It’s real simple. We claim to be Christians… why? Because we accept the covenant available through the shed blood of Jesus. We are in a contract. Contracts are made between two or more parties where obligations are defined and agreed to. Here is what Jesus says about this contract:
His end of the contract… John 14:14 (KJV) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Our end of the contract… John 14:15 (KJV) If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Yet many people (and some claiming to be Christian) assert that “God is love” and one of the popular clichés is to “just love the Lord.” The scriptures show differently. 1 John 5:2-4 (KJV) 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 grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
The definition of love is best understood through our Messiah’s life and teachings: “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15); and, “He who has my commandments with him and keeps them, he is who loves me and he who loves me will be loved by my Father. And I will love him and reveal myself to him” (John 14:21); and, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept the commandments of my Father, and I abide in His love.” (John 15:10). Abiding in His love is clearly connected to “keeping the commandments.” The “commandments of my Father” always refers to Torah; and Jesus taught that “if you love” him, you will keep the Commandments.
There are dozens of places in Scripture where “love” is tied in with keeping the Commandments. Unfortunately, those Christians who truly “love the Lord” according to Scripture are labeled as Legalists and Judaizers for keeping the Commandments, and often encounter persecution from “the Church.” This is because in Christianity “love” is defined by status quo, so to be a good Christian each one must fashion their “love” according to the values of a core group or denomination. In recent times, many good, God-fearing Christians have become ashamed to even be called “Christians” after being attacked by so many Christians for keeping the Commandments. Many opt instead to be labeled as “Believers” because they realize that love requires sacrifice, and that love is not a cerebral ideology that neglects the Commandments.
Wouldn’t you agree that the contract we’ve entered into with our Saviour is important? Do you also believe that He would hold up His obligations outlined in the contract? How important is it to you to hold up your end?
Jesus is about His Father’s (our God’s) work. Jesus makes no unreasonable requests. Jesus makes no unnecessary requests. Help me Messiah to better understand and keep my end of our contract. ~Shalom