Keeping God’s Commandments… a deeper look..

“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me, therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to keep all I have commanded you, and lo I will be with you always, to the end of the age.!

It’s an incredible passage, one Christians and pastors – especially those who are focused on the mission of the church know well, at least we think we do.

Some focus on the going..

Some focus on the making of disciples…

Some focus on what it means to baptize,

Some focus on what they think teaching them to “keep” all that have I commanded you”

Some rightly focus on the incarnational presence of God – with us  – for there is no way we could live our lives in Christ without knowing we do that which we do…

Been there, done that, have the t-shirts, the bible studes, the sermons i have written on all five of those great things….heck – talked people into going places and doing things – and those who did the right thing… may have done it for the wrong reason….

In the last few years – I’ve spent some time thinking and dwelling on this idea of Keeping and what is that which is “commanded” .  Obviously this is a major part of our responsibility of the church – the vocation of all of us.  So it bears a look into it.

First let’s deal with “keep”, which is sometimes erroneously translated “obey”.  It is far more than simply obedience.  And understanding the difference between keep and obey is critical.  Keep in English is from the old English term for that place where you put that which you treasure, the castel keep was where the kings heirs, his wife, and the treasure – his and that of the people – when they are under attack, with they are oppressed.   So to it is in Greek – it comes from the word for guard, to protect – to keep safe because it is a treasure.  You can obey someone – without treasuring them…

That is far greater than the simple idea of blindly or knowledgeably obeying that which we are directed to do.  We have something which is a treasure – it is more incredible than anything else we have!  This which we teach to those who walk with Christ and those we are instrumental in bringing to walk with Christ  – is something they are to treasure, something that will mean more to them than anything else that they have – could ever have.

So what is the treasure?  What is it we ar to guard, to hold onto, to KEEP?

Our translations call it what Christ has commanded.

I have always thought it referred to the Ten Commandments, or the entire list of do’s and don’t in scripture.  It’s more – to grasp that – we have to look at what did God “command”

Look to Creation…

He spoke the word, and there came into existence..

Look to our Re-creation…

The centurion’s cry, “only say the word and my servant shall be healed..

the demoniacs were dismissed by the command of the Lord…
We were declared righteous and holy… by the command of the Lord…

Our being called – our being cleansed and brought back to God, as St Paul says – “we are His worksmanship, created  in Christ Jesus for good works”  He commissioned us, He has commanded that we are cleansed and given life…. life  with Him.  Think of Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones… and the Son of man commanding the bones to join and become enfleshed, to stand – and the command given to the Spirit to breathe life into those bones….

Yeah – that’s the treasure that Christ has commanded.. the Creation and Re-creation – of our lives with God.

That’s our treasure… that is what, as we make disciples, as we baptize them…. that is what we teach them to treasure, to keep, to guard….

AMEN!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on June 28, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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