Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obeying God: Burdensome?

"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."
I John 5:3

His commandments are not burdensome. The Greek word used here for burdensome is "barus" which means "heavy in weight, severe, stern or weighty". At times we may find ourselves falling into a particular sin and from there, how does this passage apply to us? How can we say with Apostle John that God's commandment is truly not burdensome?

Yes we fail from God's commandments, and no one can keep it perfectly. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). Yet, despite the fact of our weaknesses and failures, it doesn't create a burdensome heart regarding our imperfect obedience toward His commandments. Yes we become frustrated, disappointed or even discouraged at times because we fail from following Him, but this is out of a heart that hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt. 5:6) and we groan for the full redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:22). I could say that this is the godly sorrow which Apostle Paul mentioned in II Cor. 7:10, and this is healthy for our souls for it brings forth genuine repentance. And this, is very far from a heart who look at His commandments with contempt but has no choice but to obey it in fear of consequence.

A man truly born of God "will want to obey God" because his heart was regenerated (see Doctrine of Regeneration). His stubborn heart was replaced with a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36 verses 26-27 shows us a vivid picture of regeneration: "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules (emphasis mine)." If we are going to notice the last part of the verse, we will see that it is God who cause us to walk in His statutes and for us to be careful in obeying His rules. So again, a man truly born of God will want to obey God because he is regenerated. He will not feel being pushed to obey it. He will desire it and it will be a passion for him.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself exclaimed in John 14:15, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments". So, we obey God primarily because God has changed our hearts and enable us to obey Him and moreover, to love Him. We obey Him out of love not duty, so it is never a burdensome task. Obeying God is more than a responsibility, it is to show our affection for Him. "For this is the love of God..."

1 comment:

  1. Nice Blog pastor Jho. Even do were reckless, hell deserving man; God Love's us. He's the one interceding for us so we can obey His commandment. He gave us strength and a pure heart to follow His ways. Stand still and fight a good fight for the Glory of our God. to God be the Glory.