HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14: 15)


"LOVE AND OBEDIENCE"
(A FEARFUL BESETTING SIN!)
(Text: John 14:15; 1John 5:3; Revelation 22:14)

INTRODUCTION:
Man was "made in the image of God," but Adam marred that image by disobeying God, and it is still obscured on man's part! Many are striving for godliness, but not according to His will. Although many are very religious, they are failing in their search for God! Why? They will not OBEY HIM! "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall SEARCH FOR ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART. And I WILL BE FOUND OF YOU, SAITH THE LORD" (Jeremiah 29:13,14a). It is a FACT that a man who DOESN'T' LOVE GOD, WILL NOT SEARCH FOR HIM!!! No man has ever pleased God who was void of a zeal for doing His will! Disobedience is a great pitfall and prevents man's salvation, peace and happiness. Beloved, OBEDIENCE IS A VERY GREAT THING WITH GOD. It is so wide you just can't get around it, and is a prime cause of many empty pews in the church of Christ! LOVE and OBEDIENCE are ATTRIBUTES of HOLY PERSONS. The Bible says MUCH ABOUT FAITH, and OBEDIENCE: the latter always being the results of faith in God, when He is faith's object. OBEDIENCE is FAITH IN ACTION, and LOVE PROMPTS and MONITORS BOTH!

I. ACCORDINGLY, GOD WANTED TO KNOW THE DEGREE OF ABRAHAM'S FAITH, Or, rather, for Abraham to prove his faith in God, He challenged him to OBEY HIM! "And He said, take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him" (Genesis 22:2,3).

1. Beloved, there is no evidence that Abraham asked God any questions; or gave any rebuttal, or excuses; not even one milligram of recalcitrance!! He might have said he was behind with his chores; or that he wanted to think about it, or discuss the matter with Sarah: consider that Isaac was an only son, and that the father-son relationship would be permanently interrupted!! This spiritual giant OBEYED GOD unhesitatingly, because he had REAL FAITH in God, and LOVED GOD SUPREMELY, HE COULD OBEY GOD IN FULL CONFIDENCE that GOD COULD RESTORE HIS SON ISAAC!!! My FELLOW-CHRISTIANS, please consider the following: You and I, like Abraham, CAN OBEY GOD TODAY IN THE SAME MANNER THAT HE DID: WE MUST PUT HIM FIRST!!!

2. "And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, my father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB FOR A BURNT OFFERING: so they went both of them together" (Genesis 22:7,8). Notice Abraham's majestic composure: HE IS CONFIDENT, and FULLY TRUSTING GOD EACH STEP OF THE WAY: HE IS NOT ONLY TRUSTING GOD; HE IS DETERMINED TO OBEY GOD AT ANY COST!! Beloved, did you notice this, Abraham seemed to REALIZE THAT HE AND ISAAC WOULD RETURN HOME TOGETHER! Abraham's RELIGION was REAL and GENUINE; it wasn't something HE MERELY TALKED ABOUT, with Abraham, it WAS SOMETHING TO BE PRACTICED OR DEMONSTRATED!! Accordingly, we NEED PEOPLE LIKE ABRAHAM IN THE LORD'S CHURCH TODAY!! (Cf. Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46).

3. "And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the KNIFE TO SLAY HIS SON. And the ANGEL of the LORD CALLED UNTO HIM OUT OF HEAVEN, AND SAID, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, here am I. And He said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: FOR NOW I KNOW THAT THOU FEAREST GOD, SEEING THOU HAST NOT WITHHELD THY SON, THINE ONLY SON FROM ME." Beloved, consider that Abraham was all the while: "Accounting that God was able to RAISE HIM UP, EVEN FROM THE DEAD; FROM WHENCE ALSO HE RECEIVED HIM IN A FIGURE" (Genesis 22:9-12; Hebrews 11:19).

4. "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a RAM caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the RAM, AND OFFERED HIM UP FOR A BURNT OFFERING IN THE STEAD OF HIS SON. And Abraham called the name of that place JEHOVAH-JIREH: as it is said to this day, IN THE MOUNT OF THE LORD IT SHALL BE SEEN. "And in thy SEED SHALL ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED; BECAUSE THOU HAST OBEYED MY VOICE." Beloved, consider that Paul's preaching is highly complimentary to Abraham: "He staggered not at THE PROMISE OF GOD THROUGH UNBELIEF; BUT WAS STRONG IN FAITH, GIVING GLORY TO GOD; AND BEING FULLY PERSUADED THAT, WHAT HE HAD PROMISED, HE WAS ABLE ALSO TO PERFORM. And therefore it was IMPUTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Genesis 22:13,14,18; Romans 4:20-22; cf. James 2:21-24).

