God loves orderliness. On the sixth day, after creating all that was on the earth, God created man. Right from the onset of the world, God gave instructions to man.
Adam and Eve were the first human beings on earth, and God gave them commandments right from the beginning.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die
Commandments are not mere rules from God. They are divine instructions that must be followed. In the case of God’s command to Adam, there were repercussions if he disobeyed God. In the end, he did, and God punished man with death.
Years after the creation of the world, God also gave multiple laws to the Israelites. The ten commandments are inclusive in these laws.
In all, there was a purpose. God hates disorderliness. He hates when we live our lives without displaying holiness. Through his laws, he wants us to remember how powerful he is and fear him.
Years after the Mosaic Laws, Jesus was born into the word. During one of his teaching to the disciples, Christ said;
A new commandment I give unto you
What is this new command? Is it different from other commandments in the old testament? Are there repercussions if we fail to abide by Christ new command?
A new commandment I give you: what did Jesus command?
As true Christians, we must follow the examples set by Christ. He was unquestionably humble and obedient. Christ showed love to those around him.
He healed those that were sick. Christ fed multitudes with bread. He raised the dead. Finally, he died for our sins. Therefore, if we claim to love Christ, we must do as he commands.
Jesus Christ has given us new rules to follow. This command is recorded in the book of John 13:34
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another
Before the coming of Jesus Christ, in the mount of Sanai, God gave the Israelites commandments that they must follow. These laws include the ten commandments and other laws. The essence of these laws is to guide the ways of Man until the coming of Christ (Galatians 3:23-27).
Each time the Israelites went against the commandments of God, he severely punished them (2 Kings 17:18-20). God frowns when we go against his commandment. He is heartbroken when we sin.
Therefore, to be faithful Christians, we must be obedient as Christ was. We must obey Jesus commandment of love.
Dissecting the new command of Jesus Christ
The new commandment of Jesus Christ is to love one another. In other words, love your neighbor as yourself.
You might think “loving one another” is an easy thing to do. But, it is not. Christ knew it was not that easy to love, and therefore, commanded us to abide by love.
After the death of Jesus Christ, the apostles continued preaching love. In fact, the phrase “love one another” appears in the new testament, Eleven times. This sends a clear message that Christ wants us to love one another no matter the cost.
We can relate to having friends we don’t accept their behavior or those that make us angry. Christ is saying; we must love them too. This means their actions do not count. Their way of life does not count. We must love them as they are.
So, why is Christ command new?
Far back before Christ was born, God already instructed the Israelites to love one another. In the book of Leviticus, God said to the Israelites
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord Leviticus 19:18
The phrase “as I have loved you” makes his commandment new. While we are to love those around us, there is a yardstick to follow- The love of Christ.
The Love of Christ
Jesus Christ is God. He existed at the beginning of the world. The bible says, there is nothing that was created without Jesus Christ. He is king in heaven and very powerful. (Revelation 20:11-15)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:1-3
Through Christ, God created man. God said;
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26-28
After the creation of man, the first humans (Adam and Eve) disobeyed the instructions of God. They took and ate from the tree of knowledge. Then, death entered the world. Man lost his dominion over everything, including death.
Despite our sins, Jesus Christ left his throne in heaven to die for us. He was persecuted, humiliated, beaten up for our sake. Jesus never looked back. He allowed himself to be sacrificed for our sake.
God created everything through Christ, including Satan. Yet, Jesus allowed the devil to kill his human body for our sake. Is that not the greatest love of all?
I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. John 14:30-31
The powers of Jesus was far greater than that of the devil. Yet, for our sake, he accepted the will of the father and died for us. This is the foundation of the love of Christ.
If we must serve him, we must love others the way he loved us. When our friends, brother or sisters sin against us, we must learn to forgive as he has done. We must learn to love others as he loved us.
So what is the love of Christ?
The love of Christ is two ways. Christ loves God and obeys his command. He also loves us by giving up his life for our sake. If we must love Christ, we must love God and those around us.
The book of Luke is a clear example of how we should love. A lawyer asked Christ;
What shall we do to inherit eternal life?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself Luke 10:27
The disciples loved as Christ loved
After the death of Jesus Christ, the disciples followed his instructions too. They preached the word of God (love of God) and assisted the poor (love your neighbor).
In the early church, all believers sold their properties for the welfare of God’s people.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Acts 2:44-45
This is love in action. They did not care about their welfare. They were more interested in love for others. The early Christians were concerned about one another as Jesus instructed.
The old vs. the new commandments
Christ new commandment has not abolished the old laws. He only simplified it. Through the death of Jesus, we’ve now been free from the bondage of sin. All laws of all are now fulfilled in love.
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Galatians 5:14
Let us take a look at how each law of Moses signifies the love of God and your neighbor.
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
This is the first commandment. God said to the Israelites “do not serve other God except me.” He wants us only to serve him. If we love God, there is no reason to believe in other gods.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
Idolatry is not acceptable in the sight of God. If the love Christ has for God is in us, we will not make any graven image as our god. God is jealous; we will not provoke him to anger.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
Taking the name of God in vain is disrespecting his powers. I’ve seen people curse with the name of God. If we love God, as we claim we do, we will fear his name.
4. Thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness against thy neighbor, or covet your neighbor properties
Killing, lying or stealing from your neighbor does not display love. Therefore, if we must keep the new commandment fo Jesus Christ, we must shun sin.
A new commandment I give you bible verses
I have compiled other bible verses that show God wants us to love one another.
1. Ephesians 5:2
and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God
2. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it
3. 1 John 2:7-10
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble
4. 1 John 4:7-11
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another
5. Colossians 3:12-13
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you