Sometimes we read the word of God, and we make everything into a mystery. We act as though the commands of God are hard to understand. But, if we are really honest, if we strip everything bare, we will find that obedience to the commands of god is a struggle for us, not because of our understanding, but because of our sinful hearts.
The truth is, Christianity is not complicated. God has not given a mass of indecipherable commandments that are just beyond our intellect to know how to follow. Instead, God has given us only a few commands, a few simple things, that, if we obey them under grace, we honor the Lord.
Of course, the first command is that we will worship God. That must include the call of God that we turn from our sins and trust in Jesus for salvation. If you have not let go of the concept of leading your own life and turned to Jesus in faith, the only real command of God on you is that you do so. Trust in Jesus. Surrender to his lordship. Ask him for salvation.
But then, what about the commands of God is so easy? Consider the simplicity of Romans chapter 13. The first 7 verses of the chapter are all about obeying the laws of the land in which we live. We do not break the law unless the law calls us to sin against God. We respect authority. We pay taxes. We live simple and good lives to the glory of God. That is how to obey.
At the end of the chapter, God calls us to look forward to the return of Christ by living out lives of purity. We are to put away things that bring us to sinful impurity and prepare our lives to meet our Lord. Nothing here is complicated.
And, for an example of simple Christianity, look at the commands in the middle of the chapter.
Romans 13:8-10 – 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
How complicated is that? All the moral law is summed up in a command that we love our neighbor as ourselves. We commit ourselves to do others good rather than doing them harm. We seek the benefit of others, even to our own cost and discomfort. As an example, we do not kill, steal, or commit adultery because none of those things fits with a commitment to Godly love.
Friends, none of this is hard to understand. None of it is complicated. Not one little bit makes you scratch your head and say, “I wonder what in the world God is talking about here.” It is easy.
No, it is not easy to do. We are not naturally a loving people. We are naturally selfish. We naturally grumble and complain because we want our own way. We naturally squash others because we want to put ourselves forward. But the truth is, the trouble, the difficult part, in obeying these commands is in our hearts, not our heads. We are natural sinners. We have a natural evil in our very skin. We naturally rebel against the Lord. But make no mistake, we do not do this because the law of God is hard to grasp.
So, may we never pretend we do not know what the Lord wants of us. May we instead submit ourselves to doing what God commands Christians to Do. We are to worship the Lord. We are to love him and his word. We are to live peaceable, obedient, quiet lives in the world. We are to show kindness and love toward others. We are never to compromise God’s clear commands. We are to tell others about Jesus, especially when they want to know how we can live with the hope of God within us. We are to love the church especially, and do good to believers. We are to live in our homes to the glory of God as parents, children, spouses, and the rest. May we pray for the help of God’s Holy Spirit to do the simple things that the Lord has called us to do so that we might have the joy of honoring his name.