Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

-St John

When it comes to the Bible, I have found that most of us are scheming and conniving lawyers. We love looking for loopholes so we can get around its simple and clear commands. When we can’t find a loophole we yank out a Get Out of Jail Free card claiming a special dispensation. I’m confused, ill, suffering, or, a favorite go-to today, doing that won’t work in today’s culture.  Phew! Always feels good when I can figure out how to be a Christian while at the same time keeping the New Testament from intruding in my life.

Consider four direct commandments for those who say they are followers of Jesus Christ:

Love one another (John 13.34) Pretty straightforward command with plenty of descriptions throughout the NT as to how love behaves and does not behave (e.g. I Corinthians 13). Loving others is not left in a fog of opinions but has objective and concrete descriptions with which we can evaluate the nature and depth of our professed love. It is terrifyingly simple: whatever we do to or for the least of Christ’s brothers, we have done to or for him. (Matt. 25.40)

Walk in the light (I John 1.6,7) Be directed by the Light of God’s Truth, allow the Light of Christ to continually burn away all of our darkness, and be truthful and honest in all our dealings with others. And when we see that we have been walking in darkness?

Confess your sins one to another (James 5.16: Note It does not say to confess his or her sins to others!) Certainly we confess to God. Here, however, because our darkness affects the people around us, we are to humble ourselves and confess what we have done and left undone that is unbecoming for a child of God’s. Yet this command is not simply about asking forgiveness of those whom we have failed. It is broader than this, as it is describing a fundamental transparency with fellow Christians regarding our failures. Talk about an effective means for dealing deathblows to pride and vanity. Yowzer!

Bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6. 2) Our burdens—our concerns, internal battles, frailties, failures, fears, conflicts, and insecurities—are not for our shoulders alone. For many of us the challenge is not in serving others but in allowing other people to serve us where we most need their strength and wisdom.

“No problem, Wilson. I am all for love, light, confession, and serving others.”


Show me where it is happening in your life.

Name the individuals with whom you are living out these commands in your day-to-day living.

It’s easy to agree with the demands of the NT without carrying them out in a specific context.  But Christ said if we loved him, we'd obey his commandments, not just parrot them. 

It is disingenuous to stand before the jury, telling them how highly we value Christ’s commands, while at the same time doing everything in our power to nullify or circumvent those commands. The jury of our peers may buy it: the Judge doesn’t.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2014

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