Jesus’ Commandments for Christians, are they still valid today?
A. The Father’s commandments to Jesus
- The Father gave Jesus commandments
- The Father’s commands are everlasting life
- Jesus kept His Father’s commandments
- The testimony of the Father and the Son to the world
B. The commandments of Jesus to those who belong to Him
- Love one another
- Love one another as I have loved you
- The favor of God, keeping His commandments
C. Scripture is divine truth for saints of every age
- Authority of all Scripture
- Jesus commanded the apostles to write and teach Scripture
- The apostles received and spoke the very word of God
- The Apostle Peter acknowledges that what the Apostle Paul wrote was Scripture
- The Apostle Paul spoke the commandments of Jesus
- Apostles given divine power
- Believers are to be mindful to keep the commandments of the apostles
D. What the Lord Jesus commanded through the apostles
- Do we know God
- God’s commandment to believers
- What is love
- Abiding in Him
- Receiving God’s commandments
E. Commandments of the Lord, 1 Corinthians chapters 1 through 14
- Jesus’ commandments set forth
- chapters 1-4, division in the church
- chapter 5, immorality in the church discovered
- chapter 6, disputes among the brethren; sexual practices forbidden
- chapter 7, understanding Christian marriage
- chapter 8, liberty of believers in eating foods
- chapter 9, the Apostle Paul makes clear hisauthority as an apostle
- chapter 10, idolatry at the Lord’s table brings judgment
- chapter 11, God’s government given to believers; form of worship God desires
- chapter 12, spiritual gifts shown
- chapter 13, exercise of God’s love shown
- chapter 14, freedom, priesthood, and order of worship
The Law of Moses consisted of 613 commandments, of which the well known 10 commandments are a part. They were given by God to Israel; and were never given to the Gentiles, or the church. The death and resurrection of Jesus was the end of the law for righteousness (Law of Moses) (Romans 10:4). Anyone attempting to keep even one of the commandments to obtain righteousness is living under a curse (Galatians 3:10).
This booklet is not instructing any reader to keep any part of the Law of Moses. Scripture teaches that the Law of Moses is holy, just and good (Romans 7:12). However, various parts of the Law(s) of Moses were fleshly commandments (Hebrews 7:16) which were given to a fleshly people, a people of no faith, Israel, (Deuteronomy 32:20; Romans 7:14). The law was given to Israel to show their transgressions against God’s word which He had given to Moses (Galatians 3:19). Scripture teaches that anyone who tries to keep even one commandment of the Law of Moses to obtain salvation is a debtor to keep the whole law (Galatians 5:3), and such a person is fallen from grace (Galatians 5: 4). Finally, the apostles in Jerusalem, upon hearing that the Laws of Moses were being imposed upon Christians, made a clear declaration; they declared that the Law of Moses was a yoke (Acts 15:10), and the apostles put no such yoke on the Church (Acts 15:6-11, 24, 28).
The commandments of Jesus to the Church during this current Church Age are not the Law of Moses, nor are they to be received as such. They are direct instructions to every believer, and they give direction of truth for the Christian to follow. They are the mind and counsel of God. The words of Jesus bring forth only life (John 6:63), whereas the Law of Moses brought forth only death and condemnation (2 Corinthians 3:7, 9). Scripture instructs that any person attempting to keep the Law of Moses, or any part thereof, to find favor with God will not find life, but death (Romans 7:10). However, for all people to find eternal life, God has sent His Son into the world as the way of life, as He is God’s only life-giving Spirit in this world (John 6:63, 68; 1 Corinthians 15:45).
A. The Father’s Commandments to Jesus
1. The Father gave Jesus commandments
Jesus said, “For I have not spoken on My own authority, but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak” (John 12:49-50).
God created the worlds by His spoken word (Hebrews 11:3).
