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The
NAZARENE
Commandments

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The Friends of the Nazarene permit the reproduction of "The Nazarene Commandments" as free gifts to friends and relatives. The manuscript may not be altered in anymanner. [All quotes are from the New World Translation.]

#10 -- BECOME A DISCIPLE.

The Nazarene urged following him in a course of discipleship. A disciple is one who accepts the "discipline" of his teacher, an adherent to the Master’s teachings. This can only be done by first learning the teachings of the Master. These would include THE NAZARENE COMMANDMENTS. "And whoever does not accept his torture stake and follow after me is not worthy of me. He that finds his soul will lose it, and he that loses his soul for my sake will find it." (Mt 10.38, 39) "Be my follower." (Jn 1.43) "If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and follow me continually. For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for the sake of me and the good news will save it. Really, of what benefit is it for a man to gain the whole world and to forfeit his soul? What, really, would a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever becomes ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man will also be ashamed of him when he arrives in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." (Mk 8.34-38) "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever is not carrying his torture stake and coming after me cannot be my disciple." (Lk 14.26, 27) "Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light." (Mt 11.28-30) "He that is not on my side is against me, and he that does not gather with me scatters." (Mt 12.30) "Where anyone hears the word of the kingdom but does not get the sense of it, the wicked one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart; this is the one sown alongside the road. As for the one sown upon the rocky places, this is the one hearing the word and at once accepting it with joy. Yet he has no root in himself but continues for a time, and after tribulation or persecution has arisen on account of the word he is at once stumbled. As for the one sown among the thorns, this is the one hearing the word, but the anxiety of this system of things and the deceptive power of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. As for the one sown upon the fine soil, this is the one hearing the word and getting the sense of it, who really does bear fruit and produces, this one a hundredfold, that one sixty, the other thirty." (Mt 13.19-23) "The kingdom of the heavens is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and for the joy he has he goes and sells what things he has and buys that field." (Mt 13.44) "Again the kingdom of the heavens is like a traveling merchant seeking fine pearls. Upon finding one pearl of high value, away he went and promptly sold all the things he had and bought it." (Mt 13.45, 46) "If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me. For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it. For what benefit will it be to a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man is destined to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will recompense each one according to his behavior." (Mt 16.24-27) "No man that has put his hand to a plow and looks at the things behind is well fitted for the kingdom of God." (Lk 9.62) "Thus, you may be sure, none of you that does not say good-bye to all his belongings can be my disciple." (Lk 14..33) "Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a young child will by no means get into it." (Lk 18.17) "He that follows me will by no means walk in darkness, but will possess the light of life." (Jn 8.12) "If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (Jn 8.31, 32) "He that is fond of his soul destroys it, but he that hates his soul in this world will safeguard it for everlasting life. If anyone would minister to me, let him follow me." (Jn 12.25, 26)

#11 -- BE SEEKING THE KINGDOM FIRST.

Akin to discipleship, putting the "kingdom" first means obedience to the King. This attitude of single mindd focus is seen in some of the Nazarene’s parables. "Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these [other] things will be added to you." (Mt 6.33)

#12 -- BE FORGIVING.

Though the Nazarene teaches love, the idea of forgiving is more precise because it is easy to know what it means to cancel someone’s financial debt. The religious atmosphere of the Jews, like many Christian organizations today, was highly judgmental in its self-righteousness. Christ is the perfect reflection of God’s forgiveness and the means for canceling the debt of sin. "If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Mt 6.15) "Then Peter came up and said to him: ‘Lord, how many times is my brother to sin against me and am I to forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him: "I say to you, not, Up to seven times, but, Up to seventy-seven times." (Mt 18.21, 22) "Pay attention to yourselves. If your brother commits a sin give him a rebuke, and if he repents forgive him. Even if he sins seven times a day against you and he comes back to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him." (Lk 17.3, 4) "In like manner my heavenly Father will also deal with you if you do not forgive each one his brother from your hearts." (Mt 18.35) "And when you stand praying, forgive whatever you have against anyone; in order that your Father who is in the heavens may also forgive you your trespasses." (Mk 11.25, 26)

#13 -- STORE SPIRITUAL TREASURES.

