Refuting Accusations: Obeying is against God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
Recently some people have made the claim that being obedient to God's commandments is bondage, that it grieves the Holy Spirit and some how it denies the diety of Jesus/Yeshua but is that true? Are there any New Testament scriptures stating that obeying God's commandments from the heart of a new creature (after salvation) in Christ is sin? Remember 1 John 3:4 states that sin is transgression or breaking God's law/commandments. If obeying the commandments of God is so wicked then why are those who have faith and obey going to endure and persevere in the upcoming tribulation... Revelation 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." You see if we just obey the commandments without faith, that is wrong. If we just have faith and no works, that too is wrong ref. James 2. What God wants is that we have faith and good fruit (obeying God and His word). Many seem to think the two are not compatible but then if that was the case we would not see the following scriptures. Again if obeying God's commandments is so bad they way does the book of Revelation state those who do will be given the right to access the tree of life? Revelation 22:14 "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." If obeying God's instructions from the heart is a false religion they why does the book of 2 John state the following? 2 John 1:6 "This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it." or... 1 John 5:2-4 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith." You see the problem is that people who say we are under grace only provide no proof and/or ignore scriptures that show that we must have faith and have good fruit, i.e. doing what pleases the Father, which is NOT continuing in sin; this is accomplished by being obedient. However Sean claims that being obedient to the commandments of God quenches the Holy Spirit but what does scripture actually say? 1 John 3:24 "Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us." So again we see scriptures disproving this private interpretation of scripture. Faith and Obedience IS compatible - even to the point that NOTHING conflicts as shown by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us that was poured out on Pentecost in Acts (which was Shavuot, one of the feasts of the Lord that God said were perpetual commandments). See the problem we have? If you follow the private interpretation that (one that I also used to believe) cause conflicts with the bible. It conflicts with the OT, the NT and passages about the New Millennium. So we have a decision to make - to either accept the whole counsel of God or ignore and reject portions of it. If you reject and ignore these scriptures then you better rip out all the writings of Paul and Peter in the NT, some passages of Jesus in the gospels, tons of the OT and the majority of the prophets who give prophesy of the New Millennium out of our bibles. Now if accept God and His word, having faith and obeying from a new heart which He gave us then we can do what pleases the Father and walk a life where we are in Him and the love of God is perfect in us! What a glorious God we served! 1 John 2:3-5 "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him." Now the more important aspect of having faith and obeying God's commandments is best explained by the Messiah Himself, Jesus Christ... "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:19-20 Jesus is pretty clear about obeying the commandments of God. Later on in Matthew 5 He talks about the letter of law and the spirit of obeying at the heart level - don't murder (letter of the law) and don't hate your brother in your heart (spirit of the law). What most don't understand is that Jesus did not make up new commandments - He stated that He did not speak His own words or His own authority but the Father's word & authority. This is clearly seen when Jesus was expounding on murder - you see when Jesus said to not hate your brother, that was not new. He was quoting the Old Testament passage, Leviticus 19:17 which states... "You shall not hate your brother in your heart..." Amazing eh? You see many people, including myself were not taught what God's word actually says, only bits an pieces that fit into man made doctrine and traditions (some of which came from very well intentioned people); a kind of 'pick-&-choose" bumper sticker, theology. Is this how we are to believe God's word, in pieces. The problem is that these 'doctrines of men' causes problems when other scriptures are introduced as we saw. If you reject parts of God's good doctrine by holding to well intentioned 'man made doctrine', you must either ignore passages of God's word OR you change the definition and/or make up new interpretations of it (which still cause problems). For many its easier to ignore and/or simply not discuss these "problem passages" because it conflicts with what some were taught their entire lives. The default position is to reject anyone of brings up these 'problem passages'. One thing that many New Testament/New Covenant believers (today's believers) need to remember is a scripture that details what that is... “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
Jeremiah 33:31-33 Combine this with the prophecy of Joel 2, pouring out of the Holy Spirit on all flesh as seen at Pentecost/Shavuot we have an awesome combination that gives us what we need to walk as the Messiah did. We have God's law (how we love God and our neighbors) written on our hearts and minds, His Holy Spirit given to us as a down payment, another promise of His coming. With these things we can Love God, our neighbors, live in the Spirit and do what pleases the Father till the Messiah returns. Some say obeying is bondage but if disobeying God's laws & commandments is sin and sin leads to death, then the opposite is obeying which is not sinning and walking in life. Walking in the light and life of God's word frees us from the bondage of sin! Its like driving a car and following the speed limit. If do not break the law by speeding we can travel without delay. The problem is many believers teach, preach and believe that once they become Christians the law (God's commandments) no longer applies. Yet God's word does not teach this as pointed out. Just because the Judge (God) has a Son who fulfilled all of the requirements of the police academy (Jesus) that does not mean the speed limit laws have been done away with. Rather it means if we live in accordance with God's word we have freedom from sin! This is a very hard pill to swallow - for me it took many years to NOT reject God's word. There will be those that see the truth quickly and those who will not - this does not mean we 'write them off' but pray and continue to be a brother or sister in the Lord, to help whenever called. With that said let me leave you with this passage which shows if we have faith, the Holy Spirit and the word of God including His commandments, we walk in liberty... James 1:21-25 "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." Shalom (peace)