In the creation, everything was life; death did not exist. However, sin came into the creation through the woman, then Adam. Death then ruled over the creation until God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world, and Jesus was and is a life-giving Spirit (I Corinthians 15:45). Death was and is dispelled by His Word. For, as in the creation of the world, only life came forth from the Son of God (John 1:3-4).
The purpose of Jesus Christ coming into this world of darkness and death, was to bring life. The Father has only life in Himself, so He has sent the Son into the world with life in Himself (John 5:26). And those who would receive the word and commandments of the Son would receive life in themselves, and would never die. Jesus stated: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, if anyone shall keep My word, he shall never see death” (John 8:51 John Nelson Darby = JND).
In the creation of the world, God spoke, and life and light came forth. God sent His Son, logos (Word), into the world to bring light and life, He is the only Light of Life in the world. Jesus said to the Apostle Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
2. The Father’s commands are everlasting life
“For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak” (John 12:49-50).
God did not create man to experience death. He created Adam, his wife Eve, and all their offspring to live forever on the earth. Since God is only light and life, Adam and all creation were the reflection of the light and life of God. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, and was the perfect man in the perfect world (Genesis 1:27).
Scripture instructs us that all this came into being by the word (command) of God. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).
The creation received the light and life of God by His command (word), and it reflected the glory of God.
To maintain this eternal light and life, God gave Adam only one commandment, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt certainly die” (Genesis 2:17 JND). Adam failed to keep God’s command and because of it, death entered the world and came upon all men (Romans 5:12). God’s whole creation, including the heavens and the earth, were corrupted and ruined.
God sent His Son, the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45), to man on the earth to recover him from eternal death and to give eternal light and life. Any person who would receive the Word of God, Jesus Christ, would become a son of God and receive eternal life (John 1:11.13). Jesus Christ spoke only what God told Him. His words are commands to receive eternal life (John 6:63).
God breathed into the first Adam the breath of life by His command (Genesis 2:7); God, through Jesus Christ, breathes eternal life, by His Spirit, into all that receive His Word (John 3:8; 20:22). Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die…” (John 11:25-26). By the Word of God, thru Jesus Christ, death is replaced with eternal life; all of this by the command of the eternal God who lives forever and ever.
3. Jesus kept His Father’s 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).
In Scripture, it is shown that Jesus kept every commandment of His Father (John 8:29). It is evident that a believer living after the flesh, can live apart from the love of God. It is not that God does not love every one of those who belong to Him, but in order to live and walk continuously in His love, keeping His word (commandments) is imperative. For example, a believer is positionally in the Spirit (He died with Christ and was raised with Him, Romans 6:1-6), but he can still walk after the flesh (*Adam’s nature). However, in so doing, he cannot live in the love of God. The words (commands) of Jesus are spirit and they are life. Jesus said “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63 JND). Jesus was the example to every believer of what it means to keep the Father’s commandments, thereby abiding in the love of the Father (1 Peter 2:21-23).
* Adamic nature = the sinful nature of Adam within every human being.
The Christian’s walk should be a life lived as Jesus lived, a life after the Spirit, which are the words and commandments of God. “God is Spirit” (John 4:24), and His commandments are spirit and life. Those who keep them, live and walk in His love. Jesus said “If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23). The words that Jesus spoke are what the Holy Spirit uses within every believer who receives them, to mould the image of Christ in the believer. Jesus also spoke to those who do not love Him. “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 8:28; 14:10, 24).
The fleshly nature in man does not love God and has no intention of living and abiding in the love of God (His commandments), for his Adamic nature cannot. For any believer to walk in the love of God, he must be functioning in the works of God (Ephesians 2:10) and walking in the truths of Christ. Jesus stated what the work of God is when asked by the people. He said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him (Jesus) whom He (God) sent” (John 6:29).
To believe in Jesus whom the Father sent, means to believe every word Jesus spoke (Matthew 4:4), which are God’s words (John 12:49-50). A Christian has God’s Spirit living in him and is positioned by God into “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:2). He or she has Christ living inside and is able to live by every commandment of God.
