Text: 1 John 3:22-24
Title: "Obeying God's Commandments"
Subject: Obeying/appreciating the commandments of God.

Intro: The Bible says, "And Moses said unto the people, 'Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not" Ex. 20:20.

The purpose of God has not changed—not in the O.T. nor in the New! God still desires to prove His people, and have His people sin not, thereby seeing His people conformed into the image of Jesus Christ! His just, righteous, and holy moral Law has not changed—not in the O.T. nor in the New! The Ten Commandments, thundered from the mountain-top, engraved in stone by the finger of God, preserved in the Ark of the Covenant, proclaimed and elevated by the Lord Jesus Christ, repeated in the N.T. and written on men's hearts (Rms. 2:15) are still God's standard by which all sin is judged! It was so in the Garden of Eden, and it is still so this 26th day of July, in Bradenton, Florida!
"And Moses said unto the people, 'Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not"

The Ten Commandments are the justice of God by which all men and women will give an account.
The Ten Commandments are the love of God, for they set forth a clear standard to regulate man's relationship to God, and man's relationship to each other.
The Ten Commandments are the grace of God, for by them we are brought to a realization of our own sinfulness and our need of a Saviour.
These ten laws of God, which include all other laws of God, are not optional for you; not suggestions to you; but commands for you to obey!
"And Moses said unto the people, 'Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not"

I do not know who first purposed that the Ten Commandments are not binding on your life today—but I think it was Satan! Consider—
If the Ten Commandments are not for today, then, pray tell, just what standard of right and wrong shall we follow?  How do we know what sin is? Just what standard of judgment will God use at both the Bema Seat of Christ, and the Great White Throne Judgment? Just what Law did Jesus Christ fulfill on our behalf?

In all ages the Ten Commandments bind the sinner with a cord of steel to their sin, and Ten Commandments bind the saved with a cord of mercy to the Saviour. In all ages, God demands of all people that they keep the Ten Commandments! God demands perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments by the lost, and God expects perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments by the saved

Text: 1 Jn. 3:22-24—"Obeying God's Commandments"—prayer

We will look at 1) God's Blessing on Obedience, 2) God's Standard for Obedience, 3) God's Approval on Obedience

I. GOD'S BLESSING ON OBEDIENCE (v22)
A. We Have Access To The Unlimited Ability of God
1. God is the source of our every need ("receive of Him").
a. Where we think of the material/phys., God thinks of the spiritual

In Gen. 18:14 God Himself asks the rhetorical question, "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?"

God's prophet, Jeremiah replies, "Ah Lord God! behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee" Jer. 32:17

God again affirms to Jer., "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?" Jeremiah 32:27

B. God's Promised Blessings on Obedience (v22)
 1. Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him

Note: Do you mean, Bro., that whatever I want, all I have to do is ask and God will give it? That is exactly what the "name it & claim it" crowd teaches? Before the Bible answers that question notice 2 things.

a. We have an open door to ask! You can ask for anything you like
b. We can ask in full expectation of receiving! You can "expect" all you want.
1) We have full access to the Father!

C. God's Conditions on Obedience (v22)

Note: Wait a minute Bro. Darst, you inferred I could have anything that I asked for, but now God is adding conditions!! We should thank God for these conditions, and that we haven't gotten everything we have asked for!!

Look at the sheet, notice the conditions in every asking/receiving verse.
1. Because ("since"), we are obedient! As simple as that!
a. This is the key to having all you need and want! Obedience!

The Psalmist said, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?" Psalm 116:12. Obedience!! What else can we give?
a. 1st Cond: Since we keep ("attend carefully, guard, observe") His commandments (what God has commanded).
1) God's Ten Commandments and O.T. univ. precepts/applicat.
a) God expects you to keep His commandments!
b. 2nd Cond: Since we do those things that are pleasing ("agreeable") in His sight ("in the presence of, before")
1) N.T. manner of life

"But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." 1 Tim. 3:15

Note: There you have it! You can have anything you ask for if you are keeping God's commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight! This is a signed, sealed, delivered promise of God! "Since" are you or "since" aren't you?

II. GOD'S STANDARD FOR OBEDIENCE (v23)
A. The Commandment (notice 2 things)
1. It is His commandment, therefore it is to be obeyed!
a. He authored and commanded it
2. His commandment was given to us ("that we should")
a. It is for our benefit

Note: There are three "sets" of commandments in the Bible.

The first, from which all the others flow, are the Ten Commandments, found in Ex. 20.

The second, in which Jesus Christ takes the 10 and condenses them to two, is found in Matt. 22:37-39.

"Jesus said ..., Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.."

The third, in which Jesus takes the two and condenses them to one, is found in Jn. 13:34

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another..." [new = "as respects form," a new way to look at it]

B. "This is His Commandment..." (v23)

Note: 2 commandments make up His one commandment. These commandments are a repeat of what Jesus said in Matt. 22; "1st love God, 2nd love your neighbor." Here, again, we have the Ten Commandments summed up into two.

