Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” You and I are not under law. Keeping the law given by Moses with all of its commands and regulations or keeping any other law does not save us. Instead, we are saved by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Even though we are saved by grace, we still have commandments that we are to keep. The apostle Paul stated to the Corinthians that it was not important whether a person was called when he was a Jew (circumcised) or a Gentile (uncircumcised). What was important was keeping the commandments of God. 1 Corinthians 7:19 “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.”
We demonstrate our love for God by keeping His commandments. Jesus said in John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” We can’t say that we know God if we do not keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3-5 “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” We are in God and He is in us when we keep His commandments. 1 John 3:24 “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” We abide in God’s loves if we keep His commandments. Jesus stated in John 15:9-10 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” Jesus stated in John 15:14 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
There are multiple commandments from God. The teachings of Jesus that we find in the books of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John contain His commandments. God gave the apostles the Holy Spirit to guide them; their writings contain commandments of God. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:37 “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” The apostle Paul wrote the following to Timothy. 1 Timothy 6:11-14 “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing.” It appears that fighting the good fight of faith and laying hold on eternal life is a commandment.
The greatest commandment is to love. One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Mark 12:29-31 “Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’” Perhaps the reason that love is the greatest commandment is that when we have the proper love, we fulfill all of the other commandments. Romans 13:8-10 “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” When it is obvious that we love each other, everyone will know that we are His disciples. John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” The apostle John expanded it to two commandments: belief and love. 1 John 3:21-23 “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”
When we love God, we will want to keep His commandments. 1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” When we truly love God, His commandments are not burdensome; it should be our desire to keep them as we seek to please Him.
My encouragement to you is to love God and demonstrate your love by keeping His commandments. The greatest commandments are to love God and to love one another.