THE COMMANDS OF CHRIST
FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING
Of the Bible`s Second Set
ROBERT C. BROCK
1. Some Basis Considerations face 13
2. Commands on dedication, Rigthly Dividing the Word,
Separetion, Giving Tanks, Rejoicing, Spiritual Fighting ” 22
3. Commands Against Lying, Stesling, Profanity ” 40
4. Commands Involving the Apostle Paul and His Teaching ” 52
5. Commands on Prayer and Our Walk ” 65
6. Commands on the Holy, Spirit, the Peace og God ” 69
7. Commands on Rebuking, Exhorting, Comforting ” 75
8. Commands on Money ” 81
9. Commands on Various Warnings to Belivers ” 86
10. Commands on Suffering, Patience, Obeying Government ” 99
11. Commands on Eating and Drinking ” 105
12. Commands for Family Relationships ” 111
13. Commands for Employers and Employees ” 122
14. Commands for Church Officers ” 125
- Commands on Seeking Heavenly Things, Knowledge,
Serving the Lord, Greeting Belivers ” 127
16. Commands Related to the Act Period ” 141
The ministry of Lord Jesus Christ is usually limited to His three and one-half years of preaching to Israel, recorded in Matthew, Mark. Luke, and John. But about seven years after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ began a new ministry from Heaven by saving the worst og His enemies-Saul of Tarsus. This is recorded for us in Act, chapter 9. This man, whose name was later changed to Paul, became the great Apostle to the Gentiles.
The second phase of Christ`s ministry from Heaven was the revealing of new truth to this man whom He had saved. This new revelation from God is found in Paul`s letters written to the churches and to three individuals-some thirteen letters in all. His ministry of the risen, glorified Christ through Paul is all important, because it embraces God`s program for this age in whish we live. This includes God`s standard og living under His grace. I will be dealing with one aspect of grace teaching, that COMMANDS found in Paul`s writtings to the Body of Christ.
In Galatians 6,2. Paul referred to a law he called ”the Law of Christ.” This is the only place where it is given this name in the New Testament. I believe that this Law of Christ is contained in these commands og grace that are given to the Body og Christ. Christians are not to be lawless; nor are we to put ourselves under the rules og Judaism contained in the Law of Moses. Christ has revealed NEW rules to follow inliving the Christian life. This volume is an attempt to put these rules together, so we can learn what our Christian responsibility is before the Lord and in relation to others.
Two Greek texts were used in the preparation of this book – Berry`s text and Nestle`s text. Berry`s the text the King James Version was transleted from, while Nestle`s text is the more modern one. Commands have been taken from bots texts.
I do not call myself a scholar in the Greek language. However, I am familiar with the basic facts of New Testament Greek, having had courses in Greek when I was a student at an eastern Bible College during the eraly 1950`s What I learned from school has been used through the years in Bible study.There are many books available in helping a student with New Testament Greek.
The Greek of the New Testament contains four basic moods:
- The INDICATIVE mood-used to express facts;
- The IMPERATIVE mood-used to express commands;
- The SUBJUNCTIVE mood-used to express a possible condition or action:
- The OPTATIVE mood-used to express a wish; is closely related to the subjunctive mood.
Since the Law of Moses has been abolished, and Paul wrote that he recerived commands from Christ, where do we find these commands i his writings ? Thery are found in the IMPERATIVE MOOD.
We can`t rely on English of the King James Version for these commands. We have to go to the original Greek. The translators of King James translated infinitive, participles, the indicative mood, the subjunctive mood, and even the futuretense as commands. Some examples are given of each of thefive classes named:
- Examples of the indicative mood:
- 1 Tessalonians 5,27, ”I charge you by the Lord . . ”
- 1 Timoty 6,13, ”I give thee charge in the sight of God . . .”
2. Examples og the subjunctive mood
- 2 Timoty 1,8, ”Be not thou therefore ashemed of . . . ” This is better translated: ”Therefore, you should not be ashamed of . . . ”
- 1 Timotey 5,1, ”Rebuke not an elder . . . ” This is better translated: ”You should rebuke an elder . . . ”
- Example of the future tense
- 1.Corinthians 5,13.” . . . Therefore put from amongyourselves that wicked person.” This is better translated: ” . . . And you shall put out the wicked person from among yourscelves.”
- Examples og infinitives
- 1.Corinthians 5,11, ”But now I have written unto you not to keep company . . .”
- Romans 12,15, ”Rejoice whith them that do rejoice and weep whith them that weep.”
- Examples og participles
- Romans 12,16.” . . . Mind not hingh things . . . ”This is better translated:” . . . Minding not high tings . . .”