The Holy Spirit spoke these words through the Apostle Paul for the Christian, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
4. The testimony of the Father and the Son to the world
“But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment so I do …” (John 14:31).
Jesus was the only begotten true Son of God. He kept His Father’s commandments without failure. His obedience to His Father’s commands revealed to the world the true character and nature of God. No other person had done this before. Jesus gave clear understanding as to what His obedience to the Father’s commands revealed about the Son and the determinate counsel of the Father. “He who sees Me, sees Him who sent Me” (John 12:45).
The commandments of God that Jesus kept were a direct testimony of God’s judgment against a world that rejected and crucified the Son. His life of Oneness with the Father called attention to all of man’s sins and unrighteousness before a righteous God (John 16:7-9). The complete righteousness of God, was in Jesus, because He obeyed every commandment of His Father. He was in human form, the fullness of God, “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell” (Colossians 1:19).
The righteousness of Jesus, brought before the world, left them without excuse for their sin (Romans 1:19-20). The life of Jesus was without sin; in His judgment before Pilate He was found innocent of any wrong doing. He had committed no sin against God and had done no wrong against man. Therefore, when He was killed on the cross and put into the grave, death could not hold Him; He had no sin on or in Him (death is the penalty of sin Romans 5:12). He arose from among the dead the third day as prophesied in Scripture (Psalms 16:9-10; Matthew 20:17-19; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
He had finished all that the Father gave Him to do (John 19:30). He then went back to His Father in heaven. The world was now under the judgment of God, having killed the Son of God. Satan’s judgment became complete and final.
“…I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:10-11).
In the next section we look at the commands of God specifically written to the Christian.
B. The commandments of Jesus to those who belong to Him
1. Love one another
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
Jesus had walked with and instructed His disciples for three years. He told them He was about to go to Jerusalem to suffer, be mocked, insulted and spit upon. He would be scourged and killed and on the third day He would rise from among the dead (Luke 18:31-33). Violence was about to enter into the circle of His disciples; Jesus would be murdered and His disciples would be afraid for their lives (John 16:20, 32).
Jesus, as God’s Son, was seen in those who were and are His disciples; they love(d) one another because, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). “…he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.” “… because as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:16-17).
2. Love one another as I have loved you
“This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
How did Jesus love those that were His? He loved them with the love of God, agape love (divine love). This never changed, they were His; “…He loved them to the end” (John 13:1). He commanded His disciples to love one another as He had loved them. This they could not do in themselves, until the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4), when the Holy Spirit came upon them to indwell and live in them (Acts 2:33). Then the Holy Spirit could work His work of divine love in them toward one another and toward their enemies as well (Matthew 5:44). The evidence of this love was that they kept the commandments of Jesus, Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus said the one who does not love Him does not keep His word (commandments). “He who does not love Me does not keep My words and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:24).
3. The favor of God, keeping His commandments
“He who has my commandments and keeps them is he who loves Me; he will be loved by My Father” (John 14:21).
When a person becomes a Christian, he becomes a disciple (learner, follower) of Jesus. The Holy Spirit (Spirit of Jesus), lives in him or he would not be a Christian (Romans 8:9).
Jesus said “However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-14).
This Scripture shows that the Spirit of Jesus (truth) living (indwelling) in the Christian will lead him into all truth. Because he has the Spirit, he can walk in the Spirit (Romans 8:14); and if he does, he will be keeping the commandments of Jesus. As the believer learns to walk in the Spirit, hearing every word the Shepherd speaks, he will not be led of his own will (flesh, which includes religious flesh) and desires, but will be led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). The love of the Father for His children is experienced by the believer through walking in the words (commandments) of Jesus. Only through abiding and walking in His word can a person be freed from the sin within (John 8:29-32), and be able to be obedient in keeping all the commandments of Jesus.
Jesus said, “He who keeps my commandment is the one whom the Father loves” (John 14:21). A person whose heart is receiving and abiding in His word will have the desire to keep His commandments.
