DEUTERONOMY 4:2: “Do not add or subtract a thing to what I’m commanding you. Observe the commands of the LORD your God” (ISV)
OBSERVATION: Have you read the “Gospel According To Facebook”? When I read these words in Deuteronomy, I immediately think of all of the posts I see on Facebook. Most are posted by well meaning people. Yet, so many of them are doing exactly what God warned Israel not to do – add or subtract to His commands.
The preceding verse sets this command in context.
- “Now, Israel, listen to the statutes and the ordinances that I’m teaching you to observe so you may live and go in to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is about to give you.” Deuteronomy 4:1 (ISV)
God’s warning to Israel regarding His commands was not given to limit their life, diminish their joy, or place a heavy burden on them. Rather, His commands were given to them so that they could experience life to the fullest, and enter into the blessings and provision that the Lord was about to give them as they entered the Promised Land.
Is it any different with us?
If we view God’s Word as a rule book, our natural tendency will be to resist it. However, if we view God’s Word as the pathway to life, we will be encouraged to embrace it. We cannot cut and past the promises that we like, while discarding the commands we do not. God does not change, and His Word does not change. When Jesus came to the earth, He did not come to do away with the commands of God. Jesus came to fulfill them.
- “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 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. 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. 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 5:17-20 NKJV
When I look into the Word of God, when I hear all that the Law and the Prophets proclaim, I recognize that I am a sinner. I cannot follow God’s commands in my own strength and power. Left to myself, I will always add or subtract from God’s commands to justify myself. This is why Jesus came to die for our sins. It was not only to pay the penalty for our sin, but also to establish a new way of living and following God’s commands of life – through the Spirit!!
- “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4 NKJV
Our call is not to add or subtract from God’s commands. Our call is to run to the Cross of Christ, receive His provision of forgiveness and cleansing, and be filled with the Spirit of God. As we begin to walk in the Spirit, as we are transformed by the power of His Love, we begin fulfill His commands by the power of His life in us! We are never to rewrite the Gospel. We are to uphold it, for only then will men and women see their need for Jesus Christ, and find the true provision of forgiveness and life in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit!
- “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Romans 3:28-31 NKJV
Lord, grant me the grace to honor ALL of Your commands in my heart, and the ability to walk in them, not in my own strength, but in the power of Your Holy Spirit!
- “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” I Corinthians 15:10 NKJV
In Jesus Name!