- Romans 12,17, ”Recompense to not man evil for evil. Provide things honest . . . ”This is better transleted: Recompensing to no man evil for evil. Providing things honest. . .”
Alle these verses in the King James sound like commands, but technically speaking, thery are not commands.There are just exhortations, instructions given to belivers. They do not have the force of a command, as far as the Greek is concerned. The indicative mood and the infinitives seem to be closest to the imperative mood.
The imperative mood of command was not searched for inthe writings of Peter, James, and John, or in the epistle to the Hebrews. Hebrews was written to the Hebrews,to shw theHebrews how to stop being Hebrews, Peter,James, and John were members of the Twelve Apostles of Israel, and they wrote according to their calling. There is no indication in the NewTestament that their calling and standing before Gud ever changed. Their writtings contain nothing about the Revelation of the Mystery revealed to the Apostle Paul. Theri writings are not to be ignored though, for there is truth in them just as there is truth the Old Testament (1.Corinthians 10,6,11.),but I belive in the principle of Bible study thats says, ”All the Bible is FOR us but not all the Bible was written TO us” The part of the Bible that is written TO us is the part we should concentrate on-the epistles of Paul. He was the Apostle of and to the Gentiles (Roman 11,13.) He is OUR Apostle.
Some verses contain more than one command. Each command was usually treated separately, depeding onthe Greek ords and the subject matter, so some verses were repeated asoften as necassary. I tried to keep the same Greek words together as much as possible.
I use the term ”Christian” ti refer to one who has been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ. The word is used by the world to refer to anyone who is religious,except for Jewish people and those who belong to the cults. Usually religious Protestant and Roman Catholices, whether saved or not, are called Christians. I use the word only for saved people.
SOME BASIC CONSIDERATIONS:
Commands are ususlly associated with the Law of Moses. However, there is another section of the Bible that has a strong emphasis on commands, too. This section starts with the epistle to the Romans and ends with the letter to Philemon. There are thirteen epistles and letters in this section, all written by one man-the Apostle Paul.
This section possesses a different quality than the rest of the Bible before it and after it. All that went before was basically history; and from Abrahem to the end of Act, Israel was primarily in veiw.
The thing stands out in the epistles of Paul, is the amount of tesching contained therein. There is very little history. Most of what is written are facts, commands, doctrine, and church organization.
Paul stated that commands were a part of his revalation: ”If any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that THIS THINGS THAT I WRITE UNTO YOU ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OG THE LORD”: 1.Cor.14,37. The Lord, here is the second person of the Godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is not the only place where commands are mentioned in this part of the Bible. Notice the following verses: ”For ye know ehat COMMANDS we gave you by the Lord Jesus”: 1.Thess.4,2; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work whith your own hands, as ve COMMANDED YOU”: 1.Thess.4,11; ”and vi have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and wil do the things which we COMMAND you”: 2.Thess.3,4; ”Now we COMMAND you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”: 2.Thess.3,6; ”For even when we were with you, this we COMMANDED you, that if any would not work (if any wishes not to woek-Greek), neither he eat”: 2.Thess.3,10; ”Now them that are such we COMMAND and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quitness thery work and eat their own bread”: 2.Thess.3,12.
These verses are taken from Paul`s earliest epistles. The ”we” includes Silas and Timoty, but this in no way negates Divine authority. Divine commands were given to the early church. This early emphasis on commands was necessary because the eleven Apostles (one had been killed in Act 12,2.) were also preaching at this tine, and their emphasis was according to the Kingdom program for Israel with its commands taken from the Law of Moses.
So you see, then, that Christian people, members of the Body of Christ, have been givebn commands in regard to their everyday conduct. We need to search diligently the writings of Paul in order to find out what has been revealed for ud to obey.
THE END OF THE LAW OF MOSES:
There is one subject in the Bible that occupies more space than any other, and that subject is the Law of Moses. Around than any other, and that subject is the Law of Moses. Around 70% of the history of the Bible is recorded while Law was binding on Israel. This great percentage of space has misled countless multitudes into thinking that because most of the Bible is under this subject, it is God`s will and purpose for today.
This idea is not a spiritual concept. It is a human explanation that needs to be set aside in favor of the facts of Scripture.
We need to understand that the Law was given to one nation of people and to no other. That nation was Israel (Exodus 19,3-6; Romans 9,4.) This is an extremely important point. Israel is not to be spiritualized to mean belivers in all ages, but was a literal, physical nation of people, saved and unsaved, that began with Abraham. The terms ”Israel”, ”Jews” and ”Hebrew” refer to the same people and not to some mixture of Gentiles.The gentiles never had the Law of Moses.
The Law was given to Israel through their leader, Moses. He was the go-between, the mediator between God and the nation. This is why Moses`name is associated with the Law.