In contrast to the command not to store up earthly treasures the Nazarene commands the opposite. He encourages, "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven." (Mt 6.20) Elsewhere Jesus teaches about "credit’ with God in the context of loving those who do not love you. (Mt 5.46; Lk 6.32-34)

#14 -- LIVE ON GOD’S WORD.

The Nazarene was surely familiar with every utterance that had come from the mouth of God, particularly those found in the inspired library, the Hebrew Bible. He quotes often from the Jewish Scriptures. "Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah's mouth.'" (De 8.3; Mt 4.4) In his Passover Prayer the Nazarene says, "Your word is truth." (Jn 17.17) "Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life." (Jn 4.14) "You are searching the Scriptures, because you think that by means of them you will have everlasting life; and these are the very ones that bear witness about me." (Jn 5.39) "He that is from God listens to the sayings of God." (Jn 8.47) "If anyone observes my word, he will never see death at all." (Jn 8.51)

#15 -- WORSHIP GOD ALONE.

To the Devil, as well as to the learned rabbis, the Nazarene teaches to direct worship to only God. By this he means the Father and not himself. "It is the LORD (YHWH) your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service." (Lk 4.8; De 5.9; 6.13; Mt 4.10) "The hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him. God is a Spirit, and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth." (Jn 4.23, 24)

#16 -- REPENT.

Both John the Baptist and the Nazarene exhort to repentance. The word in Greek means to change the mind regarding attitude and conduct. Before the would-be disciple can come to the Nazarene, there must be repentance. "Repent, you people, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near." (Mt 4.17) "Unless you repent, you will all be destroyed in the same way." (Lk 13.5) "I tell you, joy arises among the angels of God over one sinner that repents." (Lk 15.10)

#17 -- LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE.

To the Nazarene "light" here is righteous works done in faith. The Nazarene disciple cannot hide in a cave and wait for his Master’s Return. He must come out and go into the public. He must carry Christ in his bosom into his daily life. "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens." (Mt 5.16)

#18 -- TEACH.

The Nazarene was among the greatest teachers of history. He sets the example and at the same time encourages his disciples to teach others. "Whoever, therefore, breaks one of these least commandments and teaches mankind to that effect, he will be called 'least' in relation to the kingdom of the heavens. As for anyone who does them and teaches them, this one will be called 'great' in relation to the kingdom of the heavens." (Mt 5.19)

#19 -- BE CHARITABLE.

Giving and charity are at the top of list of the Nazarene’s teachings. Since Jesus puts spiritual interests before the material, the later becomes less important. It paves the way for a charitable disposition. Charity is so vital in may mean the difference between Kingdom inheritance or everlasting extinction. These teachings, then, must be read carefully. "Give to the one asking you, and do not turn away from one that wants to borrow from you [without interest]." (Mt 5.42) "He that receives you receives me also, and he that receives me receives him also that sent me forth. He that receives a prophet because he is a prophet will get a prophet's reward, and he that receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will get a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water to drink because he is a disciple, I tell you truly, he will by no means lose his reward." (Mt 10.40-42) "Practice giving, and people will give to you. They will pour into your laps a fine measure, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing. For with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you in return." (Lk 6.38) "Who really is my neighbor?" (Lk 10.29) "Give as gifts of mercy the things that are inside, and, look! all [other] things are clean about you." (Lk 11.41)

#20 -- LOVE OTHERS.

Not once does the Nazarene ever say to stop loving someone. He frames "love" always in the positive. The disciples place the Greek word agape in their Master’s Hebrew mouth. Agape means interest in and concern for another based on two factors: a) motive; and, b) principle. One may love his enemy but there may be an evil motive behind it. One may love another out of wrong principle. The Nazarene’s view of love is unselfishly seeking the highest good of another. "'You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, 'You must love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets." (Mt 22.37-40) "Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you." (Mt 5.44) "Continue to love your enemies, to do good to those hating you, to bless those cursing you, to pray for those who are insulting you. To him that strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also; and from him that takes away your outer garment, do not withhold even the undergarment. Give to everyone asking you, and from the one taking your things away do not ask [them] back. And if you love those loving you, of what credit is it to you? For even the sinners love those loving them. And if you do good to those doing good to you, really of what credit is it to you? Even the sinners do the same. Also, if you lend [without interest] to those from whom you hope to receive, of what credit is it to you? Even sinners lend [without interest] to sinners that they may get back as much. To the contrary, continue to love your enemies and to do good and to lend [without interest], not hoping for anything back; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind toward the unthankful and wicked. Continue becoming merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Lk 6.27-36) "I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves." (Jn 13.34, 35) "This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you. No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends." (Jn 15.12, 13) "These things I command you, that you love one another." (Jn 15.17)

#21 -- BE POSITIVE.

