The Authority Of Christ
By W. C. Moore
This is a day of extreme lawlessness – and the judgments of God are coming upon this ungodly generation except there be a deep repentance.
Within the church, too, there is a great amount of lawlessness – due in part to a misunderstanding as to God’s plan for His people during the church age. God the Father has ordained that His Son, Jesus Christ, be the Head of the church, and that the church be subject unto Christ (Eph. 5:23-24).
Some say that Jesus, in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) spoke to the Jews under the Law and that His teachings do not apply to us now. But Jesus’ own words, and other Scriptures, show that that statement is wrong. "If a man love Me, he will keep My words" (John 14:23).
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man" (Matt. 7:24). "If ye love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love" (John 15:10). "He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings" (John 14:24).
Jesus commanded His disciples to "Go...teach all nations...teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19-20), and this was to last "even unto the end of the world." "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). "Jesus Christ...is the propitiation for our sins...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" (1 John 2:1-4).
We cannot get away from the words of Jesus. If we reject His words now, we will surely meet them at the judgment: "He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).
The Lord tells us to follow Him. "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me" (John 12:26). Christ is the Chief Corner Stone (Eph. 2:20). He is the foundation (1 Cor. 3:11).
Not Slavish Fear
Our submission to God, and our submission one to another as children of God, is not a slavish fear. Real love to God makes us glad to do His will. We love God acceptably only when we love Him above all else. Salvation and the true Christian life is a gigantic love affair. Slavish fear, the galling yoke, the unwelcome bondage – all these are as far from true Christianity as the east is from the west.
Slavish fear is one thing which God delivers us from when we are truly saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. "We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). We obey God because we love Him, and because we know that He loves us, that He knows all things, and that His plan is always best. Therefore we obey Him, gladly, willingly, wholeheartedly. We enjoy doing things to please those we really love.
Jesus told His disciples to teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever He had commanded (Matt. 28:16-20).
The Holy Spirit
Of course, the work of the Holy Spirit is very pronounced and prominent during this dispensation. "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" (1 Cor. 12:13). We are told to "be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18) and to "walk in the Spirit" (Gal. 5:16). It is important to note that obedience is essential to a Spirit-filled life. The Holy Ghost is given to them that obey God (Acts 5:32). Jesus says, "If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter...Even the Spirit of truth" (John 14:15-17).
"He, the Spirit of truth...will guide you into all truth...He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 16:13-14). "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).
And, under the New Covenant, God, by His Spirit and by His Word, puts His laws into our minds and writes them in our hearts (Heb. 8:1-13; 9:8-9) even the commandments of Jesus, and the further teachings of the New Testament (New Covenant), and Jesus, our Lord, says, "If a man love Me, he will keep My words."
It means much to follow Jesus. God must be absolutely first in our lives or we are not real Christians. "No man can serve two masters" (Matt. 6:24).
In the four Gospels, Jesus laid down the great foundational principles and laws to govern the children of God during the entire church age – "even unto the end of the world," as we see from His great commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20. It is our wonderful privilege and joy – as well as our duty, to do as He said, "Follow Me." "If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed" (John 8:31).
We see the practical results which followed the keeping of the commandments of Jesus in the great revivals as recorded in the Book of Acts. Additional revelations are given in the epistles, but the foundational principles are given by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus gives further warnings, reproofs, instructions, commendations, and encouragements to His church.
Two Great Principles
God has given us two great principles to show us how to apply the teachings of His Word. Obedience to the letter of the Word, to be acceptable with God, must have as the underlying motives first, supreme love to God, and second, love to men. Read Matthew 22:36-39 and Mark 12:28-31.
Oh, let us talk things over with God. Let us pour out our hearts before Him (Psa. 62:8). Ask God for Jesus’ sake to help you to understand the teachings of Jesus and to help you to live them out in your life all the time! If we truly love God we will obey Him (John 14:23). His commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3). His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30). His grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor. 12:9).
God Himself Will Help You
"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him" (2 Chr. 16:9). "Be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" (1 Pet. 5:5).
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32).
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority" (Titus 2:11-15).