Jesus, the same yesterday and today | Faith
by The Press and Standard | June 30, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: June 26, 2019 at 3:52 pm
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments”
— John 14:15
Many are quick to draw a line between the Old Testament God of commandments and that of the new. But was it not from the mouth of Jesus that revealed the very heart of the Old Testament law, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”? (John 14:15)
Moreover, does not the author of the book of Hebrews write that Jesus is the “radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature”? (Hebrews 1:3) For in garden, Jesus himself prays to the Father, “We are one.” (John 17:22).
Do you see? There exists no crack nor fault line, no divide — once or ever — between the Son and the Father. They are perfectly one in grace and forgiveness, as they are in commandment and obedience. See this truth: if your heart begins to grow in indignation at the very presence of the words “submission” and “obedience” in regard to the commandments of God, you need to examine your election (2 Peter 1:10). For only by the fear and love produced through saving faith do the commandments of God become a place of refuge and not a place of imprisonment.
Under the Old Covenant, the people of God did not follow the law so that they might be saved; they followed the law because they were saved. They knew there existed a God within the temple, for they found Him when they sought Him by faith. And through the faith, fear and love given them by this mighty Father, they faithful followed His Word.
This is no different today. For us, the Old Covenant has passed away. The forgiveness of our sin is not made through the blood upon the altar in the temple, but made through the blood of our Savior Jesus, who gave His own life upon the altar of the cross as our perfect and eternal atoning sacrifice.
And, in this grace, placing our faith in Him and His finished work of salvation, we are saved and born again, given a new heart — a heart of love for God and His Word.
What then is there left for the ransomed saint of God to do?
As it was in the old for God’s people, Israel, so it is in the new for those who have been grafted into Israel. For, although we are members of this New Covenant of Jesus, this same God speaks across the confines of time to His people through the pen of His prophet, Moses, as he writes, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good.” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
(Jeremy Breland of Ruffin is a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)