We Keep His Commandments

Photo by Jens Johnsson: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-wooden-arrow-signed-66100/

1 John 2:3-6 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Opening: Yet another Church falls from the light of God. Last week the Church of England (Anglicans) decided it would bless “civil marriages and partnerships of same sex couples”. As with many other mainline denominations, compromise with the error of our age will not bless but divide the Church. The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America noted:

the Church of England is moving a step at a time to fully accept the practice of homosexuality as part of the life and practice of the English Church. … We have lived through this with other Western Anglican Provinces that continually wavered on the ‘faith once delivered’ (Jude 3) and now outright deny the doctrine of biblical anthropology regarding gender identity and moral behavior. Those in the secular press and culture will argue that these are matters of justice, but God’s justice can never contradict God’s righteousness, and we know these changes attack the very core of biblical authority. Have the Scriptures been clear on human sexuality through the centuries? Yes, they have. The majority of Anglicans around the world have concluded the same. And yet, now, the Church of England has authorized the blessing of sin and declared that sin is no longer sin.”

When sin is normalized, no one wins.

During World War II the German nation under Adolf Hitler began to normalize antisemitism and the destruction of Jewish businesses. Jews were caricatured in newspapers as rats and thieves, and blamed for the poor economy of Germany. It wasn’t long before Jews were gathered into ghettos, stripped of their property, and in time were objects of mass murder and cremation in concentration camps. Most of the Churches in Germany went along with the programs, which allowed for its widespread acceptance and inhumanity. One pastor named Dietrich Bonhoeffer died in Buchenwald prison on February 7, 1945. He was stripped naked and hung for the crime of working with the underground resistance and for helping Jews to safety. What is interesting about his death was that he could have avoided it. Christian History magazine notes,

His death would not have happened if it had not been for his conscience. At the start of World War II, he had been safe in America. By his own choice he returned to his native Germany, saying “I shall have no right to participate in the reconstruction of the Christian life in Germany after the war if I did not share in the trials of this time with my people.” Bonhoeffer wrote in his book The Cost Of Discipleship, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die … Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will ..”

Yes, We Avoid Sin… But Being A Christian Is More:
DO What Our God Says.

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

Word Study: The word know is the Greek ginōskō, which means “to have a knowledge of, to intimately understand”. This same word is used of Joseph when the Angel told him that his virgin bride Mary was carrying the Messiah inside her. The Bible says:

Mathew 1:25 {And Joseph did not} KNOW her until Mary brought forth her firstborn Son: and Joseph called His name JESUS. (Author’s paraphrase)

When the Bible says “Joseph did not KNOW her” it is speaking of an intimate knowledge or experience e, in this case the wedding bed (Hebrews 13:4). To KNOW Jesus is not just to have a dictionary knowledgte of him. I “know” Abraham Lincoln. I “know” Ronald Reagan. Never met them, but I “know” them. But not like ginōskō. It is so important that we ginōskō or KNOW Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus, then one day you’ll meet Him and He’ll say to you,

Matthew 7:23 I never KNEW (ginōskō) you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity ..

Do you know Him? Are you sure? How can I KNOW that I KNOW Jesus? Here we are given the key to eternity:

we keep his commandments

Jesus expects us to keep his commandments. Didn’t He say,


Do you say you are saved, in a loving relationship with God through Jesus? Then you must OBEY Jesus. You must DO what he says do. The Apostle John repeats this in God’s Book:

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

We know we love Jesus because we obey Jesus. How do we KNOW that Jesus loves us back?

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

The Son of God obeys God. A son of God obeys God. As Jesus obeyed the direction of the Father, we obey the direction of Jesus. One of the most egregious lies ever promoted by Satan – and swallowed by many in the Church hook, line, and sinker, is that

I can RECEIVE Jesus as SAVIOR and yet
REJECT Him as SOVEREIGN LORD and still be saved”.

