When most of us think of Christian Living we think of loving our neighbor as ourselves and peace on earth etc. Is that really "Christian living"? Perhaps that is what it has become. Those things are certainly a part of this walk we've been called to walk. But there are two elements to this walk that need to be considered. What did Christ tell his detractors?
Mat 22:36-40 ESV "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" (37) And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (38) This is the great and first commandment. (39) And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (40) On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
The first and great commandment is toward Yehovah our creator and the second is toward our fellow man. The entire law of God hangs on these two great laws or principals. The ten commandments find their source in these two. The first four come under the first great commandment and the last six come under the second great commandment.
We have a duty to our Creator first and to our brothers of the human species second. As the prophet Nehemiah said in his prayer:
Neh 1:5 ESV And I said, "O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
The Law of God should be the corner stone of Christian Living. It is our instruction manual for how to order our lives in a way that leads to happeiness and peace of mind. Obedience to the laws of God is the first step. Consider the following scriptures:
1Co 7:19 ESV For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.
1Jn 2:1-6 ESV My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (2) He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (3) And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. (4) Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, (5) but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: (6) whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1Jn 3:21-24 ESV Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; (22) and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. (23) And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. (24) Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
1Jn 5:1-5 ESV Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (2) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. (3) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. (4) For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (5) Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
2Jn 1:6 ESV And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.
Mat 5:17-20 BBE Let there be no thought that I have come to put an end to the law or the prophets. I have not come for destruction, but to make complete. (18) Truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth come to an end, not the smallest letter or part of a letter will in any way be taken from the law, till all things are done. (19) Whoever then goes against the smallest of these laws, teaching men to do the same, will be named least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who keeps the laws, teaching others to keep them, will be named great in the kingdom of heaven. (20) For I say to you, If your righteousness is not greater than the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never go into the kingdom of heaven.
Man has no authority to change the commandments of the One True God and Creator of the universe. He and He alone has that authority. Based on Jesus' comments it seems that not even he had that authority.
Joh 12:44-50 ESV And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. (45) And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. (46) I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. (47) If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. (48) The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (49) For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. (50) And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me."
In fact, Jesus castigated those that would make up their own rules and teach them as commands from Yehovah.
Mar 7:6-13 ESV And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; (7) in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' (8) You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men." (9) And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! (10) For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' (11) But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban"' (that is, given to God)— (12) then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, (13) thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do."
As we walk this Christian walk we must continually strive to overcome our shortcomings and look to the perfect example we were given in Jesus the Messiah as our standard of conduct. He was sinless which means he kept the law perfectly. As he kept the law so should we. Obedience to God and His commandments is not optional. As Solomon said:
Ecc 12:9-14 ESV Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. (10) The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth. (11) The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. (12) My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. (13) The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
It is our duty to obey God. But we must not forsake the weightier matters of the law:
Mat 23:23 ESV "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
If you're ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime and begin your true Christian walk contact us and join us for weekly Sabbath services. It's a great way to learn more and discuss the true meat of God's word.
May Yehovah bless you in your search for truth.