1. The 1st Commandment is that "we should believe," which is a reference to the 1st four of the Ten Commandments.
a. God commands you to believe ("to trust, have confidence in, faith in"). And to believe in something worth believing in.

Note: We see then that the Ten Commandments are a belief system, or something to believe in. Proof: A lost person, no matter his religion or lack thereof, believes that eternal life is somehow based on how he/she keeps God's commandments (works). A saved person has learned that he/she could not keep the Ten Commandments, therefore is guilty before God, and therefore has trusted Jesus Christ who satisfied God's Commandments. If you are here, and you have rejected Jesus Christ, at least be honest enough to admit that you have broken one or more of God's commandments! Therefore, the Bible says, you are guilty of breaking them all (Ja. 2:10). And you are not only guilty, but you are condemned already! "He that believeth on Christ is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18

2. God Tells You What is worthy of your belief? (He commands you to believe and tells you what to believe in!)
a. The Name (why?)
1) The total revelation of all that God is
a) Your name identifies all you are, and God's Name identifies all He is
2) The Name represents the Trinity or 3 in 1 nature of God

This is comprehended in Matt. 28:19, "...baptizing them in the name [sing.] of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [plural]," where the Name of God includes the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In other words, God is—for you—exactly what you need, but you need to avail yourself of Him.

Note: God's commandment is that we 1) believe, 2) believe on all that God is, and 3) that we believe on His Son, second Person of Trinity.

(what we are to believe about His Son)

b. His Son (not one born of another, but "same as")
"Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." John 5:18
1) Must believe Jesus is God, that He is unique, and that Jesus, in human flesh, showed us a full and perfect representation of God
c. Jesus ("God is salvation/deliverance")
1) Must believe that Jesus is God's method of salvation/deliverance from the penalty of our sin by His death on the cross.
d. Christ ("anointed One, Messiah")
1) Must believe that Jesus is God's promised Messiah, and the One appointed/authorized to bring salvation/deliverance
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12

Note: So, God's commandment is that you believe on/trust in His name or in all that Jesus is and did; that you believe Jesus is God; that you believe that in Jesus alone is God's salvation; and that you believe Jesus is the promised Christ. If you believe that you can be saved—if you will! Christian, if you will believe the exact same things, you can be delivered, not from your circumstances, but the bondage your circumstances have placed in you.

C. That We Should Love One Another

Note: This represents the last 6 of the Ten Commandments, and is elsewhere called the Royal Law of Love.

1. Should love ("agape") one another
a. Agape love is self-sacrificing love. It is God's love reflected and directed from ourselves to others.
1) It is loving the brethren (defined in v16-18)
2) It is loving the unlovely, in spite of them, and in spite of your feelings about them.
b. It is God's love toward us in Christ

"But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared" Titus 3:4

Note: We are commanded to believe (God's command) and commanded to love (Christ's command)! Now, where are you in this obedience thing?

III. GOD'S APPROVAL ON OBEDIENCE (v24)
A. To Those Who Keep[ing] His Commandments
1. You dwell ("remain, abide") in God
a. In reference to place: sojourn, tarry, don't depart
b. In reference to time: to continue, last, endure
c. In reference to state or condition: to remain as one, not to become another or different

Note: If you don't have confidence in your Saviour and/or your salvation it is because you do not keep His commandments!

2. God dwells in you
a. As above

Note: Remember the term "God" refers to the totality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! You have the fulness of God at your disposal in direct proportion to your obedience to His commandments!

3. God confirms His presence
a. How do we know ("to come to know, have knowledge of") that God truly does dwell in us?
1) Because we keep His commandments. But this is subjective and open to challenge. Thinking we keep them does not mean we keep them!
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" 1 John 1:8

2) By the [Holy] Spirit, who has been given us. Now we have a more sure word of testimony, the testimony of God Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit.
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" Romans 8:16

Concl: The Ten Commandments are still the yardstick of our obedience. And God clearly reveals to us that His Law is all wrapped up in what we believe about Jesus Christ. Lost friend, God commands you to perfectly keep His commandments if you hope to see heaven! But you can't, because you are a sinner by nature and a sinner by choice! So God has made a way of escape for you. He commands you to believe/trust in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, who did keep His commandments perfectly, who did die for your sins, and who did arise from the grave proving the wrath of God was satisfied. Obey God for once in your life and come to Christ!

Christian, do you really believe in Jesus Christ to the forsaking of all others? He is the only One worthy of your trust, but have you allowed your circumstances to let your obedience to God slip? Obedience is not based on your circumstances, but, in reality, the worse your circumstances the more obedient you should be! Renew your vow of obedience today!

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