Tuesday, August 26, 2014


What rules, precepts, laws, commandments are we to follow?

John 14:15, " If ye love me, keep my commandments"

I ask what commandments did Christ mean in this verse?

The question was posed in the comments following a post in Michael Boldea's blog. Knowing that my answer would not be embraced with a big ‘AMEN!’ and that it would be too long for a short answer, I choose to respond here, where no one will see it. There’s two ways to look at this, either I just prefer to avoid contention or I am a coward. Maybe both. 

For me, the issue is not that Christ was referring to specific commandments we must follow to be holy in John 14:15, but that we do not give the Holy Spirit enough credit for being able to speak God’s living commandments into our hearts. We think we must have a written list of do’s and don’ts and that we have to know these rules in our heads in order to be holy. But Christ’s commandments are not a static list subject to the understanding of our great intellect. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit indwelling within us, individually, prompts us to live automatically as He commands, minute to minute. It is an organic, living law that quickens us to discern and act on fundamental right and wrong, regardless the push back we might receive from the world–or other Christians.
There is no Biblical reference to abortion but we automatically understand it is wrong because we have “thou shalt not murder” embedded in our spirit. But it isn’t the commandment that tells us what to do or not do, it is the Holy Spirit interpreting for us how to apply the commandment when there is no Scripture to reference. No Scriptural reference to doing drugs? The Holy Spirit will tell you how God feels about that. How about divorce? Manmade law says you can’t. What if your husband beats the tar out of you every night? Legalism says you have to stay and take it until you die only and unless he has been unfaithful and if you divorce him you can’t remarry because, well, it’s the Law of God! How does Christ feel about it though? I know it's a slippery slope to start assuming Christ can direct each individual according to His will for that individual so hard rules must be enforced. Right? All those pesky exemptions start adding up and the holier-than-thou crowd raise a collective ugly head to start proclaiming and judging. 
What was that Scripture about not judging lest you be judged? Oh, let’s not go there! It gets all sticky and causes other Scriptures to be tossed back and soon it’s a mud slinging fight. 
In the same vein, when Christ commands us we know when to speak and when to be silent. That’s not one of the big Ten but it is something we should listen for and obey. We don’t go to church on Sunday and cheat our customers on Monday either. That’s another embedded commandment “thou shalt not steal” but in the modern world mild dishonesty in business gets redefined as just best practice. Everyone does it, even ‘good’ Christians. But when Christ is truly within us, He causes us to discern what is right and wrong, regardless what is normal behavior of the world and our spirits are quickened by the greater moral standards He requires us to obey.
In short, Christ’s commandments that we are to obey can be anything that the Holy Spirit reveals to us as do or don’t, in the here and now, customized to us as individuals in the Body. It is a Way of being His will not just striving and working up a sweat looking as though we are doing His will because we have the check list. The only way to determine if one is Christ directed or not is the fruit. Obedience bears good fruit. It is visible and quantifiable. 
The spiritually surrendered are also spiritually mature and willing to hand over the reigns to the Holy Spirit who guides us through the often confusing maze of modern life and deters us away from lazy acquiescence to man-made doctrine that seeks to conform us to man’s view of what holy means. 
Christ’s yoke is light, He told us. That means we don’t have to work at being holy, we have to let go and allow Him to be holy within us. We are only vessels. All we choose is whether to be vessels of honor or dishonor. We can fill ourselves with good intentions, good works and self-righteous interpretation of what being holy means or simply allow Him to fill us in the way we are most useful to glorify Him.
For Him,

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