasmuch as we have heard,

that certain which went out from us

have troubled you with words,

subverting your souls, saying,

Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law:

to whom we gave no such commandment:

~ Acts 15:24

————-

Brothers and sisters,

if I am still preaching circumcision,

why am I still being persecuted?

In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

~ Galatians 5:11

————-

As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh,

they constrain you to be circumcised;

only lest they should suffer persecution

for the cross of Christ.

~ Galatians 6:12


The Jews had not yet begun to be persecuted. They remained privileged in the Roman empire. The Christians on the other hand were being persecuted severely (mostly by the Jews) and some were beginning to follow Jewish ways in order to avoid persecution.

We Christians are called to be persecuted.  This should be expected and received with joy.


Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus

shall suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12

————-

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian,

let him not be ashamed;

but let him glorify God on this behalf.

~ 1 Peter 4:16


If we are not to compromise our faith by accepting traditions or practices of the Jews, is it okay to practice them?

I suppose if a Gentile wanted to practice Jewish ways, they could but I don’t think it is profitable or wise to try to associate oneself with Judaism in the context of a proselyte.

That being said, the law and Jewish practices are invaluable in their intended purpose to point us to Christ but fail completely when used as a part of saving faith.


But before faith came,

we were kept under the law,

shut up unto the faith

which should afterwards be revealed. 

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster

to bring us unto Christ,

that we might be justified by faith. 

But after that faith is come,

we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ

have put on Christ. 

There is neither Jew nor Greek,

there is neither bond nor free,

there is neither male nor female:

for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

And if ye be Christ’s,

then are ye Abraham’s seed,

and heirs according to the promise.

~ Galatians 3:23-29


What does scripture say about the Law here? That it was a tutor, a school master leading us to Christ. The whole O.T. did this. That is why it is so important to study and know its significance.

I personally think Christians could benefit greatly by learning about and experiencing all of the Jewish feast holidays.

They teach of Christ, and are derived from biblical truths rather than the mixing of pagan elements found in Christian holidays.


There are some O.T. commandments that we are commanded to follow. And if we love Jesus, that is exactly what we will do.


For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost,

and to us,

to lay upon you no greater burden

than these necessary things; 

that ye abstain from meats offered to idols,

and from blood, and from things strangled,

and from fornication:

from which if ye keep yourselves,

ye shall do well.

Fare ye well.

~ Acts 15:28-30


if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.


Acts 15:28 indicates that the Apostles were in agreement and obeying the Holy Spirit. These were the original leaders of the Church. Paul and the Gentile leadership submitted to their authority.

We would be wise to do the same. 

if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.

These O.T. commands are layering upon the words of Jesus found in John 14:15.

Consider this:

If we do not keep ourselves, we shall not do well, we will be disobedient to the Holy Spirit’s instructions and choosing to sin against God. We are commanded to abstain from the things listed above in the N.T.

That is why Christianity should separate its practices from those of the world. For the world cannot keep from disobeying God. It is built upon the foundation of sin.


abstain from meats offered to idols


At the surface, this seems pretty clear but Paul add some clarity to the subject.


But meat commendeth us not to God:

for neither, if we eat, are we the better;

neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 

But take heed lest by any means

this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock

to them that are weak. 

For if any man see thee which hast knowledge

sit at meat in the idol’s temple,

shall not the conscience of him which is weak

be emboldened to eat those things

which are offered to idols; 

and through thy knowledge

shall the weak brother perish,

for whom Christ died? 

But when ye sin so against the brethren,

and wound their weak conscience,

ye sin against Christ. 

Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend,

I will eat no flesh while the world standeth,

lest I make my brother to offend.

~ 1 Corinthians 8:8-13


Here Paul explains the ordinance of abstaining from meat offered to idols. He gives five criteria. Mind you, there is no contradiction between the to sets of instructions from Acts and Corinthians.

  1. Outside its effect on others, the type of food we eat plays no role in our relation to God; to abstain does no harm, to partake gives no advantage.
  2. Even though we have liberty to eat anything, we should not eat or do anything that would cause a weaker brethren to sin.
  3. If through our knowledge we eat, and cause a weaker brother’s conscience to be emboldened to sin, and he goes to hell as a result, his blood is on our hands.

  4. When we do this, we sin against our brethren, wound them, and are sinning against Christ.

  5. If food offered to idols make a brother sin, we should abstain from ever eating it again if it makes a brother to sin.

I would add that this principle should be considered whenever we think, say, or do anything. We do not want to cause another to be emboldened in their conscience to sin against God.

