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. (2 John 6, NKJV)
There is a great deception upon the land. Cries of “love” are heard endorsing all manner of immorality. Sin’s reality and presence is swept away by chants of “love”, “love”, “love”. There is no doubt we need love. We need genuine love – the way God defines love – not counterfeits. This is apparent because “God is love” (1 Jno. 4:8). So, if we are to please God, His definition of love must guide us to the love we will practice and endorse. Every false view of love must be rejected as a lie of the evil one. The apostle of the Son of God said love is walking “according to His commandments”. When we obey God, we love Him and one another. Too simple, you say? Do you love God enough to give it a try? Make it your aim to practice love the way God defines it. Obey Him. Walk in love. Walk with God.
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” 41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” (Luke 7:40–43, NKJV)
The debt of sin is owed by all, since “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23). Yet, all do not feel the burden of their debt and fail to honor Jesus Christ – the only one through whom God forgives sins (Rom. 3:24; Acts 4:12). Failing to do so, their sin remains. Every sinner must love and honor Jesus to be forgiven. If you have unforgiven sin, then put your faith in Jesus, bow before Him and in love obey His will. He commands everyone lost in sins to believe His gospel, confess faith in Him, repent of sins and be baptized to be forgiven (Rom. 10:9-10; Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:37-38). Your sin remains unless you have loving, obedient faith. Knowing the debt of sin compels those of faith to come to Jesus for His forgiveness on His terms.
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. 7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:6-9, ESV)
Faith works through love. The inspired apostle Paul affirms what many today will not admit; faith works, and a working faith counts for something in God’s sight. God-approved faith is active. “Faith working through love” in verse 6 is synonymous with “obeying the truth” in verse 7. Jesus does not persuade Christians to think they can stop having an obedient faith and still be crowned victorious in the last day. The runner who stops running does not win the race. The Christian who stops obeying the truth will not receive an imperishable crown (1 Cor. 9:24-27). Be cautious and do not fall from the grace you have in Christ (Gal. 5:4). Be obedient in your faith to love the Savior and do His will. Otherwise, the leaven of sinful neglect and complacency will damage and destroy your faith and rob you of your reward.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5)
Christians are secure in heart and able to endure present trials and live for heaven because the Lord is faithful. Here the apostle explains that the Lord strengthens and protects His disciples from evil as they “do and will do the things we command you” (v. 4). There is no expectation of divine resolution to strengthen and protect the Christian who is given to disobedience (the “disorderly” of verse 6). Let us not fight against the apostolic commands. By continually obeying them the Lord will direct you into God’s love and the steadfast endurance which gives eternal comfort. The Lord is faithful. The probing question is, are we?
You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 97:10)
Christians love the Lord and abide in His love by keeping His commandments. “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (Jno. 14:15); and If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love” (Jno. 15:10). Loving the Lord also means we will despise or detest (“hate”) evil. We are not loving God when we practice sin. Evil is not attractive to those who love the Lord. See the dangers of sin with clear eyes. Love the Lord by being His obedient child. He will preserve you and deliver you from evil.
42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (John 12:42-43)
If sinners are saved by faith only, then we must safely conclude that these believers who loved “the praise of men more than the praise of God” will be saved without confessing Him. Who can believe such a thing? A doctrine that allows one to sin with impunity is false; it is error. Being ashamed of Jesus and His words now will certainly forfeit His acceptance of you when He returns – even if, like these rulers, you believe in Him: “Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). Saving faith is obedient, otherwise, it is not acceptable faith (Luke 6:46; Matthew 7:21). Be sure your faith pleases Jesus.
Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. (John 8:43)
The New Testament is the word of Christ Jesus. Jesus wants us to listen to His word so we can understand it. To do so we must have a desire to understand His word plus the willingness to do what He says. “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority” (Jno. 7:17). Jesus spoke the very word of God. Are you able to listen to His word? If so, you will understand His teaching. Then you are ready to believe and obey Jesus.
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17)
You can understand God’s will for your life. This verse equates understanding with wisdom, for it is “unwise” not to understand the Lord’s will. You will not find and understand the Lord’s will by examining your feelings, your experiences or your desires. You will find it in the Bible. But you must have the wisdom to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Col. 3:16). It is foolish to hear God’s word but not do it (Jas. 1:23-24). “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” (Jas. 1:25). Be wise. Understand the will of the Lord. Put His word in your heart, obey it, and be blessed.
Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. (Colossians 3:20)
Parents who are teaching their children to be obedient are laying a good foundation for them to also obey God. By obeying their parents, children learn to show respect, to be responsible and to be prompt in fulfilling their duty. “A child left to himself brings shame to his mother”, but a child who receives correction “will give you rest” (Prov. 29:15, 17). God is pleased when children obey their parents. He is also pleased when parents do the difficult but necessary work of training their children to obey father and mother — and God.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
Noah was a great man of faith. He was not sinless, but he was a “just man” of integrity who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” and “walked with God” (Gen. 6:8-9). God saved this man and his family through the water of the flood (1 Pet. 3:20). Why? Because in faith, Noah was “moved with godly fear” and obeyed the Lord’s command to build an ark. Noah had faith to build the ark, that saved his family. His obedient faith was counted to him for righteousness; Noah became “heir of the righteousness which is according to faith”. By grace, God saves those who have faith to obey His command to be baptized (the antitype of the flood, “which now saves us”, 1 Pet. 3:21). Do you have to kind of faith through which Noah was saved? You can, by obeying Christ’s commands to believe and be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16). When you do, God will save you “by grace, through faith” (Eph. 2:8).