Summary: A New Old Commandment
Introduction: Living In The Light
It was a dark morning. Low, steel-colored clouds filled the sky, and the atmosphere was so dim that I needed to turn on the lights in order to read a book. I had just settled in when the room suddenly filled with light. I looked up and saw that the wind was pushing the clouds to the east, clearing the sky and revealing the sun.
As I went to the window to get a better look at the drama, a thought came to mind: “The darkness is passing and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8). The apostle John wrote these words to believers as a message of encouragement. He went on to say, “Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble” (v. 10). By contrast, he equated hating people with roaming around in darkness. Hatred is disorienting; it takes away our sense of moral direction.
Loving people is not always easy. Yet I was reminded as I looked out the window that frustration, forgiveness, and faithfulness are all part of maintaining a deep connection with the love and light of God. When we choose love instead of hate, we are showing our relationship with Him and reflecting His radiance to the world around us. “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
Source: J. Benson Schuldt, Our Daily Bread
I. The Old Commandment 7
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
A. The Old Commandment Is The Mosaic Law
1. The Mosaic Law is broken down into three parts
i. No murder
ii. No adultery
iii. No theft
iv. No covetousness
i. Civil laws are regulations to be enforced by the theocratic, national state of Israel in order to maintain a civil society.
ii. These include laws prescribing penalties for breaking the moral law.
i. This law dealt with the ceremonial rites of the Jewish sanctuary service, and concerned itself with a system of religion that passed away at the cross.
ii. Large sections of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy describe in detail this temporary law.
iii. The ceremonial law can easily be identified in scripture.
iv. It talks about circumcision a religious Jewish rite, sacrifices, offerings, purifications, holy days and other rites associated with the Hebrew sanctuary service.
2. Jesus made this law obsolete by his death on the Cross
a. So does this mean I can do whatever I want?
ii. God’s Law still courses through the New Testament!
b. So do I have to keep the ceremonial law of the OT?
ii. You are not Jewish!
3. All of Jesus’ Apostles WERE Jewish, but beginning with Peter, they began to move away from the Ceremonial Law.
B. The Old Commandment Is The Messianic Law
1. While not nearly as old as the Mosaic Law, the Messianic Law has been around a while.
2. Let’s say that John and Jesus were about the same age:
a. If 1John was written between 85-95AD, John would be 85-95.
b. Remember also that John is the author of the Gospel of John
i. We are going to the Gospel of John for some Messianic Laws.
ii. We will also find Messianic Laws in the other Gospels.
3. Messianic Laws
a. Law #1
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
b. Law #2 all part of the Upper Room Discourse
i. A new commandment
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
ii. Keep my commandments
If you love Me, keep My commandments.
iii. 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.
iv. Love one another
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
c. Law #3 – the greatest commandment
36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
C. Application To The Church
1. We can summarize this verse by saying the old commandment is God’s law!