II. WHEN MAN DISOBEYS GOD AND BREAKS HIS HEART: HIS LIFE BECOMES WRETCHED AND MISERABLE! His sin brings SHAME and DISGRACE, and BLURRED VISION TO HIS OWN LIFE! Consider that God instructed Saul thus: "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, AND SPARE THEM NOT; BUT SLAY BOTH MAN AND WOMAN, INFANT AND SUCKLING, OX AND SHEEP, CAMEL AND ASS" (1 Samuel 15:3) SAUL DISOBEYED GOD AND PAID A GREAT PRICE! My friends, hear me, are you listening? "And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and HATH NOT PERFORMED MY COMMANDMENTS. And it grieved Samuel; AND HE CRIED UNTO THE LORD ALL NIGHT" (1 Samuel 15:8-11).

1. "And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I HAVE OBEYED THE VOICE OF THE LORD, AND HAVE GONE THE WAY WHICH THE LORD SENT ME, AND HAVE BROUGHT AGAG THE KING OF AMALEK, AND HAVE UTTERLY DESTROYED THE AMALEKITES. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice them unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in OBEYING THE VOICE OF THE LORD? Behold, TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, AND TO HEARKEN THAN THE FAT OF RAMS. FOR REBELLION IS AS THE SIN OF WITCHCRAFT, AND STUBBORNNESS IS AS INIQUITY AND IDOLATRY. Because thou hast REJECTED THE WORD OF THE LORD, HE HATH ALSO REJECTED THEE FROM BEING KING" (1 Samuel 15:20-23).

2. Consider this, Saul said, "I have obeyed the voice of the Lord" He lied, and, then, BLAMED the PEOPLE for HIS PERSONAL FAILURE OF DUTY, AND LACK OF LEADERSHIP; UNDER THE GUISE OF SAVING THE SPOIL FOR SACRIFICE TO JEHOVAH!!! Beloved, it is easy to see here, that Saul was EXALTING HIS PERSONAL EGO, BY HEEDING THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE, RATHER, THAN THE VOICE OF GOD!!! Question: HOW CAN A MAN OBEY GOD, AND, AT THE SAME TIME DISOBEY HIS OWN CONSCIENCE?? Brethren, 'lying" IS NO SMALL THING WITH GOD:

3. The apostle Peter asked Ananias four questions in the following text: This couple had "sold a possession, and kept back part of the priceBut Peter said, Ananias, WHY HATH SATAN FILLED THINE HEART TO LIE TO THE HOLY GHOST, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? THOU HAS NOT LIED UNTO MEN, BUT UNTO GOD. AND ANANIAS HEARING THESE WORDS FELL DOWN, AND GAVE UP THE GHOST: AND GREAT FEAR CAME ON ALL THEM THAT HEARD THESE THINGS" (Acts 5:1c,2a,3-5,10). [Ditto for Sapphira, Ananias' wife]!!

II. THE DEATH OF SAUL, AND HIS SONS, WAS AS DISAPPOINTING AND TRAGIC, AS HIS LIFE HAD BEEN: "Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul's sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come, and thrust me through and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together" (1 Samuel 31:1-6).

a. LESSONS AND INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Religious advantages and eminent positions are no real benefit unless they be rightly used. 2. The natural qualities which make one man a power for evil, make another, when sanctified, a power for good. 3. The heart must be right with God in order to a proper use of His gifts and a worthy course of life. "If the heart be not upright, whatever favorable beginnings there may be, there cannot be a uniform perseverance in goodness or any happy conclusion" (Robinson). 4. Divine grace when persistently resisted is withdrawn, leaving the soul a prey to the "evil spirit;" when humbly and faithfully received, is followed by more grace. 5. In proportion as a man lives to himself or to God he becomes weak, sinful, and miserable, or strong, holy, and happy. 6. There is no standing still in moral life; if men do not become better they infallibly become worse. 7. As a man lives so he dies! "Think of the end of Saul of Gibeah, and learn in time to be wise." Think of the end of Saul of Tarsus, and "be faithful unto death."---D.1

III. JESUS' HEALING OF THE MAN WHO WAS BLIND FROM HIS BIRTH, WHICH CAUSES A GREAT STIR AMONG THE PHARISEES! "And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was BLIND FROM HIS BIRTH. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that was blind, said, Is not this he that sat, and begged? (John 9:1,6-8). My friends, hear me, are you listening? The power that is speaking here is the same power which spoke to Abraham; Joshua at Jericho; King Saul at Gilboa; Naaman, at the Jordan; and in GIVING THE GREAT COMMISSION. (Matthew 28:18-20).