“For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments; and His commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).
This Scripture makes clear that the love of God is found and seen in the person that keeps His commandments (Word). That person is not looking for a way to get around them, or make them invalid by his own will, philosophy, church tradition, culture of the world, or doctrine; he desires to be one with the Father and the Son in all that the love of God has directed in His commandments. Because of all the religious confusion today, some may ask, are the commandments of Jesus for today? Jesus answered this question: “If anyone desire to practice His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God, or [that] I speak on My own authority” (John 7:17 JND). In plain words, practicing the commandments of Jesus will bring the light of God to the heart of faith. The desire to follow His commandments is found in these words of Jesus, “He that is of God hears God’s word…” (John 8:47). The person who is the Lord’s follows His commandments.
C. Scripture is divine truth for saints of every age
1. Authority of all Scripture
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him” (Proverbs 30:5).
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105).
“You shall not add unto the word which I command you; nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2).
“Sanctify them through truth, Thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
“But He answered and said, It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
“And from childhood you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
“For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
2. Jesus commanded the apostles to write and teach Scripture
And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
3. The apostles received and spoke the very word of God
“But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12).
“We also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you hear from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
4. The Apostle Peter acknowledges that what the Apostle Paul wrote is Scripture
“And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction as they do the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:15-16).
5. The Apostle Paul spoke the commandments of Jesus
“For you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:2).
6. The apostles were given divine power
“According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).
7. Believers are to be mindful to keep the commandments of the apostles
“..that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior” (2 Peter 3:2).
D. What the Lord Jesus commanded through the apostles
1. Do we know God
“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says,’I know God’ and does not keep His commandments is a liar” (1 John 2:3-4).
God is Love, Scripture determines God’s meaning of love. Parents who love their children, teach them the rules of life as they understand them. In obeying their parents, they learn to imitate their parents and to love them. The parents are the authority, the children are learners. Those who submit to their parents learn to be in one accord with their parents. In so doing, they receive the blessing of God and their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).
In 1 John 2:3-4, the reality of keeping the commandments of God is directly tied to knowing the Lord. The person who says He knows the Lord yet ignores His commandments is not telling the truth. That person has missed the knowledge of God by 18 inches. He mentally may know what God’s commands are, but his heart is 18″ from his brain, and God’s commands have not been received in his heart (Romans 10:10). He does not know the Lord in fellowship, walking in the Spirit, putting to death his adamic nature (through the cross) (Romans 6:3, 5-6; Philippians 3:10), and oneness with Jesus in newness of life (Romans 6:4). This oneness with the Father and the Son for the believer is what Jesus prayed for to the Father. This oneness with the Father and the Son is only found in those who are His, who keep His commandments.
“That they all may be one, as You Father are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21).
Oneness with the Father and the Son is brought into reality in the believer through keeping God’s commandments (word). “For I have given to them the words which you have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from you…” (John 17:8). The believer who lives in this oneness with the Father and the Son, gives a clear testimony of the kingdom of God to the world that they may believe that the Father sent the Son into the world (John 17:21).
2. God’s commandment to believers
“And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 John 4:21).
The love of God poured out in our hearts is not discriminatory.
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).
The Holy Spirit in the believer is love, and does not pick and choose whom to love and not love. Jesus said “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). If the Holy Spirit in the believer can love his enemies, he can certainly love his brethren (those in Christ). Therefore if a brother sins against you, the believer is to deal with him in love. Jesus gave instructions on how to recover an offended brother in Matthew 18:15-21. If this brother cannot be recovered, the offended brother is to love the brother and, if possible, do him good.
3. What is love
“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it” (2 John 6).
We are again instructed in the definition of what love is; it is the keeping of the commandments of God (Christ). It is obvious from this Scripture, and the many others in the New Testament, that keeping the commandments of the Lord is the true expression of love. A person cannot ignore, resist, rebel, or philosophize against the commandments of God, or refuse to practice the commandments and still be living and walking in the love of God. God is love, and this love is expressed to the believer in His commandments. The believer receives this love in the keeping of His commandments.
