1 John 5:2
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.”
The perception of commandments is often a negative one. For some reason, many think talking about the commandments of God are not helpful. However, the Scriptures disagree with this perception. God says in 1 John 5:3, “…and his commandments are not grievous.” God knows that there is value in His commandments. The fact is this; your perception of God’s commandments reveals the condition of your heart. If God’s commandments are grievous, it is because your heart is not right with the LORD. However, if you see value in the commandments of God, it is because you have a deep desire to please the LORD. In this chapter, God shows the value of His commandments.
First, God’s commandments define to Whom you belong. Every home has different rules by which they live. When I was growing up, we had rules we lived by that were different from others. Those rules defined that I belonged to the Domelle family. Likewise, God’s commandments reveal that you are a child of God. The reason you are to keep God’s commandments is so that the world can see that you belong to Him. The only reason you would not want to keep God’s commandment is because you don’t want the world to know that you are a child of God. God’s commandments make a definite separation between the world and a child of God.
Second, God’s commandments are loving. Verse 3 shows us that keeping God’s commandments is “the love of God.” Many want to talk about God’s love, but His love is found in keeping His commandments. The reason commandments are loving is because they keep you from the things that would hurt you. The only reason some think God’s commandments are restrictive is because they don’t understand that He gave us His commandments to keep us from the worldly influences that cause grief. Even an electrician has to keep the commandments of electricity, and those commandments keep him from being hurt. Likewise, God’s commandments are loving because they keep you from the harm of sin.
Third, God’s commandments are overcoming. How does the believer overcome temptation and the world? They overcome them by keeping God’s commandments. You will never overcome the temptations you regularly face without keeping God’s commandments.
Fourth, God’s commandments bring victory. When you start overcoming sin, you will realize the victory you have so greatly desired. You will never live the victorious Christian life without obeying God’s commandments. It is His commandments which help you overcome temptation, and overcoming temptation is what allows you to see victory.
Fifth, God’s commandments challenge your faith. Verse 4 says, “…and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” The only life which pleases the LORD is the life of faith. Disobedience to God’s commandments is what keeps your faith from being challenged. If you want your faith to grow, you must acquire an obedient heart so that when God challenges you to step out by faith, your natural reaction is to obey.
Let me encourage you to stop looking at commandments negatively. When you see the benefits of God’s commandments, you’ll realize their value and will embrace them all the way to victory.