These scriptures use the word brethren indicating a fellow Christian. Think about this, a non-believer today could be a believer tomorrow. So, we really need to be careful with everyone if we are to love our neighbor as our self.

Jesus gives us an even stronger warning against the principle of sinning against God by causing others to fall into stumble because of our actions.


But whoso shall offend

one of these little ones which believe in me,

it were better for him that a millstone

were hanged about his neck,

and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe unto the world because of offences! f

or it must needs be that offences come;

but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

~ Matthew 18:6-7


and from blood, and from things strangled,


From blood and things strangled are both related to the consuming of blood and predate the Mosaic law. This prohibition comes from the covenant God made with Noah after the flood.

But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood

~ Genesis 9:4

With this command, we see that the life of the animal is in the blood. According to God, consuming blood is akin to eating an animal alive. The sanctity of life is why this is prohibited.

We are not to consume any type of blood. This command is repeated in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and 3 times in Acts. It is commanded through all three dispensations, Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian.


Therefore I said to the children of Israel,

You shall not eat the blood of any flesh,

for the life of all flesh is its blood.

Whoever eats it shall be cut off.

Leviticus 17:14

————-

Only you shall not eat the blood;

you shall pour it on the earth like water.

~ Deuteronomy 12:16


Eating Habits


 From a practical viewpoint, there are clearly some foods that are forbidden: blood sausage, blood pudding, drinking of blood, or dishes containing significant quantities of blood.

In 1 Corinthians 10:25, Paul says, 


Whatsoever is sold in the shambles,

that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:25


Paul does not mean to purchase blood stained products such as strangled meat. Meat not drained of blood has a distinct and recognizable color and texture.

I know this because I have slaughtered many types of animals and have found parts containing blood that did not drain. This meat also has a distinct taste and cooks differently when saturated with blood.

It is also safe to assume that Paul did not mean to eat rotten meat, or organs containing fecal matter or stomach contents either. His instruction are reasonable and in accordance with the whole counsel of scripture on this subject.

The context appears to apply to purchasing food or eating food provided by others.

According to the FDA, meats sold in America are all drained of blood.


and from fornication:


This instruction is to abstain from sexual immorality. The New Testament provides so much instruction on this subject. Here are three samples. This command also predates mosaic law.

Rampant sexual immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah was one of the reasons they were destroyed in Genesis. God also spoke of it before the flood when the Sons of God took wived of daughters of men.


 I wrote unto you in an epistle

not to company with fornicators: 

yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world,

or with the covetous, or extortioners,

or with idolaters;

for then must ye needs go out of the world. 

But now I have written unto you

not to keep company,

if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator,

or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer,

or a drunkard, or an extortioner;

with such an one no not to eat.

~ 1 Corinthians 5:9-11

————-

 Marriage is honourable in all,

and the bed undefiled:

but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

~ Hebrews 13:4

————

But the fearful, and unbelieving,

and the abominable, and murderers,

and whoremongers, and sorcerers,

and idolaters, and all liars,

shall have their part in the lake

which burneth with fire and brimstone:

which is the second death.

~ Revelation 21:8


There has never been a time when sexual immorality was not considered an exclusionary sin (a sin that causes one to perish). Sexual immorality has always been a part of Gentile or heathen cultures.

We are not to tolerate fornication in in this life. God will not tolerate those who practice it in the next. We are not to have close friends or spend time socializing who fornicators who claim to be Christians.

At the same time we are to love those lost in sin and be light to a dark and dying world.


I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 

but shewed first unto them of Damascus,

and at Jerusalem,

and throughout all the coasts of Judæa,

and then to the Gentiles,

that they should repent and turn to God,

and do works meet for repentance.

~ Acts 26:19-20


We too must not be disobedient to our heavenly calling in Christ and obey His commandments in love. We now understand what carries over from the O.T. and why they are important.

We will discuss further what it means to love Jesus and keep His commandments in the next post.


And the Lord God formed man

of the dust of the ground,

and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;

and man became a living soul.

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden;

and there he put the man whom he had formed.

~ Genesis 2:7-8


 

If you love me (part 1)


If ye love me, keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15


I have found this subject to be so deep, so comprehensive, and so serious that I have been questioning myself whether or not I should write about it.

So much more has come to mind since clicking and saving the first draft. When a scripture moves me as much as this one does, there is no other choice than to explore it.

It is quite possible that this brief but concise statement given by Jesus encapsulates the entire Bible message of God to His children.


Please forgive me if I fall short in my attempt to describe this powerful and important message. Here is the introduction and my understanding why this brief and often overlooked phrase needs much deeper consideration.

