In today’s society many people have separated the New Testament from the Old Testament. Some people feel the Old Testament is done away with and only the New Testament and its grace salvation are valid. There are no rules to follow because Christ fulfilled all of those hard to do rules from the Old Testament. Now all they have to do is follow Jesus Christ and live free.
After studying a few chapters in the New Testament, I found a different story. Even Jesus Christ had rules to follow. He says if you love him you will keep his commands. I decided not to show how those commands go all the way back to the beginning. Instead, I want to show you all the commands I found in just 3 chapters of Matthew – the famous “Sermon of the Mount” speech.
Being a Disciple
After Jesus came out of the wilderness he began to teach, heal and deliver everyone who came to him. The scriptures say he went up to the mountain after seeing the crowd. After he sat down, his disciples came to him and he began to teach them. Now I know the movie and all the commentaries say Jesus sat there teaching the whole crowd, but I don’t believe that was his intent. He didn’t start teaching until his disciples sat down around him.
It seems to me he was trying to get away from the crowd of people pursuing him for a miracle. He wanted to leave the masses behind, those who only sought him for what he could do for them; those who didn’t really know him or want to know him. However, the crowd came near and listened anyway. Now I’m sure eventually he turned his focus to everyone, but starting out I believe he was speaking to his disciples, those who were willing to follow him and do what he wanted them to do.
The Greek word for “disciple” is “Mathetes,” which means “a learner, a pupil, or disciple.” According to the dictionary, a disciple is “a follower of Christ; a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; a follower.”
A doctrine is “a particular principle, position or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government.”
Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of Heaven’s rules on earth. He was teaching those who belong to the Kingdom. He sat on a mountain and taught Kingdom principles to those who had agreed to follow him. He did the same thing his Father did on Mount Sinai. Yahweh taught Moses His Kingdom principles on a mountain so he could teach others. Jesus only did what he saw his Father do. He even expounded on some of those original principles given by his Father. Moses gave Yahweh’s commands to the 12 tribes, who in turn were supposed to show the world how to behave. Jesus gave his commands to the 12 disciples, who in turn were supposed to teach the world how to live for Yahweh.
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then these principles are for you. Remember, this is only 3 chapters (Matthew 5-7) of the New Testament. I wonder how many more commands there are to follow. I can only guess a whole lot of them.
New Testament Commands
- Rejoice and be glad when people insult, persecute, and lie on you.
- You are the salt of the earth, don’t become tasteless.
- You are the light – let it shine before people.
- Obey and teach others to obey – you will be called great.
- Don’t nurse your anger.
- Make peace with your brother before offering anything to God.
- If sued, come to terms before you go to court.
- Don’t lust after someone.
- If you divorce your wife for any reason except fornication, you cause her to become an adulteress.
- Don’t swear or make vows to God at all, therefore you won’t break your vows.
- Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
- Don’t retaliate with violence.
- Do more than asked.
- Lend when asked.
- Give more than asked.
- Love your enemies too.
- Pray for those who persecute you. Then you will become the child of your Father in heaven.
- Be friendly to everyone.
- Be perfect.
- Don’t parade your acts of righteousness so everyone can see.
- Pray in private.
- Don’t babble on and on in prayer.
- Forgive others.
- Don’t let everyone know you’re fasting or look like your fasting.
- Don’t store up wealth for yourselves on earth.
- Store up wealth in heaven.
- You can’t be a salve to God and money. Choose one to serve.
- Don’t worry about your life – what you will eat, drink or wear.
- Trust God to clothe you.
- Don’t be anxious.
- Seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.
- Don’t worry about tomorrow.
- Don’t judge.
- Take the log out of your own eye.
- Don’t give to dogs what is holy.
- Don’t throw your pearls to the pigs.
- Keep asking.
- Keep seeking.
- Keep knocking.
- Always treat others how you want to be treated.
- Go through the narrow gate.
- Beware of false prophets.
- To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must do what the Father in heaven wants.
This last part of chapter 7 says something scary to me. Just because you prophesy, cast out demons, perform miracles doesn’t mean you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. You can still be deemed as a worker of lawlessness and told to depart from the Messiah. What a sad, sad scenario.
The Greek word for “lawlessness (iniquity-KJV)” is “anomia,” which means “the condition of without law because of ignorant of it or violating it; contempt and violation of law, iniquity, and wickedness.”
So if you are one of those people who believe there are no rules to follow because we are under grace, I submit the following scriptures to you:
(21) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. (22) On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’ (23) Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’ (24) “So, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on bedrock. (25) The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the winds blew and beat against that house, but it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on rock. (26) But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. (27) The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the wind blew and beat against that house, and it collapsed — and its collapse was horrendous!” (Matthew 7:21-27 CJB)
If there is something you don’t understand, then I urge you to do your own study. Look up words in the Greek. Study any references. And most of all, ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and understanding.
Please share your insights with us concerning following Jesus Christ.
Be blessed in your walk.
Our Heavenly Father, who is in heaven,
Help us to walk like our Messiah walked, pleasing You in every way.
In Yeshua the Messiah’s name, Amen.