The Law og Moses was always understood as being one Law. Everytime the Law of Moses is referred to in the New Testament, it is always in the singular-Law: (Hebr.8,10 and 10,16, speak of the New covenant, which Covenant is not the Law of Moses). The Law consisted of commanments. There were 613 of them-365 negative, and 248 positive. The Law covered every aspect og Jewish life. There were blessings for obeying them and punishment for disobeying them.
The time period covered by the Law was about sixteen hundred years. This includes the life of Christ om carth and the history contained in the book of Act.
The Law of Moses has been abolished. This might be hard to accept, but the Bible definitely teaches this fact Paul recived specific revelation from Christ on what God did with the Law, and this revelation contains five important passages of Scripture with three different verb tenses that complement each other in a marvelous way. These verses tell the story as it should be known by all belivers.
- The first passage is Ephesians 2,15:
Having ABOLISHED IN HIS FLESH the enmity, even the Law of commandments contained
In ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace.
”Abolished” is in the aorist tense, which tense signifes action done once in the past. This refers to the death of Christ on the cross. He died once for all. The word ”abolished” means ”to render idel, put an end to, do away with, annul”. This is waht the cross did to the Law. ”Ordinances” means ”decrees,” and has reference to all of them, not just to some of them.
- The second passage is 2 Corinthians: 3,7-13. Here we find a contrast between what was written in stones and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Wahat was written and engraved in stones ? Nothing less than the ten commandments. Please read what Paul wrote about these laws:
But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold, the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which was TO BE DONE AWAY (verse 7)
For if that which IS NONE AWAY was glorius, much more that which remaineth is glorious (verse 11).
And not as Moses, which, put a vail over his face, that the children og Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which IS ABOLISHED (verse 13).
The two words ”was glorious” describe the ten commandments, showing that the ten commandments werw done away rather than any glory that Moses might possess,, which glory would eventually pass away anyway. The three phrases in capital letters are the Greek word, which word is a present passive participle. The present passive participle is translated ”being done away” or ”being annulled,” this being done over a period of time covered the book of Act, and ended Acts 28.
- This is in agreement with the third passage of Scripture, found in Hebrews 8,13.
In that He saith, a new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old IS READY TO VANISH AWAY.
I belive Paul wrote Hebrews but directed the book to the Jewish believers mentioned in Act 21,20 rater than to the Body of Christ. Hebrews was written near the end of Act, and Paul had many things to say about their program (Judaism) and how the plans of God were changing. The old covenant is the Mosaic Covenant under which the Law operated. ”Vanish away” also means ”to disappear,” and this is exacly what happened to the Law og Moses. It DISAPPEARED after the book of Act was finished, when God temporarily set aside the nation of Israel.
The present tense of 2 Corinthians 3,7-13, and Hebrews 8,13, show that the Law was in operation during the Acts period. The following events in the book of Acts also testfy to this fact.
- The day of Pentecost (Acts) was according to Leviticus 23,15-22. This celebration was according to the Law. (If the Law was abolished at the cross, as many teach, then Pentecost could not have come about. It is also would have been abolished). Besides, there were Pentecosts during the book of Acts: 1.Cor.16,8.
- The miracles and signs og Acts.2,43. 3,7-8, were according to the commission og Mark.16,15-18, which commission was under the Law.
- The deaths of Ananias end Sapphira: Acts.5, were one of the judgments of Law: Exod. 20,15-16. Josh.7,11.
- There were many priests in Jerusalem who were obedient to the faith: Acts. 6,7. This faith contained the laws of Judaism. The priests carried out the duties that wererequired of them under the Law.
- There were many thousands of Jews who believed and they were zealous of the Law: Acts.2120. God blessed the ministry of the Twelve Apostles after the death of His Son.
- The fourth passage of Seipture is 2.Cor.5,17:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new cresture (the) old tings are passed away. Behold, (the) all things are become new.
The common way of teasching this verse is that old things are the old habits and the new things are the new habits we acquire when we become saved. This is what is known as the application of thise verse to Christian living. But this verse also has an interpretation, and the interpretation is foolishly avoided most of the time.
The interpretaion is as folows verse contains positive statements about God`s two different purposes as found in the book of Acts. The two ”thes” in brackets are in the Greek text, so that we have specific ”old things” and specific ”new things.” The old things are what belonged to Israel-Judaism and the Law-and the new tings refer to the new revelations given to the Apostle Paul. And vers 18 continues by saying, ”And” (the) all things are of God . . .” The new teaching revealed to Paul are of God. We must belive this and emphasize this with all our might. The verb ”become” og verse 17 is in the perfect tense, showing yhat the new ”all things” continue into present time. The Greek word for ”pased away” means ”to perish,” referring to Judaism.
