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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Friendship, Love, and Obedience

We live in a time in history when many people want everything their way. They would prefer to ignore or bend the rules. The phrase "rules were made to be broken is frequently heard". Even in the church, some have arrived to a level of understanding where they do not believe God meant what He said. They have agreed to compromise with error for the sake of fellowship with a larger number of people. They challenge those who teach "obedience to God and His word" by calling them legalists or Pharisees. Yet if we ignore the Bible in one area, isn't it possible to ignore in any area to the point of apostasy.
In the gospel of John, Jesus makes the following three statements:
  1. John 14:15
    If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  2. John 15:14
    Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
  3. John 15:13
    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus never said " I love you so much that you can do what you think is best and I will save you anyway." He said "If ye love me, keep my commandments." I guess if we don't love Him we won't "keep His commandments." He also said, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." Then if we don't obey his commandments, we must not be His friends. In the third passage, He says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Jesus did indeed "lay down His life for His friends" at the cross of Calvary. His definition of friends would be those who obey His will.
The Bible is the authority in spiritual matters. What I think, feel, or believe is not the authority. What you think, feel, or believe is not the authority. God's word is the authority. If I want to know what God expects of me, I need to go to the Bible for instruction. The book of Acts is a record of the early church. It gives us a record of the plan of salvation, the pattern of worship, and the pattern for church government. In my next posting, we will seek to learn how the Bible answers the question, "What must I do to be saved?"

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