Our Reception Of It
     How we ought to receive what God has said to us, and how we ought to respond to His instruction is a
matter  of  grave  concern  to  true  believers,  for  we  will  be  judged  at  last  by  His  word  (John  12:48-50).  
“Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them” is the language Jesus used to pronounce blessing
upon  the  obedient  (Matthew  7:24).    He  taught  people  to  be  concerned  about all of God’s instruction to
them.    Even  jots  and  tittles  have  their  significance  (Matthew  5:18).    “Every word”, “the whole counsel of
God”, and “all scripture” are biblical expressions that make us attentive to all that Christ has said to us, to
receive it and to do it (Matthew 4:4; Acts 20:27; II Timothy 3:16,17).  
     When the Pharisees asked Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”, how
did Jesus respond?  Did He tell them that they were too concerned about law and its particulars?  Please
read Matthew 19:3-9.  Did Jesus tell the Jews that it was not required that they tithe mint and anise and
cummin?  Please read Matthew 23:23 carefully!  When Cornelius told Peter that those present were there
to hear all things commanded by God (Acts 10:33), did Peter tell him that he was on the wrong track and
that Christianity is all about love and not commandment-keeping?  Please read Acts 10:34-48.  Was love
excluded from Peter’s message?  Certainly not!  Note verse 38.  Obedience is the manifestation of love
and an essential element of it (I John 3:16-18; 4:9; 5:2,3).  Love does not supplant obedience, but urges
and  requires  it.    “He  who  has  My  commandments  and  keeps  them, it is he who loves Me,” Jesus said
(John 14:21).  To ignore or refuse to obey Christ’s commands is to show that one does not truly love Him
(John 14:24).
     Friends and brethren, we will all give an account to God based on how we have received His word and
whether  we  have  believed  and  obeyed  it,  loving  God  and  fearing  God.    Let  us not commit the error of
contrasting love and obedience to the commands of the Lord, and let us not deny the essentiality of either
love or obedience for salvation.
Gilbert Alexander
Beulah Church of Christ
(256) 232-1050