Staying with – I Corinthians 7:19b Keeping God’s commands is what counts.
What really matters in our lives, overall? What are the main convictions/values that drive us? If one of our answers is our faith, what is it about our faith that is at it’s core? How does our faith impact our lives and those around us? Although this verse is in a particular context, it can really stand alone. It’s telling us that it isn’t enough to talk the talk.
Think of buying a product with a brand name and then having nothing but problems with it. Or maybe it’s okay most of the time, but it has a knack of not working when we need it most. If someone asked us if we would recommend it, we’d say NO. Although the product might look good, and it might perform well much of the time – that’s not enough. The issue is that it’s lacking in quality and reliability. It’s subpar. You might even call it a lemon.
In light of this illustration, consider the verse again, “Keeping God’s commands is what counts.” I’m reminded of a major manufacturer whose corporate motto was, “The quality goes in before the name goes on!” We were bought at a great price. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus. We have His Spirit within us. We are freed from the power of sin. God has expectations and requirements of all of us as His sons and daughters. They are not optional.
As believers, the Holy Spirit uses Scripture to teach us how to live. He also convicts us of sin in our lives. He shows us our wrong motivations, our frailties, weaknesses, shortcomings and all manner of things in order to help us to obey – to become more like Jesus. He convicts. We repent. He empowers and transforms us. We co-operate with Him. Our lives become testimonies of keeping His commands.
A portion of this verse is a very important definition (1 John 5:3). Keeping God’s commands is the Biblical definition of loving God. Why is obeying His commands so important? Paraphrasing today’s verse sums it up really well: “Loving God is what counts.”