I stand amazed at how men respond when confronted about doing right. Some think they have the right to ignore what the Lord said and just rely on His grace to take care of them. Others seek to minimize obedience by saying that devotion to keeping His commandments is legalism and seeking salvation by works. In spite of such efforts to turn attention away from the Biblical emphasis on obeying God, the truth is that God ties our spiritual blessings and our hope of heaven to keeping the commandments.
To enter into life—keep the commandments. Jesus told the young man who asked about salvation, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:14). The Lord tied salvation to obedience. Who has the right to untie it?
To love Jesus—keep the commandments. Hear the Master, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Love is shown by obedience. Now who said that keeping His commandments is seeking salvation by legalistic works?
To abide in Jesus’ love—keep the commandments. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10). What if I ignore His commandments?
To know the Lord that we know the Lord—keep His commandments. People sometimes ask, “Do you know the Lord as your personal Savior?” The Bible says, “By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3). When we think of the salvation of our souls, the most important question of life, we must not look to an inward feeling. The test is whether we are doing what He says! John says that every person who simply says that he knows the Lord and does not obey Him is a liar (1 John 2:4)!
To have prayers answered—keep the commandments. John described the blessing of answered prayers and its relation to obedience. “Whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments” (1 John 3:22). The word because, used in this verse, joins answering of prayers to listening to the Lord. Before He listens to us, we must listen to Him!
To love God—keep His commandments. “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3). Think of how many, when asked, will say that they love the Lord. It is not what they say, it is what they do.
May we never be guilty of minimizing obedience. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him (Heb. 5:9). It is the key that opens the door to our salvation.