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The Role of Commandments to Christians under Grace

1 John 3:23

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

Although keeping the commandments is not a means of attaining salvation, they have a vital role within the Christian faith. The commandments reveal God's righteous standards, convict us of sin, and guide us in living a loving life that is pleasing to Him. The Apostle Paul explains in Romans 7:7, "What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law." The commandments illuminate our need for a Savior and direct us toward a life that reflects God's character.

The Law and the New Covenant

Jesus Christ, through His life, death, and resurrection, established a new covenant between God and humanity. This new covenant is not based on our ability to perfectly keep the commandments but on Christ's sacrifice and the grace extended to us. Jesus Himself stated, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them" (Matthew 5:17). Christ fulfilled the requirements of the law on our behalf, offering salvation as a free gift to all who place their faith in Him.

Works as an Outward Expression of Faith

While the commandments do not bring salvation, they play a crucial role in the life of a believer. Once we have received salvation by grace through faith, our obedience to the commandments becomes an expression of our love for God and gratitude for His salvation. James 2:17 emphasizes the importance of works as an outpouring of our faith: "In the same way, faith alone if it is not accompanied by works, is dead." Keeping the commandments becomes an act of worship and a testimony to the transforming power of Christ in our lives.

Reflecting God's Holiness

The commandments are a reflection of God's holy nature and character. As Christians, we are called to imitate and follow the example set by Jesus Christ. Keeping the commandments allows us to align our lives with God's perfect standard and embody His righteousness. Through obedience to His commandments, we demonstrate our reverence for God and acknowledge His authority in our lives. 1 Peter 1:16 "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."

Strengthening Our Relationship with God

When we keep the commandments, we actively engage in a loving relationship with God. Obedience is an expression of our trust in God's wisdom and His plans for our lives. It deepens our intimacy with Him and opens the door for His blessings to flow into our lives. Jesus affirmed the connection between love and obedience when He said, "If you love me, keep my commands" (John 14:15). Our obedience is an expression of our love for God and an opportunity to draw closer to Him.

Guarding Against Sin and Its Consequences

The commandments serve as a protective boundary against sin and its destructive consequences. By adhering to God's instructions, we safeguard ourselves from the harmful effects of disobedience. Sin separates us from God, hinders our spiritual growth, and damages our relationships with others. However, by embracing the commandments, we foster a lifestyle that promotes purity, integrity, and righteousness, which shields us from the destructive nature of sin. Proverbs 3:1-2 "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee."

Cultivating a Christlike Character

Keeping the commandments moulds our character and transforms us into the image of Christ. As we internalize God's instructions, they shape our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviours. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we develop virtues such as humility, love, forgiveness, and self-control. These qualities enable us to serve others, contribute positively to society, and become effective witnesses for the Gospel. As we are told in Matthew 5:19 "Whoever breaks one of these least commandments, and teaches men to do so, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever does and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Witnessing to the World

By faithfully following the commandments, Christians become powerful witnesses to the transforming power of Christ in their lives. Our obedience reflects the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and testifies to the authenticity of our faith. Through our commitment to the commandments, we demonstrate to the world that Christianity is not merely a set of religious rituals but a transformative relationship with a living God. Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."


The commandments are not burdensome restrictions but a gift from God designed to guide and shape our lives. They help us to reflect God's holiness, deepen our relationship with Him, guard against sin, cultivate Christlike character, and serve as powerful witnesses to the world. As Christians, let us embrace the commandments with gratitude and obedience, allowing them to lead us towards a life that honours God and blesses those around us.