Brethren, we are called to one Law, and that is the Law of Love. All other laws are fulfilled in the true practice of this law. And we can only fulfil the law of love, if we follow and abide in Jesus (John 15:5).
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt 22:36-40).
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Gal 5:13-14).
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom 13:8-10).
Even though Jesus came to show us the Way of Love, and give us His Spirit of Truth, many are still reliant on a set of rules to follow Jesus. Many still think there is a formula to living by faith. According to the Jesus Christians, a group I once walked with, these are the Top Forty Commandments of Jesus Christ for His disciples. This is funny, because they also teach that “the first rule is that there are no rules“!
9. Don’t store things that you’re not using – Matthew 6:19 10. Don’t charge for what you do – Matthew 10:8 12. Don’t waste time on argumentative people – Matthew 7:6 13. Invite the poor to eat with you – Luke 14:12-14 15. If you pray, fast, or give, do it secretly – Matthew 6:1-11 16. Don’t use vain repetitions when praying – Matthew 6:7 18. Take the lowest position in meetings – Luke 14:8-10 19. Don’t be called Father, Mister, etc. – Matthew 23:9-10 20. Beware of hypocrisy and greed – Luke 12:1, 15 21. Take up your cross and follow me – Mark 8:34 22. Live in me, and live in my love – John 15:4, 9 23. Eat whatever people give you – Luke 10:7 24. Rejoice when you are persecuted – Luke 6:23 25. Move to another city if persecuted – Matthew 10:23 26. Love, bless, and pray for your enemies – Luke 6:27-29 27. Do to others as you’d have them do to you – Luke 6:31 30. Cut off your hand if it offends you – Mark 9:43 31. Don’t be afraid of people – Luke 12:4-5 32. Let the dead bury the dead – Matthew 8:22 34. When you judge, do it fairly – John 7:24 36. Don’t make promises for any reason – Matthew 5:34-37 37. Don’t sell things in God’s house – John 2:16 38. Don’t forbid others to preach Christ – Luke 9:50 39. Teach all nations to obey these rules – Matthew 28:20 40. When you have done all these things, say, “We have only done that which was our duty to do.” – Luke 17:10
Oh, how I wish they would know that THERE IS NO TOP FORTY! We are called to obey ONE commandment. Everything Jesus taught us about living by faith, forsaking all, denying ourselves…are all for us to understand what LOVE entails. If we walk in love, we will do these things… But if we try to be legalistic about obeying “commandments”, we will miss love.
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35).
“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
If we fail in this one, we have failed them all! And our religion has become worthless.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Cor 13:1-13).
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (Jam 2:10-12).
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
I pray that we will resist the desire to make a religion out of the spirituality we have been shown in Christ Jesus. I wish that we will appreciate the new and Better Covenant, and walk in the love, peace and liberty that we have been called in to. That is the only witness that will convince the world that Jesus is real, and that we are His followers!
“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory” (2 Cor 3:3-9).
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Gal 5:16-18).
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom 8:14).
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