To keep. What does it mean?
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
“Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” (John 14:21)
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words. The word that you hear is not My own, but it is from the Father who sent Me.” (John 14:23-24)
And John the Apostle reminded us of this,
“And this is His commandment: that we should believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and we should love one another just as He commanded us. Whoever keeps His commandments remains in God, and God in him. And by this we know that He remains in us: by the Spirit He has given us.” (1 John 3:23-24)
The one word often misunderstood in all of these passages is “keep”.
Initially the word “keep” was to mean “safeguard”, “treasure” as one trusts their valuables to a financial institution, as one’s spirit is to “keep” one’s body for without the spirit, the body is dead.
Yet, overtime, the imagery that had come up after many had tried to “keep” the Mosaic 10 commandments is one of “struggle”. In the end, people lose sight of the true meaning of the word.
As soon as you would tell someone to keep something, they automatically suggest to themselves that they’re in for a struggle. Yet, if you were look through each of the Ten Commandments, you could immediately see the good of each commandment. Yet, the commandments alone were not a guarantee that they would be treasured. Sin has taught people to seek revenge. Sin has taught people to do things for other purposes that are rather unnatural, absent from the original purpose of such things.
Forgetting the Ten Commandments as the former things and looking to Christ’s commandments as the new thing is now the calling of God’s people, a calling rendered through Isaiah in these words,
“Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to things of old. Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The animals of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people. The people I formed for Myself will declare My praise.” (Isaiah 43:18-21)
Christ’s commandments, however, are not without help. The Holy Spirit teaches us daily the deep meaning of such commandments so that we are made able to keep, to treasure, to rejoice in, to highly value Christ’s commandments which are to help us, to comfort us while we’re passing this earth.
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26)
When Christ said to keep, to treasure his commandments, he followed through with helping us do just that by giving us the Holy Spirit to renew our hearts and rejoice in His commandments. Therefore, we are to praise Christ’s name above Moses. The name of Jesus. Amen.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set yourself free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man, as an offering for sin. He thus condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous standard of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)
Just as John the Baptist has said that He who came after him surpassed him for He was before him, so has Moses concerning Jesus:
“For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to Him in everything He tells you.” (Acts 3:22)
And John the Apostle followed with saying by the Spirit,
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” (John 1:17-18)
Praised above all other names be the name of Jesus. Amen.