4. Abiding in Him
“Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 3:24).
The first sentence of this verse shows us that all who abide in Christ, keep His commandments . He abides in them and they live in nearness to God. God is with that person in reality and truth (God’s word) (John 8:31-32; 14:6). They abide in Jesus Christ. The commandments of God through His Son and the apostles of Jesus are their truth and life.
The person who does this (abides in His commandments) has God’s spirit living in him. The unbeliever has not the spirit of Jesus living in him (Romans 8:9) and has no desire to keep His commandments. He may be religious, even a church leader but he rails against the commandments of the Lord (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Jesus speaks to such people who do not receive His words: “He who is of God hears God’s words, therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God” (John 8:47).
This divides believers from unbelievers. The unbelievers will not receive God’s word, commandment, will, or truth. The immature believer will have to learn to hear the Chief Shepherd’s voice. In his learning and following the voice of Jesus, he will receive the commandments of God.
5. Receiving God’s commandments
“I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandments from the Father” (2 John 4).
In this verse, “truth” is directly tied together with the commandment(s) of God. In other words the commandments of God cannot be separated from truth (Jesus). Grace and truth cannot be separated in the manifestation of and in the Son of God (John 1:17), for Christ Jesus is the embodiment of both. Neither can the commandments of God (John 8:29; 17:8) (God and truth) be separated (John 14:6-9). God is not a man that He should lie (Number 23:19; Romans 3:4). The words of the commandments of God are without error. Jesus said, in praying to the Father “…thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
For the believer to receive the commandments of God and live and walk in them is for him to walk in the revelation of God, as from God. As Jesus received commands from His Father, they became the very meat of His life (John 4:34). In keeping His Father’s commandments (John 15:10), Jesus was in the center of the Father’s love (Matthew 3:17).
The Holy Spirit, living within the Christian, has given him the power of resurrected life, (new life) and the desire to obey the commandments of God.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
God has given commands to the Christian, and the power to carry them out.
E. Commandments of the Lord, 1 Corinthians chapters 1 – 14
1. Jesus’ commandments set forth
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
“If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).
The commandments of the Lord start in 1 Corinthians 1:1 and are emphasized and made clear throughout this epistle.
2. chapters 1-4, division in the church
The assembly at Corinth received this epistle. In chapter 1:2 we are told that the instructions and commandments of the Lord are not only written to and for the saints (believers) at Corinth, but to all saints everywhere (Christians in every generation) who call upon the name of the Lord. In other words, these commandments of the Lord are commandments for Christians to keep until Jesus comes to catch away His church. These commandments are not, as some suppose, culture of that day or any other day.
In these 4 chapters the practice of sectarianism, i.e. (divisions of groups within Christendom) is addressed because it had invaded the assembly and the hearts of some or many of the saints. This invasion of the world into the assembly was undermining the work of the Holy Spirit and replacing the oneness of the body with the carnal thoughts and practices of man (1 Corinthians 1:10.12; 3:1-4). Christ alone is the foundation of the church (1 Corinthians 3:11). This carnality that had come in through sectarianism would destroy the unity of the one body (Ephesians 4:1-6). Those people who add to (1 Corinthians 4:6) the work of the Holy Spirit in the church, bringing in carnality or false doctrines, will be judged of God (1 Corinthians 3:17).
The seed of Satan’s work, started in Corinth, has carried on today to create confusion in doctrine and practice to justify the carnality and division in the church. What was started in Corinth has multiplied today with thousands of denominations, independents and divisions in the church. These divisions are in direct opposition to the commandment of the Lord. When Jesus said “For where two or three are gathered together unto my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20 JND), He did not say He would be in the midst of those gathering to carnality, sectarianism (denominationalism), independence, a preacher, a TV screen, and etc.
