Wednesday, 27 January 2021
Embracing The Most Foundational Commandments
There are two commandments that are so important, so foundational, that if we can attain to them, all of the rest will eventually be attained. Yeshua told us from the Torah that the greatest of all commandments is first to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and, second, to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). It is amazing to think of how encompassing this is. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan and the injured Jew are neighbors! Husbands and wives are neighbors in the same house and even in the same bed. If we can learn this way of love, everything else will come together. Yeshua taught that if we love Him, we will keep his commandments (John 14:21). But that is the rub: How can we achieve this kind of love?
God has given us a few commandments that are the keys to establishing these two most important commandments in our lives. The first of these enabling commands is obeying the call to be immersed in water, with all that it implies.
What is implied? Through water immersion, the believer is making a full commitment to be a disciple. Many miss this important step. We are to teach the person to fully identify in immersion with the death and resurrection of Yeshua and to be filled with the Spirit. This will help us to understand the significance of the act. Immersion is a deep commitment to die to self and live for the Messiah by his power in us. The call to discipleship expressed in immersion means submitting to those who will mentor and hold the new believer accountable as they learn to live out the commandments of Yeshua. All this should be settled in immersion! Of course, this process only works safely if the mentors are themselves disciples in submission either to other mentors or to a peer group who hold them accountable, not only for their own lives but for their discipling of others.
The second of these is obeying Yeshua's command to abide in the Vine; for He is the vine. New believers soon discover that they cannot love God as commanded. They also cannot love their neighbors as commanded. The answer to this dilemma comes through abiding in the Vine. John 14-16 provides the most important material in the Bible on how to grow into this love. This is the way to build faith. We spend time in the Word, meditating upon Yeshua, praying to Him, listening to Him and receiving anew His Holy Spirit power. Without this, the practice of the commandments will be an external effort, full of frustration and failure. This means that believers need to be discipled into a deep and fruitful devotional life. As they read through the Word, they are to be discipled into asking questions of the text so they can accurately understand and apply what is written. As with immersion, this process will only work if those discipling others themselves have a rich devotional life that they can model and teach by example.
This excerpt was taken from my article.