1 John 5:2 - 3
NKJV - 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
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In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus tells one of the Pharisees that the first and greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and the second to “love your neighbor as yourself.” God spoke the Ten Commandments (TC) and wrote them with His finger on two tablets of stone (Ex 20:1-17; 31:18). In my opinion, God wrote them in stone on two different tables for two reason: a). To emphasize the permanence of His Law b). And to differentiate between our duty to God and duty to fellow human beings. The first tablet defines what it means to love God: 1. God is the only God – don’t have other worthless gods 2. Don’t make and worship idols 3. Don’t disrespect God's name 4. Remember the 7-day Sabbath and keep it holy On the second tablet, God amplifies what it means to love our neighbor: 5. Respect your parents 6. Do not murder 7. Do not commit adultery 8. Do not steal 9. Do not lie 10. Do not covet anything of your neighbor When we say that God is love and that His TC are based on love, we mean that our relationships with Him and each other is based on love. I cannot say that I love God while willfully disobeying the first four commandments - or say that I love my neighbour but offend him or her in any points of the last six of the TC (Luke 6:46; Rev 14:12). Among Christians circles, it has been said many times that Christ came on this Earth and died on the cross, and thus we were released from observing the TC. If that is true, I wonder which one of the TC we don't have to obey because Christ died for us? Finally, because we are saved by faith through grace (not by works), some believe that we do not have to keep the TC - that would be legalism. Absolutely we are saved by faith – none of our good works and perfect obedience of the TC can save us – only the blood of Christ can! However, now that Christ saved us from the penalty of sin, shouldn't we keep the TC out love? (John 14:15).
Jesus summarized it, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34,35. This to me is a miniature of the ten commandments found in - Exodus chapter 20.
In my opinion, John's mention of the commandments of God cited in the question is referring back to his words earlier in the same epistle (1 John 3:23), in which he said, "And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He has commanded us." This is essentially similar to Jesus' distillation of the entire Law into the two commands to love God with all one's heart, soul, and mind (which would express itself through belief in the Son whom He had sent), and to love one's neighbor as oneself, on which (as Jesus said) all the Law and prophets hang (Matthew 22:40).
1 John 3:22-24 3:22 “and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him. 3:23 Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us the commandment. 3:24 And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God, and God in him. Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us.” 1 John 4:21 “And the commandment we have from him is this: that the one who loves God should love his fellow Christian too”. See John 13:34-35 as well. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Micah 6:8 NET “He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God.” GOD wants us to commit to discipleship -- Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 11:30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.” Compare Mt 12:47-50. And obedience will not go without reward. God promises in Exodus 15:26, "And said, 'If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to all His commandments, and keep His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the LORD that healeth thee."
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