Below is one of the many passages that shows why John 14:15 is one of the most critical verses in the Bible. Jesus is telling the Jewish authorities and those willing to listen indirectly why.


Biblical Times


The authorities of Jesus’ day were priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. Like our churches today, they did not agree on application of biblical content.

There are 613 commandments in the Old Testament divided into civil, ceremonial, and moral law. Some overlap but we are speaking generally here. The commandments were also divided into greater and lesser laws.

The authorities were generally in agreement with the divisions of the greater and lesser laws but were divided about what was most important. 

One Pharisee, conversant in the law maliciously attempted to ensnare Jesus in order to discredit Him. He asked:


Master,

which is the great commandment in the law?


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.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it,

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments

hang all the law and the prophets.

~ Matthew 22:36-40


Jesus did not answer the question by telling the crowd which one of the 613 laws was the most important. He answered by giving them two new commandments that encapsulate whole law and all the writings of the prophets.

This addition of two commandments as a clarification of the old laws are given to all who hear. This should speak volumes to us. Jesus was beginning to tell us how to live today. He was beginning to give us His new law the Law of Christ.

He basically told them, ‘the whole Bible is about what I am telling you right now’.  The Jews only had the Old Testament. Today, we have the whole the Bible. This truth of His law should be more clear than ever.

I am afraid that even with the benefits of technology and our ability to decipher scripture and how it all relates: Old Testament to New, in precise detail, we still are falling short.

We are without excuse if we choose to or remain ignorant of what Jesus meant by keeping His commandments. The apostles explained how the church is to function corporately, individually, what the law of Christ is.

Before anyone thinks that, “We are not under the law.” I realize this. I am trying to understand how Jesus, the prophets, and Apostles relate this. Please bare with me as I seek to understand His law and its whole application to our life.

The O.T. supports and provides invaluable details and historical structure to N.T. doctrine. This is why understanding John 14:15 is so important.

It not only speaks of the entire schema* of love as revealed in scripture but specifies what of Jesus’ commandments must be followed in order to demonstrate that love.


The Church Today


We have the same thing happening today that occurred back then. Bishops, pastors, and teachers feed us what they believe is relevant based upon theological frameworks and discredit those who disagree. 

Because of this, some Biblical truths or commands may be glossed over or completely disregarded by many sincere followers of Jesus (examples: Ephesians 4:8).

The Bible says that, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: ~ 2 Timothy 3:16

So we cannot neglect one word. Our biblical goal is unity in love of Jesus and His truth, the entire truth.


Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

for brethren to dwell together in unity!

~ Psalm 133:1


We are not instructed to live in unity with the world but we are instructed to live in unity with the church. This is not an ecumenical bring all denominations together type of unity but a biblical loving our neighbor in Christ type of unity. (more on this later)


I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you that ye walk worthy

of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

with all lowliness and meekness,

with longsuffering,

forbearing one another in love;

endeavouring to keep

the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit,

even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

~ Ephesians 4:1-4


The church is called to walk worthy of its calling through the biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. There is only only church or body of Christ. It consists of those who love Jesus and keep His commandments.

Unfortunately, I hear it or see daily the disregard of scriptural purity and truth from professing Christians. This was the same thing Jesus dealt with from the heart of a people not perfected in love.

I was guilty of for the longest time (28 years) and am just coming out of it. I passed over this and other passages not deemed valuable or important while looking after the things I was taught or argued with others about.

Jesus taught us that everything in the law and prophets was filtered through His words. Later this included all the Holy Spirit’s teaching through the Apostles.


Nothing is to by left unturned.

Nothing is to be ignored.

Nothing is to be disobeyed.


There are serious warnings when we do this and even greater dangers when we teach others to do the same (more on this later).


For I testify unto every man

that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,

If any man shall add unto these things,

God shall add unto him the plagues

that are written in this book:

and if any man shall take away

from the words of the book of this prophecy,

God shall take away his part out of the book of life,

and out of the holy city,

and from the things which are written in this book.

~ Revelation 18-19


This is why it is so important to understand exactly what Jesus meant in John 14:15. Every time a pastor enters the pulpit, stage, etc. whether he knows it or not, this is the subject he is preaching about. 

This little phrase should be in the forefront of his mind when he speaks. It should be on his thoughts as he sleeps. He should arise, seeking its fulfillment.

A pastor should also ensure that every member or participant in his church clearly knows what the message means and that they are exhorted to follow his lead.


