Here are three reasons the New Testament still gives us commands [in light of the liberty given by grace]:
- The commandments enlighten our darkened hearts.
- Obedience to the commandments limits the damage of our sin.
- Disciplining ourselves to practice certain behaviors helps us develop a love for them.
– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 193-194
To be sure, our lives and the holiness, obedience, or fruitfulness we enjoyed are empowered and enabled by the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. But God often chooses to work through people who desire to do his will, obey his commands, lean upon his grace, and are filled with the Spirit. Paul himself demonstrated this, saying, “by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which is with me.” (I Corinthians 15:10)
– Driscoll, Mark; Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in Christ; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2013; Page 56
As you read these verses (Deuteronomy 6:1-8), one thing that becomes clear is that the primary message is obedience to God. Notice how words such as commands, decrees, and laws are prominent (verses 1, 2, 6). Then note how obedience to these commands, decrees and laws is emphasized.
– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 113
I am a recipient of Christ’s victory over the guilt and tyranny of sin, Tell me who I am in Christ (the indicative), and now suddenly, in view of “the mercies of God”, the commands (imperatives) become my “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). Why should I want to be conformed any longer to this world’s pattern of thinking when I have been written into God’s script as a co-heir with Christ of the kingdom of heaven (Romans 12:2-21)?
– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 148
Not only does Scripture command Christians and churches to love, but it also tells us who we are to love.
- We are to love God (Matthew 6:24; 22:39)
- We are to love our family (Ephesians 5:25; 6:1-4; Titus 2:4)
- We are to conduct ourselves in such an honoring and respectful way that our church leaders find it a joy to pastor us, which is a practical way of loving them (I Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:17)
- We are to love fellow Christians (I John 3:14)
- We are to love our neighbor even if our neighbor is a despicable person (Matthew 22:39; Luke 10:30-37; Romans 13:9-10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8)
- We are to love strangers (Hebrews 13:2)
- We are to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45; Luke 6:32)
– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 195