3. chapter 5, immorality in the church discovered
In this chapter, evil through immorality had crept in upon the assembly . The commandment of the Lord was and is to purge evil out of the assembly. “Deliver such a one to Satan for destruction of the flesh…” (Verse 5). Evil openly practiced in the assembly or out of the assembly, by any believer, cannot be allowed (verses 2-5) as it is against the commandment of the Lord, “Be ye holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). If this person does not repent, believers are commanded not to eat with him (break the bread) (verses 9-13).
4. chapter 6, disputes among the brethren; sexual practices forbidden
Believers who have disputes with one another are commanded not to go to court. Also, since they have the Spirit of God living in them, sexual or other fleshly sins are not to be practiced. These sexual sins are the practices of unbelieving people and they will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
5. chapter 7, understanding Christian marriage
This chapter is written to give understanding for Christians in marriage (verses 1-6). It speaks to widows and widowers and the unmarried (verse 8), and those still in virginity (man or woman, verse 25 JND). The Lord has commanded that a wife not leave her husband (verse 10). The apostle gives no commandment of the Lord to virgins (man or woman), but he gives his wisdom and judgment as an apostle who has been faithful to follow the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 7:25).
6. chapter 8, liberty of believers in eating foods
The believer who has love for God is known of God (verse 3). This person has liberty in the eating of foods that others not yet mature might question as possibly unclean. Yet he is commanded not to stumble a brother through his liberty (verses 7-13).
7. chapter 9, the Apostle Paul makes clear his authority as an apostle The Apostle Paul makes clear that he is an apostle of Christ with the full authority of an apostle (verses 1-6). Those who receive the spiritual riches of Christ have an obligation to give to those who give themselves over to servant hood (in laboring in Christ) (verses 7-14). However, Paul reminds them that he used none of these things while he was with them. His record is clean; he had asked for nothing (verse 15). He and the other apostles supported themselves by working with their hands, not by being put on the payroll or asking or begging for money (1 Corinthians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 2:17).
8. chapter 10, idolatry at the Lord’s table brings judgment
This chapter shows the judgment of God that Israel received when they practiced idolatry in the wilderness. Believers are warned of the consequences of following their example (verses 1-15). Believers are commanded not to invoke their liberty in Christ to eat at the table of demons, and then break the bread at the Lord’s table (verses 16-22). God’s grace cannot be used to allow Satanic or fleshly culture, doctrines of men, or traditions to put away the commandments of the Lord.
9. chapter 11, God’s government given to believers; form of worship God desires
In this chapter Christians are given the order of God in His governmental relationship with man on the earth. The order is: God is the authoritative head of Christ, Christ is the authoritative head of man, and man is the authoritative head of the woman (verse 3). The evidence of this before all the world is when Christ walked on the earth. He obeyed His Father’s headship over Him in all His commandments (John 8:29). The outward evidence of man being subject to Christ is the divine commandment for man not to cover his head when he prays or prophesizes. For the man to do so dishonors the commandment of Christ, his head (verse 4). The commandment of the Lord to the woman is to have her head veiled or covered when praying or prophesying (to prophesy = to explain or make known the mind of the Lord) (verse 5).
The veiling of Christian women is commanded by the Lord to show and exhibit, or model the subjection of the Christian woman and her position under her authoritative head in creation (verses 7-9). This is observed by both mankind (John 14:15), and the angels (verses 9-10). She has the power (of God) on her head when she is veiled (verse 10), to demonstrate to demonic powers her obedience to the authority of God (verse 10). The Christian woman who by faith is veiled, lives in God’s favor in keeping His commandment and order in creation (verse 3).
There is no question of the devil’s power, working in the present day church, to undermine God’s order in creation with misinformation and with the doctrine of demons (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
The day in which the Scripture was written or given to the assembly in Corinth, Greek women did not wear veils or coverings. Yet today most unknowledgeable church people have been told just the opposite. From the first century until today a complete study on this commandment of the Lord is found in the in-depth researched book “Covered or Uncovered” by Gary Sanseri. (It is available on Amazon.com). Many church people have been told that veiling was for the Corinthians only; however the book of Corinthians, where this Scripture is found, is addressed to all Christians (1 Corinthians 1:2).