- The fifth passage of Scripture is Colassians 2,14:
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and TOOK IT OUT OF THE WAY, nailing it to His cross.
The word ”took” is in the perfect tense, which signifies action done in the past with the result continuing on into the present. This is wonderful, for it means that the Law of Moses was not to be reinstated by God or by religious leaders, no matter how spiritual they may be.
In summing up the truth revealed to us by the three verb tenses, we see:
- That the Law was judged and doomed forever by the cross of Christ (Aorist tense) This went into effect right after Acts 28.
- That the Law stilll continued on after the death og Christ because God was still dealing with His chosen people Israel during the book of Acts, until He set them aside at Acts 28 (present tense).
- That the Law was abolished by the cross and this abolishment continues during the age of grace we are now living in (perfect tense).
The Law, then, was not set aside at the cross. It continued on for about thirty more years. This is where traditional theology has erred in its understanding of what God did with the Law of Moses. (Satan was treated the same way. He was judged by the cross, but he is still active today.)
The only way we can get a right understanding of this vital truth is by accepting the distinstivness of Pauline revelation. Christ gave Paul the final truth about what He did with Law. This is the true way of separating Law from Grace. Christ has revealed NEW truth-the Revelation of the Mystery-to take the place of the OLD truth which was neiled to the cross and abolished. God has every right to abolish His old laws and institute new lawv for His new people, the Body of Christ. This He did, and the Mystery revealed to Paul is the Law of God for today. It contains our commandments for Christian living, and the believer who lives according to Pauline truth and studies theepistles written by Paul will grow in grace and be in the will of God. Now we can understand why the Holy Spirit does not lead a beliver according to the Law of Moses (Galatians 5,18.)
Paul was given great authority; in fact, more authority than we give him credit for. And the one who gave him this authority to carry out the purpose and plan og God for this Dispensation was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
But I certify you, brethren,that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For i neither it of man, neither was I taught it but by the REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Gal.1,11-12.
How that by REVELATION He made known unto me the Mystery as I wrote before in few words: Ephesians 3,3.
Paul was TAUGHT the truth for this age in which we live by the risen Lord Jesu Christ. It was a very personal instruction that he reccived. He was the only pupil in his class. Christ made known His heart and mind to the one who hated Him the most before he was saved. This is grace at its greatest.
Shortly efter Paul was saved in Acts 9, a devout Jew, named Ananias, was sent to minister to him. Ananias told Paul, ”The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that shouldest know His will and see that Just One and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth”: Acts 22,14. And the resurrected Christ did speak to Paul the most wondefuld truth in all the Bible, the Revelation of the Mystery: Rom.16,25. It took a while for all this wonderful truth to be made known to Paul. The Lord Jesus appeared to Paul more than once: 2.Corinthians 12,1-4.And Paul spent some three years Arabia: Galatians 2,17,18. Acts: 9,23. But he could write in 1.Corinthians 9,1, that he had seen the Lord.
Paul`s relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ gave him great authority in proclaiming the Gospel of the grace og God to the world: Acts.20,24. Paul magnified his office as being the Apostle og the Gentiles: Rom.11,13. And referred to himself over one thousand times in his writings.
In one instance that we know of, the belivers of Galiatia accepted him as if were Christ.
And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not nor rejected, but RECEIVED ME AS AN ANGEL OF GOD, AS CHRIST JESUS: Gal.4,14.
Paul had an carlier experience someting like this during his first missinary jurnecy: Act.14,11-18. The people wanted to assoiate him with a heathen god. Paul rightly rebukee them, for who wants to be associate whith a dead heathen god ? It isfar better to be associated with the living God, the Lord Jesus Christ, as we just read in Galations 4,14.
Please notice some other verses that set forth the great authoity of the Apostle Paul:
To whom ye foirgive anything I forgive also. For if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it IN THE PERSON OG CHRIST: 2.Cor.2,10.
Since ye seek a proof OF CHRIST SPEAKING IN ME,which to you-ward is not weak but is mighty in you:2.Cor.13,3
For CHRIST SENT ME not to baptize but to preach the gospel. Not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect: 1.Cor.1,17.
For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority WHICH THE LORD HATH GIVEN US, for edification and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: 2.Cor.10,8.
I`m sure Apostle Paul gave the belivers many proofs that Christ was speaking in and through him.
The church of today desperately needs to accept this testimony of the Apostle Paul. The visible church is close to being dead, and it needs a transfusion of new blood to make it alive for God again. Getting back to Pauline doctrine would accomplish this end. Belivers everywhere need to recognize Paul was God`s spokesman for this age, and that he has the answers for what ails the church.
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