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What's New In The New Commandment?


John 13:34-35
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.

What's new in the new commandment that Jesus gave us?

The commandment to love one another was not totally new.

In the Old Testament, God had commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Leviticus 19:18
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

John the apostle told us plainly that the new commandment was not completely new, but an old commandment that God gave from the beginning!

1 John 2:7
Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.

Then what's new in the new commandment that Jesus gave us?

A few simple but very significant words: “as I have loved you."

John 13:34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 15:12
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

The new commandment that Jesus gave us is to love one another with the love of the Lord. Yes, with the same kind of love that Jesus loved us! His agape love will bring us to a wider, longer, deeper and higher level of loving God and others! Not falling short of the glory of God!

Ephesians 3:14-19
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—
19 to know the love of Christ
which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Jesus came to show us the Way, the Truth and the Life to love others! He gave us a godly and excellent example to follow. This is how we should love others. Just like He did. When we are rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, we will then be able to move up into higher grounds to love God and others. Wider! Longer! Deeper! Higher!

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

How measureless! How rich and pure! How divine! How marvelous! How wonderful! The love of Christ is infinitely more than the human love we have towards God and others using our own strengths, methods and ways!

The love Jesus loves is much wider, much longer, much deeper and much higher than ours!

With what kind of love did Jesus love us?

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Christ demonstrated His love towards us even while we are yet His enemies, sinning and rebelling against Him. As He loved us unconditionally, He willingly and lovingly paid the price for our sins.

John 15:13-14
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

This is the greatest love of all! Jesus paying the ultimate redemptive price of our sins through His sufferings, tortures and death. A selfless, sacrificial and sovereign love that He showed towards all mankind. Without this kind of love that He has loved us, we would have no love, no joy, no peace and no hope! And we will not have the blessedness to live forever with Him!

In giving us His new commandment, Jesus expects us to do what He has commanded! To love others with the love He has loved us! A love that is selfless, sacrificial and sovereign!

Today, there is a widespread disease in the Church that teaches and promotes lawlessness! No need to obey the commandments of the Lord since we have a new commandment! And that the commandments in the Old Testament are too burdensome for Christians in the New Testament!

Is this logical? Believing the old commandments are done away just because a new one is given is like believing a nation must get rid of all its older laws each time a new law is made and passed. Or like parents must disown all their older children just because they have a new baby. That is totally illogical or insane!

Imagine if God has given a new commandment because the Israelites had not obeyed the old commandments, will He not have a newer or latest commandment since the Christians themselves have also not obeyed His new commandment? If God can reject a disobedient Israel, will He not also reject a disobedient Church? God forbids!

In fact, all the twelve disciples of Jesus were Israelites. The early Church was born in Israel. Most of the pioneering church leaders and believers were Jews! They became His witnesses first in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and then to the ends of the earth. God has not forgotten His people! Lest we forget.

When a new iPhone or smartphone arrives, it normally have some new and additional features. Many of the old apps and features are still there. New but not totally new. Enhanced and not totally revamped from ground zero!

In fact, the new commandment brings a greater light to understanding the old commandments! To know why God gave them in the first place and to get wisdom and understanding!

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.

Herein is a severe warning for those who practice lawlessness:

Matthew 7:21-23
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Jesus fulfilled, obeyed and taught the commandments of God, and He did more than that! His righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees! He lived a life that truly pleased God!

Matthew 5:17-20
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5
What The Law Says What Jesus Says
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.
37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.
41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

The law said this but Jesus said something greater. A higher standard! Not under the law but above the law! Christ did not abolish the law but He went higher. From acceptable levels of righteousness to becoming perfect in God the Father! Spotless, blameless and righteous in Him! We shall be perfect just as our Father in heaven is perfect!

The love that Jesus has loved us will help us to go beyond the second mile and love our enemies!

The new commandment will bring us to a greater joy and love to obey the commandments of God! That's the motivating factor - the love of Christ!

2 Corinthians 5:14-15
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

The love of our Lord is not an airy fairy emotional feeling! It is a loving and faithful act of trusting and obeying God, seeking to do His will and what pleases Him! Daily walking in His light and love and living the life He desires us to live.

Just as Jesus loves His Father, He:

1. has no other gods
2. has no idols
3. does not take the Lord’s name in vain
4. remembers the Sabbath

Just as Jesus loves others, He:

5. honors His father and mother
6. does not murder
7. does not commit adultery
8. does not steal
9. does not lie
10. does not covet

Likewise we must:

Love God 1. Have no other gods
2. Have no idols
3. Do not take the Lord’s name in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath
Love Others 5. Honor our father and mother
6. Do not murder
7. Do not commit adultery
8. Do not steal
9. Do not lie
10. Do not covet

Let's see a great example of a righteous and blameless couple in the New Testament - the parents of John the Baptist:

Luke 1:5-6
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

What is the love of God?

1 John 5:1-3
1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

Yes, the love of God is that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. Why?

Simply because in keeping His commandments, we will abide in Him, and He abiding in us. His Holy Spirit will enable and strengthen us to do His holy commandments and also those things that are pleasing in His sight. By His Holy Spirit, we will also know how to discern which is true and which is not true:

1 John 3:22-24
22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
24 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.

Knowing what's new in the new commandment, may we learn how to love God and others with the love our Lord has loved us!

The people of God will have the love of Christ. They will love others with the love of the Lord. They have been, are and will always be His commandment keepers, doers and teachers.

Revelation 22:14
Blessed are those who do His commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.


Written on: 26 March 2017