Advice or Command

While reading a commentary recently I was struck by a comment that emphasized that since Christians are not under the law but under grace that the commands of the N.T. are instruction or advice, not law. Is that true? Now it is true that believers today are not under the law of Moses as a basis for salvation. “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed…being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom . 3:21, 24 NKJ).” We are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus and His finished work on Calvary. We glory in the grace of God and the gift of salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). But believers acknowledge Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10). He is our Sovereign, our King. A man in the army does not view his officer’s commands as advice which he feels free to ignore. It is sad that too many who profess to be Christians take the commands of our Lord simply as advice which they may choose to follow or to ignore. Many marry unbelievers, ignoring the warnings of Scripture (2 Cor. 6:14). They divorce freely, disregarding Jesus’ warnings (Matt. 19). They trample under foot the verses which stress moral behavior and holiness.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus quotes the Ten Commandments and then goes on to affirm that the thought of sin as well as the action will be judged by God. He speaks with the authority of God Himself. His followers looked to Him for direction and obeyed Him. In the Great Commission Jesus told them: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). Their commission was not only to get a profession of faith but to see converts begin to conform their lives to the teaching of Christ. “…you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (Rom. 6:17). The Christian life is to be molded and formed by the teaching of God’s Word. God’s Word and His commands are to form, not only the individual’s life, but also that of the local assembly. After giving much practical teaching to the church in Corinth, Paul stated strongly, “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord”(1Cor. 14:37). These are not just Paul’s ideas conditioned by the culture in which he lived. Paul speaks with the authority of Moses as he came down from Mt. Sinai, carrying the Ten Commandments. This is not simply instruction or advice; they are the commandments of a holy God. As disciples of our Lord Jesus read the Word of God it should be with an eager desire to learn–and to obey. Follow Ezra’s example. “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel”(Ezra 7:10). “But to this one will I look, on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Is. 66:2). Let us not water down the commands of God and treat them as advice. They are divine commands to be obeyed because we love the Lord.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

Donald Norbie

Donald Norbie was born in 1923 in Minnesota. He was saved in 1938. He continued his college education after World War II and serving in the U. S. Navy. After completing his graduate work, Donald and his wife, Marie, were commended to the Lord’s work by their assembly in Wheaton, Illinois in 1949. He taught at Emmaus Bible School for three years. After this, he and his family moved to Oklahoma to evangelize and teach the Bible. In 1970, they moved to Colorado and have lived there ever since. Mr. Norbie continues to be active in evangelism, teaching, and writing.