And he gave some, apostles;

and some, prophets; and some, evangelists;

and some, pastors and teachers;

for the perfecting of the saints,

for the work of the ministry,

for the edifying of the body of Christ:

till we all come in the unity of the faith,

and of the knowledge of the Son of God,

unto a perfect man, unto the measure

of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

~ Ephesians 4:11-13


We are to be built up unto a perfect man in the measure and stature of Christ. Once again unity in the church is stressed, not unity of a denomination, only unity of faith and knowledge of Christ

The goal of leadership in church is to bring the flock to faithful perfection in the knowledge of Christ. Our shepherds and sheep need to submit completely to the Spirit’s divine power in order to obey the calling of glory and virtue.

When we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, God makes sure that everything else is taken care. We must be single-minded obedience lest the lusts of the world steal us away.


according as his divine power

hath given unto us all things

that pertain unto life and godliness,

through the knowledge of him

that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

whereby are given unto us

exceeding great and precious promises:

that by these ye might be partakers

of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption

that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence,

add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

and to knowledge temperance;

and to temperance patience;

and to patience godliness;

 and to godliness brotherly kindness;

and to brotherly kindness charity. 

For if these things be in you, and abound,

they make you that ye shall neither be barren

nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-7


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.

 1 John 4:17


We already learned that everything in the Bible substantiates Jesus’ words. One of those events happened in the wilderness over 3,600 years ago; soon after God delivered his people from the sinful oppression of Egypt (the significance of Egypt will be elaborated later).

Before they entered the promised land of Canaan, God gave them a most beautiful commandment that applies to us in the same measure today.


And these words,

which I command thee this day,

shall be in thine heart:

thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,

and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest in thine house,

and when thou walkest by the way,

and when thou liest down,

and when thou risest up.

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand,

and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

And thou shalt write them upon

the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9


This was the second writing of God’s commands to the Israelites and was written after 40 years of wandering aimlessly in the Sinai wilderness.

When the Israelites lost faith and rebelled after following the false reports of the 12 spies who entered Canaan, they were punished and perished in the wilderness.

Only the children under 20 plus faithful Joshua and Caleb (at the time of Kadesh rebellion) were allowed to enter the promised land. They were just east of the River Jordan when God gave them Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

Read the story in Numbers 13:30-14:39 if you like.


The Whole Story is for you and me


In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him;

and without him was not any thing made

that was made. In him was life;

and the life was the light of men.

~ John 1:1-4


God is still giving us this message today. If we are to enter into the promised land, we too must have the Word of God, written in our hearts.

We should teach Him to our children and as we walk in the way. This is the message that must be preached and taught. The message that should be bored deep into our hearts.

Keeping the commandments of the Lord is a preservative against false teachings as we will see in the next post. His word should be a light to our feet and guide each step along His strait and narrow path.


Through thy precepts I get understanding:

therefore I hate every false way.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,

and a light unto my path.

I have sworn, and I will perform it,

that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

~ Psalm 119:104-106


During most of my years professing Christianity, I did not learn what it meant to love Jesus and keep His commandments. This was my fault. Mostly because I did not see the need to attend faithfully and chose churches that tolerated my sins.

I heard about Jesus’ love for us but the message was incomplete. I was not taught that we were to be holy as He was holy and that all our behaviors and thoughts were to be so. Now that Jesus has poured His love in my heart, this truth is becoming a reality.


There is so much material in the Bible covering this subject that a post of this nature can miss important details. I have caught myself missing the point in some of my posts.

Nevertheless, we are commanded by God not to teach others to break the least of Jesus’ commandments. So we must stay on track and correct any errors we may find.


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.

~ Matthew 5:19


I don’t think a post considering the gradations from least to greatest commandments is necessary since we are called unto complete submission to the word of God. This can also lead to the false belief of being under the old law.

But because of the nature of this subject, it will be broken into parts. The first part here being the introduction.

I don’t claim to have a corner on the truth; only to seek Him with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul. Unfortunately, I have heard very little of what John 14:15 means.

Now its time to begin the learning process. So far, it has shown to be very complex and detailed. Breaking this subject into digestible pieces and putting has already shown to help focus my thoughts.

Hebrew and Greek, and Bible (college) study is not feasible right now. Since this subject is so strongly on my heart, this will be a personal study.

May its realization in my heart be true to God’s scriptural counsel. Please feel to correct or clarify any of deficits you may find.

In Christ

~ D


Lay up in your hearts God’s love and preserve it by careful keeping and watching after His holy commandments.

Thereby hoping in eternal, glorious fellowship with the Holy One of Israel.


Next, underlying Greek/Hebrew structure . . .


*Schema: The underlying organizational pattern and conceptual framework which God expresses through the Bible and in our experiences and interactions with Him and the world.