Beyond the foundational Ten Commandments, God gave us other commandments that help us become more like Christ. By carefully reading and studying the Word of God, one can quite easily find these instructions for living the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Jesus gave two principles upon which all the law and the prophets are based (Matthew 22:37-40). These two principles of love are the foundation upon which the Ten Commandments and all of the numerous commands in the Bible are built.
If you have ever played games of treasure hunting to find a hidden prize you know that the map you use is not what is buried or hidden, it’s the vehicle for finding the item. The concept of uncovering bits and pieces of information, deciphering the clues and reaching the logical conclusion that leads to the goal being sought is the same as understanding the message contained in the Bible. Although not laid out in a simple, obvious sequence, each verse is supported by other verses when found and related to each other (Isaiah 28:10).
As one reads through the Bible, commandments are found that apply to a person’s life that develop character so that they may find joy in life, bear spiritual fruit, and store treasure in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21), but most importantly to glorify and please our Savior. For example, we are told to choose whom we will serve (Joshua 24:15) to try the Lord’s Way and discover that it is good (Psalm 34:8), and in the New Testament there are passages instructing us to be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32), give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and be angry but do not sin (Ephesians 4:26). These are all commands for us to obey. In three of the gospels the Biblical command to “Repent and be baptized” is the first example of obedience (Matthew 3:2, 6; Mark 1:4-9; Luke 3:3). This command presumes that we have disobeyed at least one of God’s commandments and therefore are sinners in need of salvation.
On the surface, many commandments do not appear to be relevant to everyone. The first command to Adam and mankind was to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). This would not seem to apply to the infertile or unmarried, but in the spiritual sense it does. We are commanded to repent and be baptized in order for God’s Holy Spirit to dwell within us. By obeying this, we will be filled with the Spirit of God and be fruitful by bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). In the practice of witnessing to unbelievers and leading them to Christ, we have introduced another saint into God’s Kingdom and have, therefore, multiplied. In accomplishing these two things, even the infertile and unmarried can “be fruitful and multiply”.
Trying to know and obey every one of the over 600 laws and commandments in the Bible may seem like an intimidating task, but try to put things into perspective. In this great nation of ours, at the local, state and federal government levels there are thousands of laws and regulations. Those that apply to corporations, building contractors, retailers or hazardous material handlers do not have to be actively obeyed by all citizens, they just simply must not be violated. With application of the common sense rule of prudent behavior, breaking laws of which one is unaware should not be a problem. The same is true of the Biblical Law. Knowledge of each and every one is not necessary if the child of God lives by the two foundational principles espoused by Jesus, to love God and to love your neighbor.
During Bible study, take note of these commands and apply them to your life. They will allow you to lead a life of contentment and joy that will be fruitful and worth treasuring, giving our Heavenly Father reason to say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21).
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
1 Samuel 15:22 To obey is better than sacrifice.
2 Kings 5:1-14 Obedience is as important in minor things as well as in great things.
James 5:14 Even Jesus learned obedience by the things which he suffered.
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