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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Keep My Commandments!, continued
Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; And that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. (I Thessalonians 4:1-6—NIV)
Here are four direct commandments, given by the Apostle Paul by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
"You should be sanctified."
"You should avoid sexual immorality."
"Each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen."
"No one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him."
Are we to keep these directives or is Divine grace an alternative to observing them? The truth is, Christ will not be formed in us if we do not, through the Holy Spirit, keep these admonitions. They are God's own commandments enjoined on us!
If we love Jesus Christ we will keep His commandments.
Christ has given us the blood atonement, access to the Holy of Holies in Heaven, water baptism, the Holy Spirit, His Substance conceived in us, the body and blood of the new covenant to eat and drink, the Word of God, Christian friends and the assembly of fervent brothers and sisters in the Lord, the gifts and ministries of the Spirit, and sometimes opportunities to serve.
All of these are to help us keep the commandments of God. The Jews of the old covenant did not have many of these supernatural aids; neither did they have commandments as strict as ours. The Jew was commanded to set aside his own life one day a week. We have been commanded to set aside our own life seven days of every week, twenty-four hours of every day. We have been commanded to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow the Lord Jesus.
We have been given much more grace than were the Jews. We have been issued much stricter commandments than were the Jews.
Christianity has suffered incomprehensible harm by the doctrine that Divine grace relieves us from keeping God's commandments. What would be true of the twentieth century if all the believers in Jesus Christ had prayed to God until they were able to keep the commandments found in the New Testament?
America is in a deplorable moral state today—the immorality prevalent in our culture is incredible—and we are going to suffer for it. If enough Christians repent of their sins, turn to God, and pray for righteousness, God may be willing to restore righteousness to the United States. But His way of doing this may not be pleasing to the flesh.
Let us all keep God's commandments. Let us join our prayer with Amos that righteousness will roll on as a continual stream in our government, in our churches, in our schools, in our families and homes, in our own hearts.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:24—NIV)
The righteous Lord loves righteousness. The holy Lord wants us to be holy as He is holy. Our Father requires total obedience on the part of His children.
Iron righteousness, fiery holiness, stern obedience to the Father.
This is the cry of the Spirit today, His call to the churches.
Will you answer that call, saving yourself and those who hear you? (from Keep My Commandments!)