April 30, 2022

If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15).

The word ‘antinomian’ refers to a person who maintains that Christians, by virtue of divine grace, are freed not only from biblical law and church-prescribed behavioral norms, but also from all moral law. You listen carefully in many sermons, lectures, and Christian conversations and rarely do you hear the word ‘commandment’. Quite often it is touted that Christians are not under the commandments and laws of the Old Testament, but under grace. And that is true, according to (Romans 6:14-15), For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! So, how are we to reconcile the words of Jesus with those of the Apostle Paul?

First, we need to recognize that, in Scripture, law is not the opposite or enemy of grace. Jehovah God, in the Old Testament, is not a stern and forbidding God, pressuring His people to ‘toe the mark’ under a heavy burden of rules and regulations. As the Old Testament progressed in time, the people progressed in their sinfulness before God. Rarely were there persons like Enoch, Noah, or Job, who were righteous, and admittedly the only ones righteous in their generation. Because sin abounded, lawlessness increased to the point people had little or no regard for life, morality, compassion toward others, etc. The judgments of God were poured out on these individuals because His righteous justice demanded it. The laws of God were then given to bring the sinfulness and lawlessness of men under control. We may look upon God as being harsh and cruel to those who disobeyed, but His discipline of the sinner was far more gracious, merciful, and compassionate than the wicked self-destruction of the people who lived without that discipline.

Second, we need to recognize that the One who gave the Commandments on Sinai is the same One who said, If you love Me, keep My commandments to the disciples. (Hebrew 13:8) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He has always been the mediator between God the Father and mankind. And His mediation has always, and will always, be consistent with His holiness, righteousness, justice, grace, and mercy. In His giving of the law to the Jews, He said (Exodus 20:5-6; Deuteronomy 5:9-10), For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments

Finally, Jesus, who, in His love and compassion toward the grieving disciples, maintained His Divine majesty and authority by insisting upon their loyalty to Him through obedience to His commandments. Throughout Scripture you do not read of Moses or the prophets demanding the people to obey their commandments, but God’s commandments. Jesus said, If you love Me, keep My commandments. Are His commandments the same as those in the Mosaic Law? We’ll see next time. Amen.


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