Osborne Reef & False Evangelism: There is something called “The Law of unintended consequences”. For instance, have you ever heard of the Osborne Reef (1972)? There were too many old tires filling up land fills, so someone thought it would be a good idea to dump the tires off the coast of Florida. The idea was that it would create a reef that would benefit marine life. Sounds like a great idea with the best of intentions! What could possibly go wrong? Tires are round, and they roll, rolling around in the tide and destroying the natural coral that grew nearby. Tires also are leaking toxins into the Florida Coastline. The tires have not helped, but have destroyed the reef in Florida. This mess will take years to clean up, and untold millions of dollars – if it ever gets cleaned up. Consider corn ethanol, found in much of the gasoline we use today. The word was that corn ethanol was cheaper, cleaner, and renewable. So the government mandated its consumption. Sounds like a great idea with the best of intentions. What could possibly go wrong? Ethanol produces more greenhouse gasses than traditional gasoline, causing environmental damage. According to scientists at Cornell University and the University of California, making 1 gallon of ethanol requires 1.29 gallons of fossil fuel. How does this tie into the problem of false evangelism? Years ago well intentioned pastors and evangelists thought that preaching the salvation of sinners without the sovereignty of Christ would be a good idea. Let’s get people to walk the aisles of the Church and get them on a membership roll. Once they are on the roll, then we’ll blanket America with the Gospel. It was a great idea with the best of intentions. What possibly could go wrong? Everything! Being on the roll of the Church does not make you the LIGHT that Jesus demands we be. We as the LIGHT are not to compromise with the darkness – something that will often bring us into conflict with the culture around us. A salvation that SAVES but does not bend the knee to the SOVEREIGN Christ is not in the Scripture – A N Y W H E R E! One commentary I came across explained it this way: Many Churches today offer a BASIC salvation package where you can go to Heaven upon death, but it has no effect on your present life. Or you can choose the DELUXE salvation package that is less fire insurance and more like a home renovation package.

NEITHER is Biblical Christianity.

Jesus Christ gave ALL of Himself to save you, and you give all of YOURSELF to Him. If you’re saved, He’s the Boss. Jesus was very clear on what He expected:

Matthew 16:24-27 … If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Jesus will one day REPAY EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO WHAT HE HAS DONE. Yes, salvation is by Grace – it is a free gift from God, fully secured by the Blood of the Christ shed upon Calvary. You are saved by receiving Jesus”. God the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Gospel causes your spiritual eyes to open. Jesus comes along, and holds out His nail scarred hands. He calls you, “Receive ME”. Now Who is the “ME” that Jesus is? What did the Apostle Peter preach on the Day of Pentecost?:

Acts 2:36God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Jesus is both LORD and CHRIST (Savior/ Messiah). He is not one or the other. He is both. Peter would write the Church long after this in:

2 Peter 3:18 … grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. …

One of my favorite Scriptures is Ephesians 2:8-10, which is a complete picture of salvation. In verses 8-9 we read, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. If you stop here, you see the declaration that “Jesus is Savior”. But when you read verse 10 you hear, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The SAVED are following the SOVEREIGN Christ in works, in behavior, in manifest light – in loving opposition to the world.

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

We keep his commandments, not our desires. The soul that comes to Jesus for salvation will be saved from the self centeredness of sin. Your focus, dear Christian, is your RELATIONSHIP to Jesus. He reminds us:

Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

If I am preaching to please ME, my target is wrong. If I am preaching to please YOU, my target is wrong. Now apply this to YOUR works. Everything you do should please JESUS. YOUR target is Jesus too. Jesus said that those who hear His words and DO THEM is wise” (Matthew 7:24), whereas those who hear His words and DO NOT DO THEM is foolish” (Matthew 7:26). Those who are saved are to be Light in the Lord” (Ephesians 56:8). We are to live as

Philippians 2:15 … “sons of God, without rebuke, the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, AMONG WHOM YE SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THE WORLD

Jesus could not have been more specific when He spoke of His judgment, saying:

Matthew 25:33-40 … (ESV) He will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Jesus did things to lift people up. Jesus expects His sons and daughters to do the same.

We are to feed the hungry.
We are to give water to the thirsty.
We are to share the Gospel of salvation to all.
We are to go to those in need, and lift up.
We are to welcome the stranger,
But we are NOT to welcome the stranger’s false god.
We are to DO GOOD.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

Some professing Christians are NEVER weary in well doing because they’ve never done the first thing for Jesus. They were never baptized. They never give of their finances to others. They rarely read the Word of God, pray, or spend time with God’s people. One day these professors will hear Jesus say,

Matthew 25:41-46 (ESV) … “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ … 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

If you live like you belong in hell or live like you belong in Heaven – you’ll end up there.

