If We Love God We Will Keep His Commandments

10 Commandments

 

In a January, 2015 interview in GQ magazine, basketball superstar Kevin Durant talked about his personal spiritual transformation after learning about God’s love from Pastor Carl Lentz.

He explained that he once lived with the fear that, “If I do something wrong, I’m going to hell. I felt like I had to follow the Ten Commandments.”

“But,” he continues, “we don’t live by that no more. We live by the blood of Jesus. That’s how I feel.”

Now, I sincerely hope that what he meant was this: “I used to live in constant fear of an angry, vengeful God who was watching my every move, out to get me if I broke a single commandment a single time, with the penalty of hell hanging over me all the time. Now, I realize that Jesus died for my sins and gave me a new heart, so I serve God out of love, not terror.”

Yes, I truly hope that’s what he meant and that he wasn’t saying, “Because Jesus died for me, there’s nothing left for me to do, since God forgives me no matter what.”

Unfortunately, for many professing Christians today, that’s exactly what they mean, and they have forgotten the words of Jesus who said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” and, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me,” and, “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” (Jn. 14:15, 21a; 15:10).

His commandments include living holy lives (see, for example the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7) as well as loving one another as he loved us – lofty goals, for sure, but things we are called to, nonetheless. His grace not only forgives us; it empowers us.

This is the consistent testimony of the New Testament: “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. . . . By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-3).

To quote Jesus again, “”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” (Matt. 7:21).

Or, as expressed by Paul, “. . . God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’” (2 Tim. 2:19)

This does not mean that we are saved by the merit of our good works. Instead, it means that those who are truly saved – those who truly know the Lord; those who are true Christians – are transformed by God and no longer live the way they used to live. And if they profess to be followers of Jesus and offer no evidence of a changed life, their profession of faith is questionable.

In the late 1950’s Mickey Cohen, a notorious gangster, attended a Billy Graham meeting in Beverly Hills.

Although he expressed some interest in the message (as explained by revival historian James Edwin Orr), Cohen “made no commitment until some time later when another friend urged him, using Revelation 3:20 as a warrant, to invite Jesus Christ into his life. This he professed to do, but his life subsequently gave no evidence of repentance, ‘that mighty change of mind, heart and life’ [in the words of Archbishop Trench].”

Cohen rebuked his friend, saying to him: “‘You did not tell me that I would have to give up my work,’ meaning his rackets; ‘You did not tell me that I would have to give up my friends,’ meaning his gangster associates.

“He had heard that so-and-so was a Christian football player, so-and-so a Christian cowboy, so-and-so a Christian actress, so-and-so a Christian senator, and he really thought that he could be a Christian gangster. Alas, there was not evidence of repentance. Many have sadly forgotten that the only evidence of the new birth is the new life. The real problem is that some evangelists, like some converts, have failed to realize that the fault lies in the defective message.” (From his book My All, His All.)

Exactly! We offer a motivational, pep-talk, feel-good, self-help, personal-empowerment Jesus rather than the Jesus of the Scriptures, and in doing so, we damn our hearers rather than deliver them.

Again, I sincerely hope that Kevin Durant is a true Christian and that his life has been transformed by the gospel.

But I’m deeply concerned that tens of millions of Americans have heard a superficial message that bypasses the cross and that calls for no repentance and requires no change of life.

It is a message that denigrates God’s commandments – as if they were somehow inherently burdensome and wrong – rather than teaches that those who have been “born anew” through faith in Jesus will have those very commandments written on their hearts. And they will demonstrate their love for their Savior by doing what he says.

To repeat our Lord’s words, ““If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

If we don’t, he is not our Lord.

DR. MICHAEL BROWN

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10 thoughts on “If We Love God We Will Keep His Commandments

  1. As we know (Redeemed) it is not just what people do wrong that may cause them to be rejected by God but what they don’t do which is good, as we see confirmed in the Scriptures below, they may indeed say Lord, Lord believing they have been Righteous but this is also shown in actions focused on Love for God and others not because we have to but because we want to.

    Matthew 25 : 31-40 When the Son of man shall come in His glory and all the Holy Angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the Throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all Nations and He shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand but the goats on the left.

    Matthew 25 :34-40 Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand; Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me, I was sick and ye visited me, I was in Prison and ye came unto me. Then shall the Righteous answer Him saying; Lord when saw we thee an hungred and fed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? or naked and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick or in prison and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me………..

    Matthew 25: 41-45 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    1 John 3:16-18 Hereby perceive we the Love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the Love of God in him? My little Children, let us not Love in word, neither in tongue; but in Deed and in Truth.(KJV)

    Philippians 2:4-6 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

    1 John 3: 1-11 ( 6-7 ) Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth Righteousness is Righteous, even as He is Righteous.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Freedomborn … Aussie Christian Focus and commented:
    Thank you StopAndPrayTV for sharing this Powerful Message based on God’s Truth and giving a firm foundation on what it means to Love God.

    Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength, this is the first Commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt Love thy Neighbour as thyself. There is none other Commandment greater than these.(KJV)

    Thanking you – Anne.

    Like

  3. Thank you for your message! The Christian life is not just the moment of our salvation. It is the morning after and the life lived out with purpose for Jesus Christ, growth because of Jesus, and fruit borne so others can see Jesus in us!

    Like

  4. Pingback: If We Love God We Will Keep His Commandments – Hope for you, Jesus loves you, and He offers you forgiveness & life

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