It's All About Motives

Reading: 2 John
I suppose I could be accused of seeing the Ten Commandments everywhere I look these days. That’s the natural outcome of preparations for the series that I am teaching beginning in January. But honest, I saw them again as I was reading 2 John this morning.
Traditionally, we see our relationship to God in the first four commandments:
·      No other gods
·      No images
·      No misuse of God’s name
·      Honouring the Lord’s Day.
We consider that the last six of the Ten Commandments have to do with our relationship with others:
·      Honour your parents
·      Don’t murder
·      Don’t commit adultery
·      Don’t steal
·      Don’t lie
·      Don’t covet.
Keeping the rules turns into legalism if the proper motivation for keeping those rules is not in place and John, who seemed to turn from crusty, fire-breathing fisherman to the apostle of love after his encounter with Jesus, addresses the motivation factor which turns the potential for legalism into Christ-honouring lifestyle.
“…I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love” (2 John 5b, 6, NIV).
When we look at these verses and compare what John is saying to what God handed down to Moses, we can see the vertical and horizontal connections between the two. Vertically, we show our love to God and honour the first four commands by walking in obedience and giving God the respect that He deserves. Horizontally, we honour the last six by walking in love. We do nothing that would harm our neighbor.
The motivation makes all the difference in the world.


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