Do You KNOW – Intimately Know – Jesus?

1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Word Study: We looked at the word KNOW, now let’s look at the word keepeth, the Greek tēreō. This word means “to watch for, to preserve, to hold fast to, to guard”. Jesus used this word when He told a young rich man:

Matthew 19:17 … If you want to enter into life, KEEP (tēreō) God’s commandments …

And Jesus told His disciples in the Great Commission:

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (tēreō) all things whatsoever I have commanded you…

And again Jesus said,

John 8:51 Verily, verily I say unto you, if a man KEEP (tēreō) MY SAYING, he shall never see death …

The Holy Spirit indwells the Saved!

When a person is saved, the TRUTH comes and indwells that person. What do I mean by that? It is the Holy Spirit of God Who draws a person to Christ. Jesus told His disciples while He was on the earth,

John 14:15-17 (ESV) “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

When you turn your life over to Jesus, receiving Him as Lord and Savior, He sends the Holy Spirit of God – the “SPIRIT OF TRUTH” to both dwell with you and be in you. When Jesus saves a person, He plants the Holy Spirit into our lives in a very real way. We are saved from the inside out. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. The Comforter, the …

John 14:26 (ESV) … Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

We who are saved do what Jesus said, because the Spirit of God Who indwells us leads us to do so. Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you, Whom you have from God, and that YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirit lives in us to lead to in the Way of Christ, to be like Jesus. The unbeliever stands convicted under the Law of God, unrighteous and lawless. But the Child of God by faith in Christ is led by the Spirit of God, and is not under the Law (Galatians 5:18). If you are saved, the fruit of your life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit speaks to us, telling us that we a Children of God (Romans 8:9, 15; Galatians 4:6; 1 John 2:27).

A Christian is in a God indwelt relationship with the Creator

You may drift momentarily from God, but the Spirit of God will draw you back. If you say I know him and have no concern for Jesus’ commandments, then John very plainly tells you that you are a liar. God has given us a very clear illustration of the professing but lost and the possessing but confused in Christ’s Apostles.

Illustration: The Apostle Peter was “possessing but confused”. Peter told Jesus, “I’ll never deny You, Lord”, but Jesus told him, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:34). What happened? Peter denied the Lord. Later after our Lord was crucified, dead, and resurrected, Peter ran back to Jesus’ arms. Why? Because – though confused – Peter was possessed of God. He was indwelt of God.

But then you have the Apostle Judas Iscariot. Judas Iscariot followed Jesus just as long as Peter did. Judas not only denied Jesus, but he betrayed the Master for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15). Whereas Peter repented and returned to the arms of Christ, Judas changed his mind (Matthew 27:3) and tried to return the money to the priests. He did not return to Jesus, but to the scene of the crime. He did not turn his heart over to Jesus, but “throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself”. God was not in his life, nor in his heart. Jesus chose Judas, but knew he was a devil (John 6:70).

Judas’ religion was external. It was man made. But Peter’s faith is God made. God’s people may stumble, but they are characterized by walking as Jesus walked.

Those Truly Saved Will Seek To Walk as Jesus Walked

1 John 2:5-6 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

When God saved you – if He saved you – He also predestined you to be like Jesus. We are told in

Romans 8:29 For whom {God} did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

If you are saved by faith in Christ, you are PREDESTINATED to be like Christ. In the first Creation God made all people to be “in his image” (Genesis 1:27). When you were born into this world you, like all humans, are made “in the image of God”. You are not animals. You are above the animals, but lower than the angels. BUT in the second Creation, the Creation you underwent when God entered your life and called you to salvation, you are programmed to be conformed to the image of his Son. You are to be like Jesus. You are to imitate Jesus. You are to think like Jesus. You are to love like Jesus. You are to live like Jesus. We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Perhaps in the course of this message, God the Holy Spirit has opened your eyes to the need to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. If He has, today is the day to call upon Him. The Scripture promises you, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. My prayer is that you run into the arms of Jesus today. May God touch your hearts with His Spirit. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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