Back to the two greatest commandments
23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. (1 John 3:19-24–ESV)
Last week we spoke of Cain and the commandment of animal sacrifice for the atonement of sins. Comforts of God were only available inside fences of obedience. The commandments of God were fixed, rigid, unmodifiable. The commandment of God to us no longer includes animal sacrifice for the atonement of sins, but acceptance of Jesus Christ to that end. Sin and separation remain an unpleasant reality with an unpleasant solution. God’s solution, however, is so thorough.
People must not decide to set aside God’s commandments after they become comfortable and confident. The benefit package of assurance, confidence, an excellence of life now and for the future only accompanies belief in Jesus Christ and a life of love for others as Jesus lived. These are the fences of obedience. They are never down nor never modifiable terms in any contract.
Not like Xfinity and U-Verse
Two weeks ago I was looking for my orange, 25 foot, tape measure. Thinking it might be in my also orange truck I went into my carport. What did I see? Not my tape measure, but a twenty-something-year-old fellow in a Master’s cap. “Oh great, someone with a sales pitch, and right now I am in a rebuild-the-bathroom-twitch.” I fumbled around in the back of my pickup for that tape measure. I did not find it, but my mind groaned, “He saw me.” Do I walk back into my house? “Ugh, he is coming down the driveway. He is carrying a clipboard. Absolutely he is selling something.”
So on went my interact-with-miscellaneous-salesman demeanor, I stepped in his general direction, and attempted a chipper “What are you selling?” It was the best I could muster. See I was in the throes of remodeling my bathroom, and my mind was in a high gear of problem-solving on a timetable. “What am I selling?” he replied with a touch of feeling hurt or something. It did not seem affected to me. I quickly learned it was AT&T with a TV/Internet offer.
Well, I am nearing the end of my two-year promo thing with Xfinity. That means I have to call up and threaten to leave so they will give me another promo. I would hope to just jump ship to another provider, like AT&T. Last time I was with AT&T, it was a DSL connection and slow. They put fiberoptic in our neighborhood and so I was open again to their product. Ninety minutes later I had an install date for AT&T services.
Well, AT&T epically failed in the installation, and I dropped off all the equipment at the FedEx store that it might be swirled back up for another customer.
That story is relevant because the commands of God are not like Internet and TV connections. There is no other God to whom we can switch if we don’t like the terms of the Bible, God’s terms. They are what they are, and he paid the price. Importantly, his terms do not change so we don’t have to threaten an attempt at upsetting his apple-cart. Still, though, we must believe in the name of Jesus Christ and love one another.