"If you love Me," Jesus said. "If you love Me, then love my commandments, love My law." He clearly juxtaposed those words with the promise of living a Spirit-filled life; in other words, a New Testament life.
The apostle John wrote about loving the Lord and loving the law of God in his first epistle. "By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word truly has the love of God perfected in him. By this we know we are in Him. Whoever says he remains in Him ought to walk as He walked. Brothers, I am writing no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning" (1 John 2:3-7).
The accusation is often made, "That is just legalism." Most often the accuser does not understand the distinct difference between legalism and loving the law of God. Legalism is an individual or religious group who are seeking to be righteous by keeping a list of rules or by keeping the Ten Commandments.
The disciple of Jesus Christ, who loves the law of God, is one who has been born again by faith through grace. He has been made the righteousness of God through that work of grace by faith in the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ and the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
Their great love for Jesus Christ stirs in their heart a deep love for His Word and a passion to govern their life and discipline their behavior in obedience to His law.
This is not done in an effort to make themselves righteous but to avoid tarnishing the righteousness Jesus Christ has declared them to be through His divine fiat.
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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