“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Today, in the church we hear people refer to certain church standards
as not being a “salvation issue”, and they may be right, certain
standards may not directly affect our salvation. However, wouldn’t
it make us a rather selfish lot of people if the only issues and
standards we concern ourselves with are the ones that affect our
personal salvation? Instead of limiting our concern with “salvation
issues” shouldn’t we be more concerned with “glorifying God issues”?
When the Children of Israel worshiped the golden calf, God told Moses
He would destroy them right there in the wilderness and create a new
people after Moses’ name. That would have been a great deal for
Moses as these people had caused him nothing but trouble. But Moses
was more concerned about God’s reputation. He told the Lord,
“Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he
bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them
from the face of the earth.” Exodus 32:12 Moses was so concerned about
what the other nations thought of his God that it became much more
than a salvation issue. As a matter of fact Moses said in vs. 32
“Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me,
I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” To Moses,
God’s honor and reputation was more important than his own salvation!
Moses was not worried about “salvation issues” but rather
“glorifying God issues.”
Revelation 15 speaks of an entire multitude on the Sea of Glass,
singing the song of “Moses and the Lamb.” What song or experience,
do Moses and the Lamb have that this multitude shares as well? In
Gethsemane, Jesus, the Lamb was willing to die forever if that’s what
it took to do His Father’s will. “. The Saviour could not see
through the portals of the tomb.” (Desire of Ages p.753) For Jesus,
just like Moses, His concern was glorifying God over His own
salvation. In Revelation 15, John speaks of an entire multitude of people who see
beyond their own “salvation issues” and focus on “glorifying God
issues” when it comes to standards and commandment keeping. Our
obedience and standards are not so much about our salvation, as they
are about honoring and loving Jesus.
I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
Here is a study on love and obedience that I presented in our group Bible study last night. Here are the key points that we looked at:
- We do not keep the commandments to be saved. We keep them because we love Jesus.
- We are saved by faith and not by works. When we obey God we show we have faith in Him. For example when I return my tithe even though I have bills to pay, I show my faith in God taking care of my bills. So if I trust God I will obey Him. By disobeying God I am telling Him that I do not really have faith in Him.
- When Satan tempted Eve in the garden he told her that God did not want her to eat the forbidden fruit because it would give her a higher existence and she would be much happier. God did not want Eve to be happier, Satan said lied. So when Eve ate of the fruit she was telling God, I don’t think you really love me. So it is today. When we don’t return our tithe we are telling God we don’t think He really loves us enough to take care of us. When we choose to work on Sabbath to put bread on our family’s table we are telling God He does not love us enough to put bread on the table for us. When we lust after someone who is not our spouse we are telling God, if you really loved me you would give me this person. Every time we sin we are telling God that we don’t think He really loves us. By obeying Him we are saying that we trust in His love.
- We do not obey for hope of reward. Doing good for the hope of reward does not make us good people. If I am doing good for a reward then it only stand to reason I would do evil if it gave me the same reward. We obey out of love, regardless of the consequences either good or bad.
- As we continue our studies on Tuesday nights, we will be finding in the Bible how God wants us to act as Christians. On each issue the question to be asked is not do I have to follow God’s command to get to heaven, but rather do I love Jesus enough to cherish His commandments. Jesus will be taking to heaven all those who love Him. All those who love Him, will trust and obey.
Love and Obedience
What are God’s People to walk in?
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 2 John 4-6
What warning is given about some Christians?
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5
What will some last day Christians do?
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4: 3,4
How are we saved?
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans 3: 28
Does faith abolish the law?
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Romans 3: 31
Faith without works is what?
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James 2:17
How does faith work?
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Galatians 5:6
Is more required than lip service?
And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee [as] my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, [but] their heart goeth after their covetousness. Ezekiel 33:31
Who receives Salvation?
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Hebrews 5:9
What did Jesus say we must do?
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Matthew 19: 16, 17
What are the disobedient told?
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
What is obedience an expression of?
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
What is obedience an expression of?
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
Who does God call a liar?
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:3,4
Where will all liars be found?
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
Where will the commandment keepers be?
Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14