A. THE IDEA OF "COMMANDMENT KEEPING" IS NOT POPULAR.
1. Some equate it with what they call "legalism" or "patternism."
2. Others look at keeping any kind of commandment as an unpleasant task.
a. Perhaps a carry-over from childhood where they were constantly told
what to do.
b. The commands of God are not what they want.
B. OBEYING GOD SHOULDN'T BE LOOKED UPON THIS WAY( 1 Cor. 7:19 ).
C. WE NEED TO CONSIDER SOME THINGS ABOUT OBEDIENCE THAT WILL
CHANGE ANY ADVERSE FEELINGS WE MAY HAVE.
A. IT SHOULD NOT BE ONE OF "LEGALISM."
1. Legalism is that idea that one earns or merits salvation by their obedience.
2. Such an attitude would be wrong on the part of Christians( Titus 3:3-7 ).
3. Unfortunately, many equate legalism with simply adhering to the pattern.
4. Yet Paul penned the words of our text! Was he a legalist? Then I am, too.
B. THINK OF IT AS FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE.
1. Compare 1 Cor. 7:19 with Gal. 5:6.
2. Isn't keeping the commandments of God "faith working through love"?
a. Keeping the commandments I demonstrate my faith( Jas. 2:14-18 ).
b. By keeping the commandments I show my love:
1) To Jesus( John 14:15; 15:14 ).
2) To God( 1 John 5:3 ).
3) To the children of God( 1 John 5:2 ).
3. Suddenly, keeping the commandments of God is very important!
C. THINK OF IT AS PRODUCING "A NEW CREATION."
1. Compare 1 Cor. 7:19 with Gal. 6:15.
2. Isn't obeying God helping to produce a "new creation"?
a. Becoming a new creation we enjoy by being in Christ( 2 Cor. 5:17 ).
b. But to enjoy this blessing involves keeping certain commandments...
1) For example, baptism to receive Christ( Gal. 3:27 ).
2) Also, putting off and putting on certain qualities to become like
Christ( Col. 3:5-17 ).
3. Keeping the commandments is necessary to become a new creation in Christ.
A. NOT ACCORDING TO THOSE WHO HAVE DONE IT LONGEST!
1. Like the apostle John( 1 John 5:3 ).
2. David( Psa. 119:129-136 ).
B. THE HARDEST PART IS DECIDING TO DO IT!
1. There is a cost to serving( Luke 14:27-30; Matt. 10:34-38 ).
2. The cost is offset by the reward( Matt. 10:39; 16:25-26 ).
3. Laboring over whether to make a decision is often harder than carrying it out.
4. The same is true with keeping the commandments of God (e.g., baptism).
C. IT IS MADE EASIER FOR US WITH THE HELP OF GOD AND CHRIST!
1. God is on our side as we try to keep His commandments( Rom. 8:31-39 ).
2. He is conscious of our struggle( 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Pet. 1:5 ).
3. He directs and enables( Phil. 2:12-13; 4:13 ).
3. Even if we are forsaken by all others, God is still there!( 2 Tim. 4:16-18 ).
A. BLESSING FROM GOD AND ASSURANCE OF FAITH IS FOR THOSE WHO
LIVE AS THOUGH KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS IS MOST
B. HOW IMPORTANT IS KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS?
1. It is essential to receiving MERCY( Psa. 103:15-18; Matt. 7:21-23 ).
2. It is essential to receiving the LOVE & ABIDING PRESENCE of God
( John 14:21, 23 ).
3. It is essential to having our PRAYERS ANSWERED( 1 John 3:22 ).
C. Matt. 7:21. ARE YOU KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS?