CONCERNING THE COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST
64. What other commandments has Christ delivered for our observance?
ANSWER: He has commanded us to assemble ourselves together on every first day of the week to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of him.
Proof: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (1 Cor. 11:23-25).
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7).
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Heb. 10:25).
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (1 Cor. 16:2).
65. Are there other commandments that we must obey?
ANSWER: Yes; many. Some of these commandments tell us what we are to do, and others tell us what we are not to do.
66. Recite a few of the things we are to do.
ANSWER: (1) We are to love God and Christ; (2) to do to men as we would that they should do to us; (3) to love one another; (4) to sympathize with men in their joys and sorrows; (5) to love even our enemies, blessing those who curse us, doing good to those who hate us, and praying for those who badly use us; (6) we are to be ready to every good work; to give to those who ask, to relieve the afflicted; (7) to be faithful even to bad masters; (8) to pray always and in everything give thanks; (9) to speak the truth always; (10) to be blameless and harmless; (11) to be humble, brave, joyful, courteous, and manly; (12) to follow after whatsoever things are true, honest, pure, just, lovely, and of good report.
Proof: (1) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matt. 22:37).
(2) But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. (Luke 4:26).
(3) Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matt. 7:12).
(4) Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. (Rom. 12:15).
(5) But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. (Luke 6:27-28).
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9).
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matt.5:44).
(6) Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, (Titus 3:1).
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. (Matt. 5:42).
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. (Rom. 12:13).
(7) Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. (1 Tim. 6:1-2).
(8) And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; (Luke 18:1).
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Eph. 5:20).
(9) Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. (Eph. 4:25).
(10) And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the ecclesia in thy house: (Phil. 2:15).
(11) For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: (Luke 14:11-13).
I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, (Phil. 4:4).
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (1 Thess. 5:8-10).
(12) I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, (Phil. 4:8).
67. Can you enumerate some of the things we are not to do?
ANSWER: (1) We are not to be masterful and lordly. (2) We are not to return evil for evil. (3) We are not to avenge ourselves, but rather give place to wrath and suffer ourselves to be defrauded. (4) We are not to do our alms before men, or to let our left hand know what our right hand doeth. (5) We are not to labour to be rich or to love the world. (6) We are not to return cursing for cursing or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing. (7) We are not to grudge, judge, complain, or condemn. (8) We are not to give way to anger, wrath, bitterness, or evil speaking. (9) We are not to conform to the world or to be ambitious after high things. (10) We are not to be slack in paying our debts. (11) We are not to backbite or speak of other men's sins until we have spoken to themselves first. (12) We are not to be guilty of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, covetousness, wrath, strife, sedition, hatred, emulation, boasting, vain glory, envy, jesting, or foolish talking.
Proof: (1) But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Matt. 23:11).
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:13-17).
(2) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (Rom. 12:17).
(3) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. (Rom. 12:20).
(4) Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. (Matt. 6:1-4).
(5) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (1 Tim. 6:8).
(6) Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9).
(7) Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. (James 4:11).
Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matt. 7:1).
And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the ecclesia in thy house: (Phil. 2:14).
(8) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (Eph. 4:31).
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, (1 Peter 2:1).
(9) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (rom. 12:2).
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (Rom. 12:16).
(10) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (Rom. 13:7-8).
(11) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (Matt. 18:15).
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20).
12) But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. (Eph. 5:3-4).
68. Will the gospel save us if we are disobedient to those commandments?
ANSWER: No; our belief of the Gospel and baptism will only be to our condemnation if we live in disobedience of the commandments of Christ. Only those who do His commandments will at last be among the blessed.
Proof: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Rev. 22:14).
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: (Matt. 7:26).
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2 Peter 2:21).
69. Is there forgiveness for those who, having submitted to the Gospel, may fail in rendering a perfect obedience to the commandments of Christ?
ANSWER: Yes; if there were not, no flesh could be saved. But forgiveness is conditional, on our confessing and forsaking our sins; and also on our being forgiving to others; and forgiveness is only granted at the intercession of Christ. If we are unforgiving, or if he refuse to intercede, there is no hope for us.
Proof: If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. (Psa. 130:3-4).
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7).
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (1 John 2:1).
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Heb. 7:25).
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Rom. 8:34).
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Mat. 6:15).
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (John 17:9).