Also, many church people have been told that veiling was for the culture of that day, but God does not teach His redeemed people to keep the culture of the pagan world. However, Christian men praying and prophesying uncovered and the veiling for Christian women is a commandment of the Lord. His command has always been to follow His word, not culture. The command of God to His people, “And do not be conformed to this world…” (Romans 12:2) has always been truth for God’s people in all generations. The teaching of veiling, given as cultural for the Corinthians only, or only for that day, is the world’s philosophy (feminism), and has been adopted by many church people. The cultural teaching is the devil’s doctrine to undermine God’s protection for the woman of faith who desires to please the Lord and to keep the commandment of the Lord.
In verses 17-34, keeping the commandment of Jesus to remember Him in His death through the breaking of the bread and drinking of the cup is seen (Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). This form of worship was to be practiced until He comes (rapturing of the saints) (verse 26). Practicing this worship in a corrupt spiritual state, brought the judgment of the Lord on that assembly, and may bring judgment on any assembly corrupting this worship. It is strange fire to corrupt worship presented to the Lord (Leviticus 10:1-3). The religion of man has an appearance of wisdom (Colossians 2:23), but brings the chastisement of the Lord.
10. chapter 12, spiritual gifts shown
In verse 28 the gifts are listed as to their importance to the whole body: apostles first, tongues last. The apostles and prophets are the foundation God has used to build the church (Ephesians 2:19-22). In Corinth, as today, among some sects, tongues were said to be first, to prove, or used as evidence, to show that a person had received the Spirit. Scripture instructs that faith in Jesus is the only way to receive the Holy Spirit, and to be born of God (John 1:12-13; Galatians 3:14). The evidence that the person is indwelt by the Spirit is that the person keeps the commandments of Jesus through love (1 John 5:1-4).
The gifts in this chapter are only to be practiced as Scripture commands, in the order of God’s Spirit. Otherwise confusion will take place and false spirits will come in and divert the assembly away from Christ as head and the center.
11. chapter 13, exercise of God’s love shown
In this chapter the Holy Spirit shows that love (Christ Jesus) is the true and primary foundation of the church. Jesus is the perfect manifestation of God (John 14:9), and God is love. This chapter is notable as it is given between chapter 12 (the gifts) and chapter 14 (the practice of the gifts), whereby the priesthood of the believer is practiced in the assembly.
Supernatural manifestations take place within the church and also outside the church. Today they are not the evidence that they came from God. The true evidence of God is seen in His people, and in their midst through love. This love of God will bring obedience to His commandments (John 14:15). The Holy Spirit in the Apostle John has recorded this command in John 14:21 and 2 John 5-6.
12. chapter 14, freedom, priesthood, and order of worship
This chapter commands order for believers practicing their priesthood in the assembly (verses 19, 23, 26, 28, 32-35, and 37). This order, commanded of God, is for the purpose of giving the Holy Spirit freedom to bring forth, from whom and what He will, to exercise what the Spirit has for the whole assembly (verse 26).
There is no clergy or hierarchy in this chapter, or in any other chapter in the New Testament. God has given gifts and callings of the Holy Spirit to various believers who practice servant-hood, and desire to shepherd, build up, teach, edify, prophesy, encourage in the faith, and in general reveal the Savior to His sheep. Scripture shows us the character of these gifts and callings, “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). This means that every believer is to exercise his faith, so that the Holy Spirit may be able to use him to edify the whole assembly in his priesthood and in whatever gift he has been given.
“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (Romans 12:4-6).
“God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the saints. Let your women keep silent in the churches for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive as the law also says” (1 Corinthians 14:33-34).
“If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).
