Take a moment and consider these words of Jesus on keeping the commandments … keeping His words
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15 (NASB)
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21 (NASB)
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” John 14:23 (NASB)
“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.” John 15:10 (NASB)
Note what Jesus reveals above …
- We keep the commandments out of love for Jesus
- When we keep the commandments, we are loved by the Father and the Son
- When we keep the commandments, we abide IN the love of God
- When we keep the commandments, Father and Son abide IN us
- When we keep the commandments, Jesus reveals Himself to us
And John expands upon this on his letters …
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3 (NASB)
The one who keeps His commandments abides IN Him, and He IN him. We know by this that He abides IN us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:24 (NASB)
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 (NASB)
According to John, when we keep the commandments of Jesus we find that …
- We are IN relationship with Christ Jesus
- We experience the mutual indwelling … we abide IN Jesus and He abides IN us … both made possible by the work of the Holy Spirit
- His commandments are not burdensome (Remember Jesus’ words regarding His yoke in Matthew 11:28-30?)
Since American keep more Bibles on their bookshelves than any country in the world, all these things should be already be a reality … if only it were that easy … and if only every Bible in America had truly been embraced and read from cover to cover.
Somehow I don’t believe that is the kind of understanding of keep God expected us to embrace. Some simply interpret the word keep as obey when they read the words of Jesus … but IMHO that’s a bit too simplistic and is concerned primarily with right behavior … what everyone else can see.
The definition, that with a little revision, seems to resonate with me for keep is from WordWeb and reads … conform one’s action or practice to. I would revise that to conform one’s heart and actions or practice to … and oh-by-the-way God is doing this work … His work … by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture in the midst of our relationships and experiences. (BTW … and only me and God can truly see what’s going on IN my heart)
To keep the words of God means to conform one’s entire life and being to the words of God.
Consider this verse from Romans …
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NASB)
WOW! WOW! WOW!
We can choose to be conformed to this world … or to be conformed to the kingdom of God. That divine conforming comes about by God’s transforming work in the midst as we renew our minds at the hand of the sword of the Holy Spirit … that sword being the words of God.
Am I keeping the words of God … are those words renewing my mind that I might walk IN the will of God?
Have I chosen to remain conformed to this world … remaining outside the will of God?
Or do I really think I can serve two masters?
How about you?
(to be continued with … practice)