Mike


Dedicated to the Passionate Pursuit of the Glory of God.



Puritan Catechism Question of the Week
Q 16. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.

Name: Mike
Location: California, United States
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Greatest Commandment

Jesus was once asked, What is the Greatest commandment? We probably all know the answer, but I wonder how well we know what Jesus was quoting. It is the greatest command, but it does not come from the famous 10 in Exodus. No, it actually comes from the book that Jesus quoted most often, and yet is rarely read by most Evangelicals. That book is Duteronomy - that is Second Law (Dutero = second and nomos = law).

Jesus quotes one verse as the answer, but this verse comes in a context. Let us pause for just a moment and look a little beyond what is normally quoted. No wonder Jesus says this is the greatest command! Look at what the Jews were supposed to do with this truth.

The verse comes in a portion of Scripture known by Jews as the Shema (meaning Hear). Here is the passage:

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


What does this mean for us? Ought we to walk around with things tied to our head with passages of Scripture in them? Probably not. However, I think I can confidently state that this is probably a pretty important truth that we are supposed to keep with us continually and refer to frequently. As we go throughout our day, Is this truth constantly on our mind? If so - Fantastic. If, however, it is not, then let us repent and change this very day.

Let us come to life with this truth tied closely to our heart. Are our thoughts, actions, words, etc., reflecting a reality that we are loving our God with every fiber of our being? To answer honestly is to emphatically answer in the negative. What then? We cannot absolve ourselves for we are not able. We must turn to the command-giver who not only gave us this greatest command, but also died for us when we fail, and fail again, and again. We must confess our sin and know that he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We must love this Grace and praise God unceasingly for it.

However, are we then to continue to sin that this grace may increase? May it never be! How can we who have died to sin continue to live in it? For if we have died with Christ we now have been raised with him. So then, consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ. What then? We must present our bodies as slaves of righteousness, resulting in sanctification and ultimately eternal life.

We have fallen terribly short, and we have confessed Christ as Savior for our failings; let us now follow Christ as Lord and present our bodies as instruments as righteousness. Make a change, this very day to begin to see some realm of your life better reflect this greatest commandment by Jesus. What does this mean for you in particular? I do not know. What I do know is that in Christ we are now able to follow Him and we must do so.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

In Christ alone,
mike

8 Comments:

Blogger TheDen said...

Mike,

Great post.

Dennis

3:14 AM  
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

The first commandment is of the one Lord and God Jesus Christ. Now that his fullness has been revealed He has put his law in our hearts and in our minds and keeps them there by His Spirit in us.

This is why it is such a disgrace and apostocy when moses is read to the christians. (as per 2 Cor 3:15)

"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the lord for all shall know me from the least to the greatest"

For all that know Jesus are taught directly by him for ALL scripture is spiritually discerned.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Mike Garner said...

Hi Puritan,

I am not exactly sure what you are getting at. Would you mind clarifying the point you are trying to hit home?

Also, 2Cor 3:15 does not reference Christians. It references the "Sons of Israel" speaking of those who were descendents of Physical Israel but have hardened their hearts and this have missed the truth that Moses was clearly proclaiming.

That is why it is said "whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away" for at this time they can now see clearly.

In Christ alone,
mike

12:54 PM  
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Yes it doesn't reference Christians for they have the law writen in their heart and on their minds and are under grace. The verse says.

"But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart."

This is true not only for the old physical israel but also for all people under law and not grace. For it says "even to this day."

See when a christian reads Moses they magnify what Philip stated when he fetched Nathanael.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

In other words a church bringing their congregation or the Christians under the condemnation of moses and not built on grace would have departed from the truth. (apostasy)

4:04 PM  
Blogger Mike Garner said...

In other words a church bringing their congregation or the Christians under the condemnation of moses and not built on grace would have departed from the truth. (apostasy)

There we go. I had a feeling that this was underneath it somewhere. I'm not sure where I (or anyone else) stated or tried to bring a person under the condemnation of Moses.

As stated, we ought to look at this command in Deuteronomy and see that we fall woefully short. At this point we turn to Christ. Now the question is what do we do from this point forward? Do we continue sinning?
May it never be.


So then, we are set free from the bonds and chains of the law and are to be slaves of righteousness. Said otherwise, we are set free from the law of Moses and now follow the Law of Christ.

What then, according to Jesus himself, is the Law of Christ? Seems clearly to me:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

The second is just like it. We may get there on a subsequent post.



So, for further clarification I really want to make sure I understand what you are saying. Are you suggesting that Christians are not supposed to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might"?

Thanks again,
mike

4:22 PM  
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

What I was pointing out is that the full truth of Deuteronomy is revealed when it is written in their heart and mind. This is what you were bringing out in your post of which I commented.

"Ought we to walk around with things tied to our head with passages of Scripture in them?"

and also what the verse was saying when it was talking of things to come in Christ.

"You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead."

I was saying that because this verse is fulfilled in the power of the Holy Spirit yes we do Love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our might for it is only realised in the power of the Spirit.

As I have been saying from the start not only should we do this but now we CAN do this for without it being written in our hearts and mind it was impossible to obtain by works.

Also as further proof that the Corinthians verse is directed to all those outside of Christ who have read to them the law of moses and not just the sons of Israel Romans 11:7-8 says "but the election has obtained it, and the rest were blinded...eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear unto this day." See how it goes hand in hand.

For it is only Christ that takes away this veil which really is the strength of the first commandment. For the first commandment is wrought within Christ.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Mike Garner said...

Now I understand.

I think we (probably just me!) were having communication issues!

You do correctly state that the only way we are able to carry out this command is being In Christ. Apart from Him neither Jews nor anyone else can keep this command.


In Christ alone,
mike

10:17 PM  

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