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Jesus' New Commandment
Theme: Looking at the New Testament Commandments
John 13:34-35


A.      Commandments

1.      We despise them because we don’t want to be told what to do.

2.      Still, we need them or would be left to our sinful vices.

3.      Yet, we ask for them because we desire direction or boundaries.

B.     Old Testament: Full of commandments

1.      Specific types of sacrifices. Lev. 1-6

2.      Determined what was clean/unclean. Lev. 11-15

3.      For atonement. Lev. 16-17

4.      On immorality. Lev. 18

5.      Idolatry. Lev. 19

6.      Priestly duties. Lev. 21-22

7.      Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

C.     The Burden of Commandments?

1.      If there was one thing to be learned by commandment keeping: ALL HAVE FAILED

a.     Whether worship or being ceremonially clean.

b.     Or being civilly or morally pure.

c.     This was a fact of life for all – not an excuse.

2.      As if not enough: Jews added “fence laws”. Mk. 7:1-5

3.      Christians try to do the same today. cp. Col. 2:16-23


I.         New Testament Commandments

A.      What are the N.T. Commandments?

1.      There are many ways to answer this:

a.      Actual commands from Jesus or His apostles: “Go therefore and make disciples …” Matt. 28:19

b.      Statements of truth. Gal. 5:19-21

c.      Context is debated as which apply today. 1 Cor. 11:4ff (head covering); 1 Tim. 5:9-10 (foot washing)

d.      Further, passages used as binding examples are debated. Acts 13:2 (fasting)

B.     What does that Look Like in the N.T.?

1.      But I say unto you … Matt. 5:17-20ff

a.      Don’t have murderous anger … reconcile. Vss. 21-26

b.      Don’t lust after another … do what you can to keep from such sin. Vss. 27-30

c.      Don’t divorce (unless for adultery), don’t marry someone you have no right (belonging to another).

d.      Etc., you get the idea. cp. Gal. 5:22-23

2.      It’s loving - like Jesus - toward others! Cp. Rom. 13:9-10

C.     How the Commandments Are Summed Up

1.      The “commandments” are summed up by the apostle John. Jn. 13:31 – Jn. 14:15

a.      Love One Another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples. Jn. 13:34-35

b.      Belief in Jesus. Jn. 14:1,6

2.      John affirms this elsewhere:

a.      Believe in Jesus; love the brethren. 1 Jn. 3:23

b.      Love God, brother. 1 Jn. 4:17

c.      Love one another. 2 Jn. 4-7

D.     Are the New Testament Commandments Burdensome?

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:1–3 (NASB95)

E.     Are You Weary?

1.      From the burdens of sin and the law:

a.      Lay aside the weight of sin and look to Jesus as the author/finisher of our faith. Heb. 12:1-2

b.      Give thanks to Jesus:  Rom. 7:10, 24-25

2.      Jesus calls us to HIM, not to the law. Matt. 11:28-30

a.      His burden is light. Cp. Acts 23:4 (Acts 15:10)

b.      He will give us rest!


A.      The N.T. commandments in Christ demand our all. Matt. 22:37-39

B.     Unlike sin (death) or the law (which is found to bring about death): the burden is light in Him.

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.


Glory to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Franklin Church of Christ