Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life,and may enter through the gates into the city. (Rev. 22:14)
All of God’s creation must respond to the Creator. The creation is set within the bounds God designed. There is no circumventing.
- Concerning the material creation; “. . He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Ps.33:9) God said; “Let there be light.” Jesus said to the wind and waves; “Peace be still.” By the word which brought the flood in Noah’s day, the same word has preserved the heavens and the earth to be “reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (IIPet.3:7)
- Angels of God are found in obedience to God’s word (commandment). “Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.” (Ps.103:20) There was some event wherein was created the gulf between the obedient and “the angels who sinned.”
- Demons have a degree of will, yet Jesus commanded them and they responded to the express requirements of His word. “Be quiet, and come out of him!” / “. . . He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man.” They could not help but do what He said.It appears the wonderful opportunity to repent is/was not afforded to them.
- Mankind is not as the wind and waves, nor as the angels who are settled in His will. We are not like demons who were cast away from God. God has given us grace that we might hear Him and obey out of choice. God “. . now commands all men everywhere to repent. .” (Acts 17:30) If we disobey or vacillate, God often gives time to reconsider (up to a point). . .
The word ‘commandment’ invokes the scene of Moses at Mt. Sinai. The ten commandments were written on tables of stone; commandments on a hard surface, heavy and unyielding. These were the umbrella under which Israel (and those Gentiles who listened) were taught about God’s righteousness. They learned their inadequacies through the rough schooling of experience; “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom.3:20) While spiritual in nature, the commandments could not redeem or perfect man. (cf. Rom.7:17) Included with them were statutes and judgments which served to prepare the faithful for something greater.
Jesus said; “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) His commandments are called “. . the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus . .” The benefit of this law “. . has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom8:2) Thus we see a greater covenant in which commandments are still a part. Contained in the new covenant are commandments to the lost. Obedience to the gospel is required through the good will of God’s calling. Also, there are commandments for the saved. “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts. . .”
Whether under Sinai or Zion, redeemed or not, all have been called to obey God’s commandments.
Jesus had to obey; “. . he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil.2:8) Are we greater than Him? The very truth of discipleship is found through taking up our cross to follow Him. Our outer man, the man of flesh, tends to sin. Yet it is a part of our being, just as it was a part of Jesus’ life. We don’t move in the harmony of being eternally proven. We aren’t in the realm beyond temptation. Our condition is described in this fashion; “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (Gal.5:17) We are subject to the will of God, yet there is a part of our life that resists. Didn’t Jesus express this very thing when He prayed for the cup to pass from Him? “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”(Heb.5:8) Therefore we have this example to follow;“. . Not my will, but thine, be done.”
I am an evangelist sent out by the Old Lamine church of Christ, which meets about 3 miles north of Lamine, Missouri.