A Study on Commandments
If you could witness one event in history what would it be? And why?
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1 John 2:3
We left of last week at this verse, but there was some good discussion from it. One of the questions was, is sharing the gospel a commandment, and I thought perhaps there is a way for us to answer that ourselves, but also understand the journey of coming to truth (side-stepping heresy and having confidence).
Some high-level mechanics (premises)
- Our confidence is in the scripture (2 Tim 3:16-17)
- Our confidence is not in social norms, church norms, or cultural norms (Psalm 118:8, Psalm 146:3)
- But we recognize, that men of old, men who died for the faith and were persecuted have worked out most things (Romans 15:4)
- And we also recognize, that we are learning, so make room for some error (Proverbs 24:16)
- There is nothing special needed to understand scripture, you are fully equipped. Willing heart, no bias and the Holy Spirit (1 Corin 2:12, James 1:5)
- Trust scripture to dictate truth, let it shape you, not the other way around. (Psalm 25:4-5, Romans 12)
- Test the knowledge if it feels conflictive, against the grain, controversial with someone you trust (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
If we study something, like this word study on “commandment” and we come out with an error. What could be it’s repurcusions?
- It depends on what area or topic (fundamental eg. salvation)
- It depends on the error (eg. Jesus Christ is not God but the son of God)
- It depends on the impact of that error (what we think about God defines our actions). Three areas (1) God (2) Man (3) Myself.
Should Pastors change their doctrinal positions over time?
How can we test our theories?
- Revisit your intent
- Pray and study the scriptures (run cross-references)
- Speak to your dad and mum
- Speak to a friend or your pastor or teacher
- Lean on your local church
Command: To direct, to send, to bid; to order Commandment: A command, an order given by an authority
But what’s the Bibles definition
“commandment” - mentioned 168 times (majority speaks to the importance of keeping them)
- Gen 26:5 - distinguishing differences
- The terms law, commandment, and statute are sometimes used interchangeably, but they can also have distinct meanings. The general consensus is that the term “law” encompasses all of God’s instructions to His people,
- While “commandment” refers to specific orders given to them.
- The term “statute” is used to refer to specific legal regulations and ordinances that carry the force of law.
- 2 Kings 17:19 - they made their own commandments
- Psalm 119:98 - Psalm longest and also about God’s word. Commandments linked to God’s word.
- Ecclesiastes 12:13 - the summary of it all
- Matthew 22:40 - The two main commandments or NT commandments (of course Christ had not died but he was preparing them)
- Mark 12:29-31 - The two commandments of which all other instructions hang
- Acts 1:2 - specific instructions or commandments for the Apostles
- 1 Cor 7:19 - Don’t get caught up in the things that make good commandments or have that appearance. Rightly divide!
- Titus 1:14 - Some commandments are of men. We need to distinguish fact from fiction.
- 2 John 1:5-6 - We reflect our love for God in keeping His commandments. That’s the test right. Easy to believe and be saved (so to speak). Easy to say I love Jesus. Easy to standup and give testimony of Jesus. Easy to stand and preach. Hard to live when the rubber meets the road.
what did we learn?
- We can have confidence in deciphering truth on our own
- We can use the same principals by which scripture is defined to learn it’s truth
- Commandments come in different forms (some from men, but largely from God)
- We express our love for God, but heeding His words in living them