NKJV John 8:12; "I am the light of the world. He who follows
Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
AENT (Aramaic English New Testament) "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows
me will not walk in darkness, but he will find the light of life for himself."
The Bible is a gold mine
for the soul, and the teachings of Jesus are surely the Mother-Lode of it's grace and truth. When Jesus gave the great
commission in Matthew He gave the outline of what it means to be a disciple. He didn't call them 'Christians', but 'disciples.'
In the great commission (Matthew 28:19,20) Jesus said to make disciples (of Him), baptize them (Acts 2:38,39), and teach those
disciples to observe and keep whatever He had first commanded them (Acts 3:22,23).
The sermon on the mount, found in Matthew 5-7, Jesus says (7:24-27):
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them,
I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds
blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them, will
be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat
on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
Luke's account also includes an important element that is very relevent for today, since there have
been centuries of doctrines heaped over the original bedrock of the truth Jesus taught, that we dig down through the dirt
to the actual rock of His teachings:
Luke 6:46-49; "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do
the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like.
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream
beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did
nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately
it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."
John 15:9-15; "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in
My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide
in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay
down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you
servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard
from My Father I have made known to you."
Revelation 22:14; "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they
may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city."
John 14:23,24; "If
anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
He who does not love Me does not keep My words, and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me."
Jesus gave hundreds of teachings,
and each has important lessons in our discipleship to Him. We are not to be hearers only, but doers of His word.
Surely Jesus came to manifest the righteousness, grace, mercy, promises, will and truth of God so that we have reason and
hope in our faith.
In Micah 6:7,8 we are told:
"Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?"
Jesus came to show us exactly what these things mean: to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God and our
John 8: 31,32; "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall
know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
What does Jesus mean by 'If you abide in My word'?
In my dictionary the meanings of abide are: to wait for; to endure without yielding; to bear patiently;
to accept without objection; to remain stable or fixed in a state; to continue in a state; to conform to;
to acquiesce in. Faith in Jesus as Christ is far more than a profession out of your mouth, the church you
belong to, a spiritual feeling, or the system of religion that you practice. In the opening sermon of Jesus we are told
to not just hear His words - if we want our 'house' to withstand the storms and floods we are to be doers of what He taught.
In the personal aspect of our faith we are told to abide in His words if we want to 'know the truth.'
"That prophet" spoken
of by both Moses and Peter is Jesus Christ *Acts 3:22-26.
"For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet
like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every
soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." Yes, and all the prophets,
from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. You are sons of the prophets,
and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, "And in your seed all the families of the earth
shall be blessed." To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away
every one of you from your iniquities."
The Testimony Of Jesus Christ
John 7:16,17; "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone
wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority."
In this teaching Jesus equates
the personal testimony of His truth from God (the gospel of the kingdom) is to be found in our will to do what He said.
The mercy of God is evident because it is found in our will to obey, rather than in absolute perfection to do it all.
We need to be humble and honest with ourselves and God. As we look into the things of the Lord, to see ourselves
through His teachings, that we notice our needs and confess our shortfalls of abiding in whatever He said, so that,
as I John 1:9 says, if we confess our sin, God is faithful to forgive. By abiding in the words of Jesus we find
both the personal testimony of knowing the gospel of the kingdom of God, and the process of maturing in Christ, that we might
"have the mind of Christ" in us, and thereby we also become the light and salt in the world that the Lord
said we should be.
John 14:23,24; "If
anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."
True doctrine is to observe all of the teachings and commandments of Jesus Christ.
teachings of Jesus cover many things, and here are a few more things He said on the topic:
Matthew 4:4; 'It is written, "Man shall not live by
bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
John 6:63,64; "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there
are some of you who do not believe."
Revelation 22:12-16; "And behold, I am coming quickly, and
My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the
End, the First and the Last." Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they
may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But
outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am
the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."
While you review the words he gave for the 'commandments' you may likely see many of them as basic
to what was given prior to His life on earth, and surely they find accord with what was given in what we call the Old Testament.
