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The Playbook, the Rules and You


The Playbook, the Rules and Playing with all your heart.

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It was the end of the season and Johnny was voted MVP (most valuable player). With his hard word and dedication he was instrumental in leading their team to the championships. When asked what contributed to his success, he said the following…

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Johnny: “Besides dedication and hard work, it’s a combination of knowing the playbook, following the rules and playing with all your heart. If you leave out one or move of these three things you will not perform at your best. The worst case is you fail yourself and your team.”

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As believers our playbook is the bible, the rules are the commandments of God, and our works is the application of those things in our daily lives. As a believer we are to encompass all three into our lives just like the Messiah did (He is our example). Unfortunately many believers choose only one of the three.

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The Problem today…

Most believers today think that a huge portion of the ‘playbook’ has been done away with, i.e. God’s commandments (how we love Him, our neighbors & behave daily). Not only that but many think our obedience to them has also been ‘nailed to the cross’. That we have been freed from this burden Old Testament believers were enslaved too. After all Jesus set us free from all these things by dying on the cross.

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However the problem comes when we look at scripture in what it really says. Consider what Yeshua (Jesus) said in Matthew 5:19…

“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.”

Matthew 5:19

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Look at what Paul taught the Corinthian church, which was made up of mostly non-Jewish believers…

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“Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.”

1 Corinthians 7:19

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When we look at 1 John 2:3-6 we see that keeping the commandments is how we can love God…

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“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. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

Apparently this is an important topic because its mentioned again in 1 John 5:1-3…

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“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 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.”

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Nothing New…

This is not something new, Paul took this from Deuteronomy 30 when God gave His instructions to the mixed multitude…

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“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”

Deuteronomy 30:11-14

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Let’s throw out the Playbook…

One of the problems in American Christianity is that we tend to cling to scriptures that support our ‘beliefs’ while at the same time rejecting scriptures that go against our ‘beliefs’. However our doctrine should not be based on this type of “pick and choose, buffet style” theology.

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If we are saved by grace through faith and we are saved from being slaves of wickedness to be slaves of righteousness (as Paul wrote). Just as Yahweh saved/delivered the mixed multitude out of Egypt, so too were we are saved from the slavery of sin. The next step after deliverance is God giving His people instructions on how to be holy and set apart; how to love Him and our neighbors. Obedience to the commandments of God is not slavery but a way of preserving our spiritual life in this world. There is a saying that as we obey and guard the commandments of God, we soon learn that the commandments also guard & protect us from this world of sin and wickedness.

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When we study the scriptures in context we see that God’s grace, our faith and keeping the commandments are compatible. One does not negate the others. Consider the following verses…

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Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”

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Romans 6:1-3 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

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What did Yeshua say?

Yeshua also talked about those that claimed to be believers but were lawless. He told that those believers who were lawless to ‘depart’ from Him because He ‘never knew them’! This a stern warning that in our grace and faith we are to not continue in sin. Its so important its mentioned in the book of Revelation…

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Revelation 14:12 “Here is the endurance of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

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Matter of fact the believers who do keep the commandments of God from their heart are rewarded for doing so. Consider the following in Revelation 22…

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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.”

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What are you going to do?

For many believers this is hard to comprehend because they have been taught the law/commandments of God and our obedience to them have been done away with. This should cause us to examine what we believe and how we live our lives. It should also urge us to test what we believe and cast off any doctrines and traditions of men.

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So what are you going to learn the playbook in its entirety? Will you play by the rules? And will you incorporate it, in all areas of your life?

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Something to think about.

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#rules #commandments #obedience #law #faith #grace

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