1. Beloved, in this context, we see FAITH, LOVE, AND OBEDIENCE, shine like new money!! Consider Jesus purpose: FAITH BEGETS LOVE, AND, THE TWO, WORKING TOGETHER, TRANSLATE INTO OBEDIENCE! "So then FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD" (Romans 10:17).

2. THE PHARISEES ARE NOW READY TO SPRING THEIR INVESTIGATION. "Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: WE KNOW THAT THIS MAN IS A SINNER. He answered and said, whether He be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. Then said they to him again, What did He to thee? How opened He thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art His disciple; but we are Moses' disciples" (John 9:15,24-28).

3. "We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, WE KNOW NOT FROM WHENCE HE IS. The man answered and said unto them, WHY HEREIN IS A MARVELLOUS THING, THAT YE KNOW NOT FROM WHENCE HE IS, AND YET HE HATH OPENED MINE EYES. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him He heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. IF THIS MAN WERE NOT OF GOD, HE COULD DO NOTHING" (John 9: 29-33). My friends, hear me, are you listening? The Pharisees said, "We know not from whence He is" (John 9:29c) WHY? THEY WERE BLIND!!! THE PHARISEES, DUE TO THEIR REBELLIOUS AND STUBBORN MIND-SET, HAD CLOSED THEIR EYES TO THE VOLUMINOUS EVIDENCE, IN BOTH THE OLD, AND NEW TESTAMENTS, THAT JESUS WAS, AND IS THE SON OF GOD!!!

4. THE MESSIANIC EVIDENCE IS OVERWHELMING: The (22nd. Psalm) is Divine verbal evidence, that Jesus was, and is the SON OF GOD! "My God, my God, why hast thou FORSAKEN ME? But I am a WORM, AND NO MAN; A REPROACH OF MEN, AND DESPISED OF THE PEOPLE. They GAPED UPON ME WITH THEIR MOUTHS, AS A RAVENING AND A ROARING LION" (Psalm 22:1a,6,13). Now, lets consider the parallels in (Isaiah 53:3). "He is DESPISED AND REJECTED OF MEN; A MAN OF SORROWS, AND ACQUANTED WITH GRIEF: AND WE HID AS IT WERE OUR FACES FROM HIM; HE WAS DESPISED, AND WE ESTEEMED HIM NOT."

5. "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. "And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, SO HE OPENETH NOT His mouth. And He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, because He had done on violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. Because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and was numbered with the transgressors; and HE BARE THE SIN OF MANY, AND MADE INTERCESSION FOR THE TRANSGRESSORS" (Isaiah 53:5,6c,7,9,12c).

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING GOSPEL PARALLELS:

6. "He was in the world, and the WORLD WAS MADE BY HIM, and the WORLD KNEW HIM NOT. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST. "Behold the LAMB OF GOD WHICH, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD. WHICH OF YOU CONVINCETH ME OF SIN? And if I SAY THE TRUTH, WHY DO YE NOT BELIEVE ME? I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD: THE GOOD SHEPHERD GIVETH HIS LIFE FOR THE SHEEP" (John 1:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 11:28; John 1:29; 8:46; 10:11).

7. ACCORDINGLY, THE FOREGOING PROOF TEXTS COMPRISE A MERE SCINTILLA OF THE BIBLICAL TESTIMONY THAT JESUS WAS AND IS THE SON OF GOD!!! Beloved, the Pharisees, in particular, and Sadducees, and possibly, even the Essenes, had access to the Old Testament scriptures!! Moreover, to the contrary, not withstanding, the Pharisees said, "WE KNOW NOT FROM WHENCE HE IS. (John 9:29c) [The pronoun meaning "Jesus", emphasis, mine MLH].

a. The $64,000 question is, WHY? There are two possible answers to this question: (1) They FAILED to "SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES" (John 5:39a). All the INFORMATION THEY NEEDED, WAS THERE!!! (2) It lies within the realm of possibility, that they "SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES," and WERE CONFRONTED WITH THE EVIDENCE, BUT REFUSED TO ACCEPT OR BELIEVE IT!! Consider this, Jesus said, "Because I tell you the TRUTH, YE BELIEVE ME NOT" (John 8:45). He told them the TRUTH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: In His pre-incarnate state, Jesus existed in the FORM OF THE WORD, [Greek, Logos; English, Word, emphasis, MLH]. "And the WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US" (John 1:14a; cf.1 Corinthians 10:4).

