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For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4
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Obedience to God’s commandments and abiding in Christ go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other. Jesus said:
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:10
When we abide in Christ and He abides in us the Ten Commandments will become an integral part of our life. Jesus and God’s law are inseparable. In fact it was Jesus before His incarnation Who gave Moses the Ten Commandments. The God who gave the commandments revealed Himself to Moses as the “I AM”, (Exodus 3:14). Jesus claimed to be the “I AM” of the Old Testament, (John 8:58). Comparing 1Corinthians 10:1-4 and Nehemiah 9:12-14, it is very clear that it was Jesus who came down in the cloud on Mt. Sinai and met with Moses.
The Holy Spirit was also very much involved when God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. In fact, it was the Spirit Who wrote the commandments on the tables of stone. This becomes clear when we compare Jesus’ statements where He equated the “finger of God” with the “Spirit of God” (Matthew 12:28, Luke 11:20). Hence, the same Holy Spirit Who wrote the Ten Commandments on tables of stone will today write God’s law on the heart of God’s Spirit filled children (2Corinthians 3:3). This is God’s new covenant promise to the believer (Hebrews 8:10).
Jesus Magnified the Law
Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would magnify the law, (Isaiah 42:21). Jesus lived the law of God out in His life. He clearly stated His purpose was to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law, not destroy or do away with it, (Matthew 5:17).
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus magnified many aspects of God’s law. He clarified the requirements of the commandments by revealing their deeper applications. For example, He equated lustful thoughts with the commandment not to commit adultery and revengeful anger with the commandment not to kill Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28).
Christ Lives out Love
When Christ lives in us He will seek to live out His life in and through us. This means that He will seek to live out the Ten Commandments in our life just as He did when He walked this earth (Psalm 40:8).
Also, the Ten Commandments are in-separately connected to love. The first four reveal to us how we love God, and the last six tell us how we are to love our fellow man. Hence, Christ abiding in us, the Ten Commandments, and intimately knowing Jesus are all closely related. You cannot have one without the others. John wrote of this close connection in his first letter.
“And hereby we do know that we know him if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 1John 2:3-6
John clearly links intimately knowing Jesus, the Ten Commandments, love and abiding in him. He says that if we are abiding in Christ we will be “walking” or living as He lived. Why, because Jesus will be living out His life in us.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians the purpose of our calling in Christ.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
If we resist Jesus seeking to live out the Ten Commandments in our life we are not abiding in Him, and failing to fulfill the purpose of our calling; to do “good works.” These works are works of faith, which happen by allowing Jesus to manifest them in and through us. When we are experiencing the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” we are becoming free from the “law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). When we “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” the “righteousness of the law” will be “fulfilled in us” (Romans 8:4). Obedience to God’s law will be revealed throughout our life in thought, word and deed. Our love for God and our fellow man will grow stronger and stronger, and “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). Ellen White describes this in the following statement.
“Love to man is the earthward manifestation of the love of God. It was to implant this love, to make us children of one family, that the King of glory became one with us. And when His parting words are fulfilled, ‘Love one another, as I have loved you’ (John 15:12); when we love the world as He has loved it, then for us His mission is accomplished. We are fitted for heaven; for we have heaven in our hearts.” Desire of Ages, p. 641
The Bible tells us that God is love, and who ever does not love does not know God (1John 4:8). Here we learn that love is central to everything in the Christian’s life. Why; because if God is truly abiding in the Christian love will be present. Love will permeate every aspect of his life; his thoughts, words and deeds. This happens only as the believer is daily filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18, Romans 5:5). When the Holy Spirit is present the fruit of the Spirit will be present (Galatians 5:22-23). The first fruit listed is love. The other fruit will be present to the degree love is present. The more of the love of God the Christian has in his heart the more joy, peace, faith, etc he will have.
When we are abiding in Christ and He is abiding in us He will manifest His love, His joy, His peace (John 15:11; 14:27). Knowing this truth it becomes clear how futile it is to try to lovingly obey God by our own efforts. Only as Jesus is literally living in us, and manifesting His love in and through us will true loving obedience take place in our life.
Obeying the Ten Commandments is central to God’s love being manifested in and through us. When Jesus walked this earth he obeyed God’s Ten Commandments perfectly. When He lives in the Christian He will seek to manifest obedience to God’s commandments in the believer’s life. That is why Jesus said:
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love;..” John 15:10