Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth in Love

God's Commandments

   A. In our world we have two types of law.
      1. There are civil laws which, supposedly, are established for
         the good of man.
         a. For example, we have a law that one must stop at a stop
            sign. It is for our good that we stop at a stop sign;
            otherwise, we might have a wreck and injure ourselves
            and others.
         b. Civil laws may vary from place to place and change
            from time to time. For example, it is still on the books 
            in some towns that each place of business must have a
            hitching post.
      2. There is divine law which is a higher order of law.
         a. God's laws are absolute and never change.
         b. For example, it is always wrong to lie, steal, and
            (1) Men might think there are some situations where it
                is not wrong to lie, steal, or murder, but they are
   B. The highest test of our respect for God is obeying His laws.
      1. We must obey God's laws simply because they come from
         God. (See Chart #1 below)
         a. We must obey even if we can't see any reason for the
         b. We must obey even if we can't see any good in the
         c. We must obey even if we see wrong in the command.

   A. Consider the commands in the Passover. Ex. 12:7,13
      1. By human intelligence there is no connection between blood
         on the door post and being saved from death.
      2. The Jews were many times unbelieving, but the Scriptures do
         not mention any who disobeyed the Passover command.
      3. Life was preserved by the obedient.
   B. Consider the command regarding the brazen serpent. Num. 21:5-9
      1. How could looking at a serpent made of brass heal anyone of
         snake bite?
      2. Only those who obeyed God were healed.
   C. Consider the commands given to the Israelites in order to take 
      the city of Jericho. Joshua 6:3-6
      1. They were to circle the city one time for six days and seven
         times on the seventh day.
      2. After the seventh time on the seventh day, the priests were 
         to make a long blast on the ram's horns, and the people were
         to shout with a great shout.
      3. By human reasoning, it made no sense to do these things in
         order to take the city.
      4. When they obeyed, the walls fell and they took the city.
         Joshua 6:20

   A. Gnemon was commanded to dip seven times in the river Jordan. 2
      Kings 5:8-14
      1. The rivers to the north, near his homeland, were much better
         to dip in than the muddy waters of the Jordan.
      2. Why couldn't he dip in them on his way home instead of
         going several miles east to dip in the Jordan.
      3. He had some wise servants who persuaded him to do what
         was commanded.
      4. Likewise, people today think if they can't find good in
         what's commanded, it is not necessary to do it.
   B. Adam and Eve were commanded to not eat of the tree. Gen.
      2:16-17; 3:6
      1. With the help of the serpent, Eve could see nothing good in
         the command to not eat of the tree; in fact, she saw the
         opposite. Gen. 3:6
      2. Since the fruit of the tree did not appear to be harmful in 
         any way, but rather good, they ate of it.
   C. No one was to look into the ark of the covenant. 1 Sam. 6:19
      1. I'm sure that those 50,007 men did not see anything harmful
         in looking into the ark.
      2. Men think that if they do not see any harm in disobeying, it
         is all right to do it.
      3. Moreover, if they can see good (good in their own minds) in
         disobeying, they will do it. A good example is abortion.
         a. In their own minds, to abort an unwanted pregnancy is
         b. Those who support abortion may tell themselves that it
            is no great wrong to dispose of what is, after all, only 
            a tiny clump of cells. However, please consider that all 
            of us human beings are clumps of cells, and although the
            clump they destroy may be tiny, it is no tinier than any
            of us once were. In morality, size doesn't matter. At any
            state of pregnancy, and by whatever method, abortion is
            the intentional taking of a human life.
         c. A professor at the UCA Medical School asked his
            students this question: "Here is the family history: The
            father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already
            have had four children. The first is blind. The second   
            has died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. The      
            mother is pregnant. The parents are willing to have an   
            abortion if you decide they should. What do you think?"  
            Most of the students decided on abortion.                
            "Congratulations," said the professor. "You have just    
            murdered Beethoven!" (From Terence Patterson) 
            (1) No one should put himself in the place of God and
                decide that a certain child should or should not     
         d. The Greek word "briefest" is used in Luke 1:41 to refer
            to the unborn child, and is the same word translated
            "babies" in Luke 18:15 where it states, "they were
            bringing even the babies to him."
            (1) Thus, unborn children and babies were considered
                the same in the New Testament. 

   A. First of all, we ask, "Would God ever give a command wherein
      there is something wrong within it?"
      1. Most would say, "Of course not!"
   B. Consider what was required of Isaiah. Isa. 20:1-4
      1. Thus, Isaiah was required to walk naked and barefoot for
         three years.
      2. Isaiah's work was mainly among royalty (king Hezekiah); he
         associated with the elite and well-to-do of his time.
      3. Think of what this command would have been to a well-to-
         do, sophisticated, righteous man.
      4. He could have easily said, "This is wrong and too
         embarrassing for me to do."
   C. Abraham was commanded to offer Isaac on the altar. Gen. 22:2
      1. Abraham could have easily argued, "This is murder, human
         sacrifice is wrong, and I'll not do it."
      2. Abraham is called "the father of the faithful" because he
         obeyed without question.

   A. We must obey even if we can't see any reason for the law.
      1. Men today say, "I can't see how water can take away sin."
      2. They reason, "If water will wash away sin, why can't
         sprinkling or pouring water be just as good as immersion."
      3. Shall we say to God, "This is a ridiculous command and I'm
         not going to obey it."
   B. We must obey even if we can't see any good in the command.
      1. Men say that there is no power in the water to remove sin.
      2. This is true, the power is in the Lord; however, one must go
         to the water to receive the blessing.
      3. There was no power in the water of the Jordan river to heal
         Gnemon's leprosy, but he had to go to the water to be
      4. There was no power in the brazen serpent to heal one of
         snake bite, but he had to look at the serpent to be healed.
      5. It is unbelief that cries out, "It won't do an good!"
   C. We must obey even if we see wrong in the thing commanded.
      1. For example, one might think that it would be wrong to be
         baptized if it could possibly do harm to the body.
         a. There have been situations where people who are
            nearing death and in the hospital wanted to be baptized.
         b. Often denominational relatives would bitterly oppose
            such baptisms on grounds that it will do harm to that
         c. No, we must obey God even when it seems wrong in
            our own eyes.

   A. One should obey God, regardless.
      1. It is not our place to question God's commands.
      2. It is not our place to try to find good or harm in God's
      3. We should obey even when we feel that the thing is wrong in
         and of itself.
   B. John 15:14; Heb. 5:9; 1 Cor. 7:19; Eccl. 12:13-14
   C. Have you obeyed in baptism?
      1. Obey from the heart and you will be made free from all sin.
         Rom. 6:17-18

God's Commandments

We must obey even if we can't see any reason for the command.

We must obey even if we can't see any good in the command.

We must obey even if we see wrong in the command.