IV. JESUS SAID, "IF YE LOVE ME KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS" (JOHN 14:15). Just seven words. Could anything be more simple? Jesus practiced what He preached! "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him" (Hebrews 5:8,9). Beloved, Jesus made OBEDIENCE THE GREAT TEST FOR ALL WHO PROFESS TO LOVE HIM!! Jesus AMPLIFIES (John 14:15) in verses (21,23,24). "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. "If a man love me, he will keep my words: AND MY Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that LOVETH ME NOT KEEPETH NOT MY SAYINGS.." (John14:21,23b,24a).

1. NOTE, COMMANDMENTS, WORDS, SAYINGS, MEAN THE SAME THING: COMMANDMENTS AND SAYINGS CONSISTS OF WORDS! Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. In (John 15:10), Jesus said, "If ye keep my keep my commandments, ye shall ABIDE IN MY LOVE; even as I have kept my Father's commandments and ABIDE IN HIS LOVE." Therefore, LOVING and OBEYING CHRIST INSURES OUR ABIDING IN HIM!! FAITH THAT DOES NOTHING IS NOTHING!! Moreover, we must realize that OBEDIENCE IS FAITH IN ACTION, THEREFORE OBEDIENCE IS THE TEST OF BOTH FAITH AND LOVE!!! Beloved, it is a forgone conclusion, that one who fails to OBEY GOD, DOES NOT HAVE FAITH IN OR LOVE GOD!

2. Jesus said, "Blessed are the PURE IN HEART: for THEY SHALL SEE GOD." The Greek word for PURE is KATHAROS, PURE, AS IN BEING CLEANSED. 2 But how is one cleansed? There is something we MUST DO, and Peter says, "Seeing ye have PURIFIED YOUR SOULS IN OBEYING THE TRUTH" (1 Peter 1:22a). It is not what you feel or think, but, rather, WHAT YOU DO!! "But ye HAVE OBEYED FROM THE HEART THAT FORM OF DOCTRINE WHICH WAS DELIVERED YOU." WHEN? When the Romans OBEYED PAUL'S TEACHING IN (Romans 6:3-6 of this chapter), which see. "For obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name." "Made known to all nations for the OBEDIENCE OF FAITH" (Romans 6:17b; 1:5b; 16:26c).

3. OBEDIENCE, IN DIFFERENT FORMS IS FOUND AT LEAST 160 TIMES IN THE BIBLE. Moreover, obedience is implied by the use of other terms. For example, "He that doeth the will of my Father" (Matthew 7:21e). My friends, the Bible provides overwhelming evidence, for anyone who will consider it, that ALL WHO FAIL TO OBEY CHRIST ARE UNSAVED OR LOST!!! And THEY NEED TO BE CONVERTED TO CHRIST!! However, to be converted to Christ, you must submit to His AUTHORITY, and CAREFULLY FOLLOW His INSTRUCTIONS, like the man who was BORN BLIND: YOU MUST DO PRECISELY WHAT JESUS SAYS TO BE SAVED! [See "What To Do To Become A Christian" at the conclusion of this study}.

4. Consider, that non-Christians are all around us, not just in our cities or communities, but, also in our families, yes, that close to us, and the following words, possibly, though, NOT NECESSARILY, could be directed to some PROFESSED CHRISTIANS:

When in the better land before the bar we stand,
How deeply grieved our souls will be;
If any lost one there should cry in deep despair,
"You never mentioned Him to me,"
"You never mentioned Him to me,
You helped me not the light to see;
You met me day by day and knew I was astray,
Yet never mentioned Him to me."
(James Rowe)

5. THOSE OF US WHO ARE CHRISTIANS NEED TO HAVE A GREATER PASSION FOR LOST SOULS! The teaching must be plain, and in the LOVE and SPIRIT of CHRIST! He should be the UNSEEN GUEST at every meal, and the SILENT LISTENER to every conversation! The community should be made to realize there is ONE CHURCH THAT TRULY BELIEVES, PRACTICES, AND PREACHES NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY!! No effort should be spared to MAKE THE GOSPEL MESSAGE, AND THE CHURCH ATTRACTIVE (Titus 2:10).

