NEW TESTAMENT COMMANDMENTS
Do you think there are only ten commandments and that they are all in the Old Testament? The pages of the New Testament contain more commandments than the Old. Here are a few.
(1)“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17). It doesn’t say, “Please pray if you have time”!
(2)“Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). Do not say that you are tired or bored, but God is merciful. God is stricter than I am.
(3)“Be transformed” (Rom. 12:2). You need to spend time praying to be transformed.
(4)“Grow in grace” (2 Pet. 3:18).
(5)“Be strong in the Lord” (Eph. 6:10).
(6)“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). We are not told to work out our salvation in joy or in shouting, but in fear and trembling. How can we do this without being legal?
(7)“Do all things without murmurings and reasonings” (Phil. 2:14, Gk.). When you are about to murmur, you must remember this commandment and restrain yourself. When you want to reason about church matters or why the elders behave as they do, remember you are forbidden to do so by this commandment.
(8)“Flee also youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2:22). Here is a commandment the young people especially need to heed.
(9)“Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thes. 5:22). The appearance of evil leads to evil.
These days I have heard some strange talk. It surely does not sound like the New Testament to me. Some are saying that they do not want any standard. To me this is ridiculous. Everything has a standard. I have also heard that we should be what we are. If you think Christians should stay as they are, why does the Bible say, “Be transformed”? Do you want to remain as you are? I want to grow and be transformed. Some have even said that we should not control ourselves but just let some flesh come forth and do whatever it pleases. I would remind you that as fallen human beings we are capable of doing any lustful thing. God came in right after the fall to ordain restrictions. It is only because of such restraints that we are kept from indulgence in lust. Can you trust your flesh? Whatever your age, however long you have been in Christ, if you do not exercise restrictions over your flesh, you are capable of any evil. If you say, “Don’t be legal,” I say, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
THE CONSTRICTING WAY
The standard in the Bible is the highest. “Unless your righteousness surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens” (Matt. 5:20). We Christians must be strict. We enter through a narrow gate and walk along a constricting way (Matt. 7:14). “The gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it” (v. 13). To take a pathway of looseness is to choose the wide gate whose end is destruction. May we be those who are led to life by taking the narrow gate and the constricting way.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)