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Commands of Christ

Keep My Commandments

Where is this command found?

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 14:15

Applying This Command

This same word is used to describe the care that the Philippian jailer was to exercise in order to keep Paul and Silas safe and to make sure that they did not escape.When the jailer thought that they had escaped, he took out his sword to kill himself. (See Acts 16:16–34.)

During the times of wind-driven ships, navigators would use the phrase “keeping the stars.” This meant that they would use the stars to chart a course across the ocean. This is precisely how the commands of Christ are to be used: to chart a course throughout life in order to arrive safely and successfully at a destination. The distinction between “keeping” and “doing” the commands is seen in passages such as this one: “Ye shall keep my statutes, and do them . . .” (Leviticus 20:8).

The very best way to keep the commands of Jesus Christ before our eyes is to memorize them and meditate on them until they are engrafted in our souls. When they become a living part of the mind, will, and emotions, we will have achieved the goal of John 15:7: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Joshua was commanded to meditate on God’s Law “day and night,” that he might have good success (see Joshua 1:8), and the psalmist affirmed that the person who is truly blessed of God is the one who meditates on His Law day and night: “His delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:2–3). Meditating on Christ’s commands at night is not really possible unless they are in our hearts and minds.

Bible Verses for Meditation

In addition to meditation on John 14:15, meditating on the verses below will provide you with further insight and understanding of Christ’s command: Keep My Commandments.

John 14:21

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

Deuteronomy 6:6–7

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

Joshua 1:8

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

John 15:10–11

“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. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

I John 2:3–5

“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.”

The Commands of Christ Podcast

Join us each week for a fresh look at Jesus’ commands.

Weekly discussions on the Commands of Christ with accompanying resources for deeper application and growth. New episodes release every Monday.

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Study Question

Q: The Old Testament Law is a burden because we do not have the power to keep it; however, Christ came to deliver us from the curse and burden of the Law. Are not His commands, which restate the Law, putting us back under a burden? (See Galatians 3:13 and 4:4–5.)

A: The same God that gave His Law to Moses gave His commands to Jesus. Each had a different purpose. The Law of Moses was “our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Galatians 3:24). It brought bondage and conviction because of our inability to keep it; therefore, it was a sentence of death upon us.

But then Christ fulfilled the Law, redeemed us from its curse, and gave us faith and grace to keep His commands. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God … . By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments” (I John 5:1–2).

In the new covenant with Christ, we have all the grace we need to live out the commands of Jesus. Although we are free in Christ, we are not to use our liberty to fulfill the desires of our flesh, but rather to serve one another in love. (See Galatians 3:23–27, 4:5, 5:13–16).

In reality, the commands of Christ are ways to love God and to love one another. John harmonizes the Law of Moses and the commands of Jesus Christ when he writes: “And now I beseech thee … not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments” (II John 5–6).

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