Many have said Jesus supported all the ten commandments but one - the fourth commandment of the Sabbath. While this
is a common belief, one should pay attention while reviewing His teachings to see if this is so. To date I haven't found
support for this view, but found His claiming ownership of the Sabbath and declaring it lawful to do good on the Sabbath to
clarify the facts regarding the day and its relation to righteousness according to God. Furthermore, we can see that
even Paul said what matters most is keeping the commandments of God (I Cor. 7:19) and that the apostles continued to keep
the appointed days God had given in the OT, which included the Sabbath. Also we find the example of the rich young ruler
who asked what commandments he must keep to inherit eternal life and Jesus mentions the commandments of God and then in a
separate comment discussed what he must do if he wanted to be perfect and have treasures in heaven - to transfer his earthly
treasure to heaven for safe keeping. From this example we can see that there are levels of commandments that are basic,
increasing levels of righteousness to the level of perfection/'perfect'. It's quite easy to be overwhelmed with the
standards Jesus taught, but needful to know the grace He has towards us in our journey of life to grow in the words that lead
to eternal life. We may desire to be 'perfect', but we need temper that with understanding God knows we will stumble
in life and is there to help pick us up and encourage us to continue on in His light. Remember, not one of us is perfect,
but there are also things that is said should never even be accused of a follower of Jesus. As John said, if we say
we have not sinned, we make God out to be a liar, but there are sins which can prohibit entrance into the heavenly Jerusalem
to come and some that bring certain damnation/condemnation. John also said that if we confess our sin to the Father
that He will forgive us (1 John 1:9). Repentance is to turn and do what God said to do that we didn't before.
Mt 23:8-12; "But you, do not be called
'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren."
John 15:9,10; "As the Father loved Me, I also
have loved you, abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love,
just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in in His love."
One Disciple To Another
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
Jeremiah 7: "Obey
My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you. Yet
they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and dictates of their evil hearts, and went backwards and
Jesus commissioned His disciples
to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you
always, even to the end of the age." (Matt. 28:19-20) As He said to Nicodemus, "And
this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their
deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed.
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen; that they have been done in God."
Matt. 11: 27-29; "All things have been delivered
to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me,
all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle
and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
As John said in one of his letters (2 John 6-10):
"This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in
it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver
and an anti-Christ. Look to yourselves, that you do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have
God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If
anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him, for he who greets
him shares in his evil deeds."
So what do
the gospel accounts say is His doctrine? Is the doctrine of Christ that He came in the flesh, or is the doctrine
of Christ also what He taught? Matthew 7:28 is a comment made by the people who heard Jesus immediately after
His teaching of building our life upon hearing and doing what He said. This record says: "And so it was, when Jesus
had ended these saying, that the people were astonished at His teaching (KJV uses 'doctrine'), for He taught them as one having
authority, and not as the scribes." Matthew 22:33, just after His saying 'God is not the God of the dead, but of
the living' is 'And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching (KJV uses 'doctrine'). To make the
point further are additional accounts from the gospels that you can look up if you want to verify the fact: Mark 1:23,27;
4:2; 11:18, 12:28; Luke 4:32; John 7:16,17; John 18:19. Consider the translation you are using for study. The
KJV uses 'doctrine' and the NKJV uses 'teaching', and these mean pretty much the same thing. The issue is the importance
of what Jesus taught as being authoritative, and He claimed it was not His teaching, but the words God gave Him to give to
us. John 17 is a good focused study about 'the word' which Jesus gave and His disciples kept; 6-24:
"I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have
given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known
that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and
they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
"I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but
for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified
in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father, keep through Your
name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in
Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture
might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled
in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as
I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from
the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your
word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify
Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth."
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they
all may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You
sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just a We are one. I in them,
and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them
as You have loved Me."
1:1-5; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning
with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and
the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
We need to know the teachings of Jesus Christ to know the doctrine of Christ,
which He said is the doctrine of God. We also need to comprehend His teachings - which is to 'have the mind of Christ'
In Matthew 12, Jesus said; "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And He stretched out His hand towards His disciples
and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven
is My brother and sister and mother."
must come to terms with the doctrine of Jesus - what He said the doctrine is. Many have taken the 'doctrine of Christ'
to mean the Trinity doctrine, that so long as you believe this doctrine all is well. The doctrine of Christ
is not merely the identity of Jesus Christ, but also the word of God that He taught and spoke. Jesus clearly
directed teaching disciples whatever He had taught the apostles as elemental to His Church in the 'great commission'.
In another place He also asked; "Why do you call me Lord and not do as I say?"
The grace and truth of Jesus give reason to obey from faith because we believe Him and because of His love and sacrifice for
us that we might have abundant life and hope - in this world and the one to come. "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
I John 3:24; "Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we
know that He abides in us, by the Spirit He has given us."
I John 4:6; "We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear
us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."
Jesus came that we might have
abundant life, healing, purpose and wholeness in Him- all to the glory of God. If we call Him our Lord we should be doing
what He said.
An additional discovery I've made recently
is that of the AENT (Aramaic English New Testament), whose foundational text is older than the oldest Greek textual source.
There are some changes between the Greek and the ancient Aramaic.
|Jesus lifts Peter out of the waves
|He also saves us in the waves life brings our way