This commandment has existed from the time of Eve bringing sin and death into the world (Genesis 3:5-7, 16). Today, where Christian’s have faith in God’s word, this commandment is still followed. In western world countries, the world’s culture through the doctrine of feminism has also invaded it’s churches. The primary breakdown or cause of believers not keeping the commandment of Jesus, is Christian men refusing to believe God. God has entrusted men with headship in the home and in the assembly. The Christian man’s responsibility to teach his wife is ignored in most homes and churches today; it is at the bottom of most domestic trouble (1 Corinthians 14:35). The commandment of the Lord for the fathers to teach their children (Ephesians 6:4) has been ignored and the fathers have given their responsibility over to public schools, youth pastors and clergymen. Fathers, not fulfilling their headship, has resulted in rebellion among many children, and among many wives believing in the doctrine of feminism. This was the result in Israel as well when the word of God was rejected (Isaiah chapter 3). Those who willfully resist the commandments of the Lord are told: “But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:38).
The apostles addressed this same rejection of the Word of God. “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).
This is the hope and security of anyone who hears and follows the voice of Jesus “…when Jesus knew His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (John 13:l).
This love with which Jesus loved His disciples was an everlasting love, divine and efficacious. He knew He was about to die on Calvary’s cross, but with an undiminished love. His intimate fellowship with them was about to be disrupted for a short time, but not His love for them. Jesus knew all of His disciples were about to forsake Him (Matthew 26:56; Luke 22:54-62), but the apostles did not believe Him when He told them what they would do (Matthew 26:30-35).
In the evening, when Jesus was taken prisoner, all His disciples forsook Him. He would suffer at the hands of evil men, with beatings and humiliation; in Pilate’s court, he found Him innocent of any crime (John 19:4), yet sentenced Him to death on the cross. Jesus was forsaken by men and forsaken by God for a season (Matthew 27:46). In those hours on the cross, God put the sins of the world on Him (Isaiah 53: 6, 11-12; 1 John 2:2).
Yet in all that Jesus endured, His love for His own never failed. In fact, His love for His Father and the joy of the Oneness with his Father is what directed Him to the cross, “Looking steadfastly on Jesus the leader and completer of faith: who, in view of the joy lying before Him, endured the cross…” (Hebrew 12:2 JND). The disciples were the recipients of the joy and the love Jesus had for His Father. This love for His disciples (John 15:9) was at the center of all that the Father commanded Jesus to do.
Before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed to His Father for all His sheep, and all who through time would be His sheep.
Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said: “Father , the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You…” (John 17:1-3).
This prayer which Jesus prayed to His Father, acknowledges that the love Jesus had for the apostles was not for them alone. Those whom the Father had given to Him would come to Him (John 6:37, 44, 65; 10:29). All would be the recipients of the same love that He had for His apostles. Jesus did not pray for the apostles only, but also for those who would believe in Him through the word of the apostles.
Jesus prayed this to His Father, “I do not pray for these (apostles) alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word” (John 17:20).
Jesus prayed to the Father that those whom the Father gave to Him, “have kept your Word” (John 17:6). They received His Word, believed His Word, followed His Word, and exercised His Word. Believers are the written epistles of Jesus, read of all men (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). There is no limit of time to those whom the Father gave to the Son; it includes all people who follow His voice, His word, His commandments. These commandments go on in time until Jesus comes, and those that are His are taken to be with Him at the catching away of the saints (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Jesus prayed to the Father: “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me…” (John 17:24). (The Apostle John was taken up to heaven and saw this glory (The Revelation chapter 4-5).
We can rest assured that every request that Jesus prayed to His Father was and will be answered; for He and the Father are One (John 10:30). This Oneness, includes His deity, His humanity, His purpose, His subjection to the Father, His equality with His Father, and Jesus perfectly carrying out the Father’s will. The Father’s words concerning His Son were “…this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5).
Therefore, all who by faith follow Jesus and keep His word (commandments) are the ones Jesus will, on that day, take unto Himself in the heavens. “…and thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).