6. Since the gospel is UNIVERSAL IN SCOPE, all HUMANKIND ARE AMENABLE TO THE GOSPEL, "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). All people should have the opportunity to HEAR, and HEED the GOSPEL OF CHRIST, AT LEAST ONCE!! The Following texts EXTOLS and MAGNIFIES Christ and His gospel; THEY ALSO SERVE AS WARNINGS FOR THOSE WHO THINK THEY CAN PLAY FAST, AND LOOSE, WITH HIS WORD, AND SUFFER NO CONSEQUENCES: THAT THERE IS NO NEED FOR DISCIPLINE, CHASTENING, OR PUNISHMENT, OF ANY KIND, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!! My friends, YOU JUST MIGHT BE SURPRISED, TO FIND THAT THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM!!!

7. "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for OBEDIENCE TO THE FAITH AMONG ALL NATIONS, for His name. But is now made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT OF THE EVERLASTING GOD, MADE KNOWN TO ALL NATIONS FOR THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the LORD JESUS SHALL BE REVEALED FROM HEAVEN WITH HIS MIGHTY ANGELS, IN FLAMING FIRE, TAKING VENGEANCE ON THEM THAT KNOW NOT GOD, AND THAT OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: WHO SHALL BE PUNISHED WITH EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AND FROM THE GLORY OF HIS POWER" (Romans 1:5; 16:26; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

8. "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. He that sayeth he ABIDETH IN HIM OUGHT HIMSELF ALSO TO WALK, EVEN AS HE WALKED. And this is THE COMMANDMENT, THAT WE SHOULD BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AS HE GAVE US COMMANDMENT. And he that keepeth HIS COMMANDMENTS DWELLETH IN HIM, AND HE IN HIM. And hereby we DO KNOW THAT HE ABIDETH IN US, by the SPIRIT which HE HATH GIVEN US" (1 John 2:3-6; 3:23,24).

9. WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST IS BORN OF GOD: AND EVERYONE THAT LOVETH HIM THAT BEGAT LOVETH HIM ALSO THAT IS BEGOTTEN OF HIM. BY THIS WE KNOW THAT WE LOVE THE CHILDREN OF GOD, WHEN WE LOVE GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. FOR THIS IS THE LOVE OF GOD, THAT WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: AND HIS COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT GRIEVOUS. WHOSOEVER TRANGRESSETH AND ABIDETH NOT IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, HATH NOT GOD. HE THAT ABIDETH IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, HE HATH BOTH THE FATHER AND THE SON. IF THERE COME ANY UNTO YOU AND BRING NOT THIS DOCTRINE, RECEIVE HIM NOT INTO YOUR HOUSE, NEITHER BID HIM GOD'S SPEED: FOR HE THAT BIDDETH HIM GOD SPEED IS PARTAKER OF HIS EVIL DEEDS. BLESSED ARE THEY THAT DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, THAT THEY MAY HAVE RIGHT TO THE TREE OF LIFE, AND MAY ENTER IN THROUGH THE GATES INTO THE CITY" (1 John 5:1-3; 2 John 9-11; Revelation 22:14).

V. CONCLUSION: WHAT TO DO TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN:
1. You MUST HEAR the pure unadulterated gospel of Christ. (Romans 10:14).
2. You MUST BELIEVE the gospel of Christ. (Hebrews 11:6).
3. You MUST REPENT of past sins. (Acts 17:30).
4. You MUST CONFESS CHRIST before men. (Matthew 10:32,33).
5. You MUST BE IMMERSED or BAPTIZED. (Colossians 2:12).
6. You MUST BE FAITHFUL until death. (Revelation 2:10).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

1. King James Version of Bible
2. American College Dictionary
3. The American Heritage Dictionary
4. Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary
5. Theological Dictionary of The New Testamment
6. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Words

ENDNOTES:

1 The Pulpit Commentary, (1 Samuel 31:1-6), Homilies by Various Authors, pg. 572, .III. INSTRUCTION
2 Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary, pg. 498, PURE, Pureness, Purity, Greek, 2. KATHAROS

(E-Mail Address: mlharless@kvinet.com). Dear Reader: In the event you find mistakes or errors in scripture references, etc., please inform me of same, at your earliest convenience. Thank You! (MLH).

Marlin L. Harless
Email: mlharless@kvinet.com




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