Following (or not breaking) the law does not justify you or earn you merit by those who establish the law
September 21st, 2003, Sunday Morning
"Keeping His Commandments"
It's God's commandment of love and not the earthly laws of man that matter
OPENING: John 15:1-11 (key: v.10)
- Your government and police department do not reward you for never having been arrested or for following all their rules
- Romans 3:20: You are not justified or saved by God for ONLY following His 10 Commandments
Doing your duty (including obeying the law) means you did the minimum of what was required of you; it doesn't
mean you enjoyed it or put love or care into it
Ephesians 6:6: God doesn't want you to obey him out of duty but--as He says--"from the heart"; in other words,
to obey Him because you love Him and desire to do His will
- 1 Timothy 1:9 and 1 John 3:4: The law was not established to show us how to lead good lives but to tell us what is sin and when
we disobey God (transgress Him)
John 5:30: Jesus is one example of a Son who proclaims he desires not his own desires but the will of His Father
- John 12:28: He loved His Father so much, He wanted nothing but for His Father to be glorified
- Jesus not only wanted to do His Father's will but do it the same way as His Father (which is perfectly synonomous
with when we want to act like someone else like a movie star or singer: we sing and dance and act the same way they do)
- Matthew 26:39: And even when Jesus was tempted to want something other than what The Father had planned for him,
Jesus ultimately prayed for the Father's will and not His own
And God, in turn, takes care of those who obey Him
- Matthew 4:2-11: God sent angels to care for Jesus after He conquered Satan's temptations in the wilderness
- Matthew 26:53: And if Jesus had asked for it, His Father would've sent him legions of angels to protect Him from man's crucifixion
plan (but Jesus wanted his Father's will for Him--not His own)
- John 15:7: And if you abide in God's Word (the Bible) and obey, ask and pray what you want from Him and IF it is an
appropriate request (i.e., not money or power or earthly goods but wisdom or strength) then it shall be freely given to you
John 15:10,12 and 1 John 3:23: These two verses read that God says to, "keep my commandments"--not solely
the 10 Commandments; it's not to be a Jevovah's Witness; it's not completing the (man-made) Catholic sacraments; it's not a vow of silence; it's not the Baptists' conventional phrase of "don't drink, dance, smoke or chew or
be with girls who do;" it's simply to "believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ" and "love one another" just as Jesus loved you first
- By simply loving another person, your heart desires their happiness and welfare so you will not want to hurt or sin against them; thus by
loving one another and God, you will be obeying all of God's commandments ever made for man
- John 3:16: How did God love you first? "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (meaning: be saved)
- John 15:13: Many in this world don't believe they're worth anything and some of those people commit suicide;
others claim they have nothing to offer the world and question how they can be worth anything; So how much worth do you have? An unmeasureable
amount if someone believed in you enough to die for you--and that's what Jesus did
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: To love one another doesn't mean you can never get upset, angry, frustrated, etc.;
God understands this and has said there are appropriate times for all emotions:
- Ecclesiastes 3:2: "A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;"
- Ecclesiastes 3:3: "A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;"
- Ecclesiastes 3:4: "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;"
- Ecclesiastes 3:5: "A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;"
- Ecclesiastes 3:6: "A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;"
- Ecclesiastes 3:7: "A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;"
- Ecclesiastes 3:8: "A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."
- (ASIDE: Notice this passage originated from the Bible and not the musical group, The Byrds and v.4 contradicts the Baptist rule that
you're not allowed to dance)
- Jesus showed many times that while He loves man, there were times He vented at them for their lack of obedience, understanding and faith
- Matthew 3:7: Like when He called the Pharisees and Sadducees a "generation of vipers" for their disobedience and disbelief
- Matthew 21:12-13: Or when he became angry that the Lord's Temple in Jerusalem was not being used for prayer as it was intended
but for the dishonest buying and selling of goods
- Matthew 8:25-26 and Matthew 16:8 and Matthew 17:17: Or when Jesus was repeatedly frustrated by both his disciples and the crowds
of people for their lack of faith
Anyone can say they love or have faith in God but it is their deeds and actions that prove their love/faith
- James 1:22: Don't just go to church and listen but also do what the Bible says--otherwise you deceive yourself
- Matthew 7:22-23: A person is not saved by simply saying he believes in the existance of God and the
Bible--even Satan will acknowledge that; you must also follow (abide) in the Bible's directions
- 1 John 2:3: We not only believe in God but know Him IF we keep (follow) His commandments
- John 15:10 CONNECTION: So keep His commandments and you shall abide in God (and be saved)
- Genesis 21:5 and Genesis 22:1-13: EXAMPLE OF FAITH IN ACTION: Abraham had to wait until he was 100 years old for his son, Isaac, he so
desperately wanted. And when he finally got him, God tested Abraham's loyalty to God by telling him to sacrifice his only son. Abraham obeyed without
hesitation and before he plunged the knife into his son, God stopped Abraham because it was only a test
- Hebrews 11: This is known as the Bible's chapter of faith because every verse is a testament
of faith by an individual in the Bible
If you're truly abiding in God and following His will for you, you cannot help but do two things:
1. You will have a love and trust for Christ that gives you a joy and motivation in your heart to (for example) do you very best in every
deed and sing hymns in church not because you're directed by the choir but because you really believe the words of each line of each song
2. You will love everyone you come into contact with--whether you know them or not
- 1 John 4:20: Otherwise, if you claim to love God but hate anyone then you really don't love God
(ASIDE: Of the 10 Commandments, 1-4 are about loving God with all your heart, soul and mind while 5-10 are about loving your neighbor)
Never having broken the law, never having missed a Sunday of church, joining/leading a globally recognized religious organization and/or completing a life-long
checklist of requirements for a spiritual promotion or reward or being baptized do not prove you love God; abiding in and loving God and your fellow man is the
proof of faith and single commandment that will result in a successful earthly life and an everlasting spiritual life, after this world
What's the worth or value of a human being? The worth is what you pay for it--and Jesus paid with His life
- Jesus died to save your soul for eternity--why would you not want to follow Him?
So now that you know all that's required to have eternal life and happiness on earth is to believe in God, in His Son's death and
resurrection (having faith), love (and obey) them and love your fellow man, are you abiding in God?
- It's not as difficult as the rules and laws of man make it out to be