John 4 Lesson

Keeping God's Commandments

JESUS KEPT HIS FATHER’S COMMANDMENTS

Jesus is our perfect example in every way, including how to obey God.  His focus and determination to do the will of His Father were evident when Jesus said:

  • “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” – John 4:34.

In other words, Jesus’ focus was on serving God, and nothing was going to distract Him from accomplishing His goal. He was not worried about what He was going to eat, or what He was going to drink.  Jesus understood what it was that His Father was asking Him to do, and He was obedient until the end.

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENTS 

In today’s lesson, we will be looking at a conversation Jesus had where He was asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus responded: 

  • “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.     The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” – Mathew 22:37-40.

This scripture tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God:

  1. With all our heart,
  2. With all our soul,
  3. With all our mind.

But how do we do that? The answer is found in the following seven words spoken by Jesus:

  • “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” – John 14:15

Therefore, the most important commandment is to love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls.   And we do this by keeping His commandments!

GETTING TO KNOW OUR NEIGHBOR

The second greatest commandment that Jesus mentioned was to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Loving our neighbors means getting to know them and getting involved in our communities. There is an old saying, “People do not care how much we know until they know how much we care.”   When we take the time to get to know our neighbors, we are showing them Christ’s love put into action.   It is then that God will present an opportunity for us to share our love for Jesus with our neighbor/neighbors.   Either in word, or through our actions, or both.    But it all begins with us taking an interest in the lives of the people that we interact with every day. 

After all, how can we love our neighbor if we do not know them? When Jesus was on earth, He did not isolate Himself.   He was out among the multitudes, in people’s homes, and involved in their lives. In today’s world, it can be easy to isolate ourselves and live in our own little bubbles.   With advances in technology, it can be easy to confine ourselves to our own homes and live our own lives without ever getting to know the people in our community. 

That is not how God intended for Brothers and Sisters in Christ to live! Scripture after scripture tells us about the importance of loving our neighbors. To do that, we need to know what is going on in their lives. 

CONCLUSION

Jesus took His Father’s commandments seriously. He placed more importance on obeying God than He did on anything else, even food!

Like Jesus, God wants us to have a laser focus on keeping His commandments. This shows God that we trust in His plan for us and that we understand the importance of being obedient to Him.

God has a plan for all of us. If we learn His commandments and strive to keep them, we will be blessed. If we ignore His commandments and try only to please ourselves, we will be punished.

We will end today’s lesson with the following two scriptures:

  1. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ” – Jeremiah 29:11,
  2. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23.

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Comments

Will B

"God has a plan for all of us. If we learn His commandments and strive to keep them, we will be blessed. If we ignore His commandments and try only to please ourselves, we will be punished."

This is a system of law, not grace. To say that this is for the church administration under the economy of Grace is incorrect. The reason we follow the instructions and principles of God as a believer is because of what we have by grace and we function in appreciation for that grace. We are motivated to deny fleshly lusts and ungodliness in response to the grace that we have received. We are motivated to live sensibly and righteously and do good works because of the grace of God (Titus 2:11-14).

We are not subject to punishment because we are in Christ and because of the grace of God (Romans 5:1; 6:12-15; 8:1). To place us back under a system of blessing and punishment through following the law is to invalidate what Christ freed us from (Galatians 4:15-5:7).

I urge you to understand the grace of God and stop nullifying the grace of God which severs you from Christ (Galatians 3:1-4; 5:1-18).

Grace and Peace to you.

Reply
JB
Will B

Great comments Will B! I also consider Romans 14:10-12.

"For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord , every knee shall bow to Me , and every tongue shall give praise to God .' So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God."

And Hebrews 12:6:

"For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives .”

These seem to indicate consequences (punishments) for our actions.

We are in agreement that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. But I believe there are also consequences to our actions put in place by God.

Reply
Dan W

When you get so busy teaching God's Word or ministering to others that you forget to eat, you can relate to Jesus' comment, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent my and to accomplish His work." (John 4:34). Those are good times. May all of God's servants have many more of those days.

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