No other creature who has ever lived was as positive as Jesus Christ the Nazarene. Unfortunately some who read this verse below suddenly become negative about the principle or philosophy behind the Nazarene’s words. They can not expect to receive, or find, or have doors opened to them. "Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking it will be opened." (Mt 7.7, 8)

#22 -- KEEP THE GOLDEN RULE.

Many religions have a "golden rule" but almost without exception it is presented in the negative. Essentially it says: you know what is wrong, now do not do that to others. The Nazarene reverses this: treat others as you would be treated. This requires positive action not merely refraining from harming others. "All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them." (Mt 7.12) "Also, just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them." (Lk 6.31)

#23 -- FOLLOW THE RESTRICTIVE WAY.

As elsewhere, discipleship to the Nazarene is never painted with soft brush strokes. It would have been easy for Jesus to preach a message which would have pleased the ears of all. Rather, he points to a walk of life, a life-style which is pressed through a "narrow gate" away from the spacious road. Not only the teachings of Jesus, but the lifestyle he preaches, may be viewed as a "rigid belief system." Interestingly, however, those who follow the Nazarene "no matter where he goes" find a liberation they did not anticipate, a joyous life, and an imaginable hope. "Go in through the narrow gate; because broad and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are the ones going in through it; whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it." (Mt 7.13, 14) "Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able." (Lk 13.24)

#24 -- WATCH OUT FOR FALSE PROPHETS.

The Nazarene does not preach the unification of all religions or a gullible acceptance of what any teacher says. He warns several times in different contexts about false prophets and pseudo "anointed." "Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep's covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them." (Mt 7.15, 16)

#25 -- DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER.

The will of the Father may be summarized by saying: believe in and follow the teachings of the Nazarene. "Not everyone saying to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?' And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness." (Mt 7.21-23) "Whoever does the will of God, this one is my brother and sister and mother." (Mk 3.35) "Therefore everyone that hears these sayings of mine and does them will be likened to a discreet man, who built his house upon the rock-mass. Furthermore, everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand." (Mt 7.24, 26)

#26 -- PRAY FOR WORKERS.

The opportunity set before mankind is the most transcendental of all hopes: celestial immortality in the Kingdom of the Father. There has always be a need for "workers" and not just "believers." Though Jesus is addressing his apostles directly, surely the principle has an extended meaning. "Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest." (Mt 9.37, 38)

#27 -- PREACH TO OTHERS.

By example, by invitation, and by teaching, the Nazarene commands others to share their faith, to preach their hope, and invite all to the Shepherd. Paul puts it simply: "I believed, therefore, I spoke." (2 Co 4.12, 13) Faith and the mouth are linked. (Ro 10.9, 10) "What I tell you in the darkness, say in the light; and what you hear whispered, preach from the housetops." (Mt 10.27) "Go therefore and make disciples of people 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 the things I have commanded you." (Mt 28.19, 20) "Let the dead bury their dead, but you go away and declare abroad the kingdom of God." (Lk 9.60)

#28 -- STAY ON THE WATCH.

The Nazarene confesses he does not know the "day and hour" of his own Return or Parousia. (Mt 24.36) He states none of his disciples can calculate this date or come to know it through some time chronology. (Mk 13.33, 35; Ac 1.6, 7) So, the Nazarene Saints must maintain a tension between their own ignorance and the need to remain alert and ever looking heavenward by faith for the foretold Arrival of the Master. "Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.." (Mt 24.42) "Prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming." (Mt 24.44) "Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings." (Mt 24.45-47) "Keep on the watch, therefore, because you know neither the day nor the hour." (Mt 25.13) "Keep on the watch and pray continually, that you may not enter into temptation." (Mt 26.41) "Happy are those slaves whom the master on arriving finds watching!" (Lk 12.37) "you also, keep ready, because at an hour that you do not think likely the Son of man is coming." (Lk 12.40) "But pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you as a snare. For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth. Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur, and in standing before the Son of man." (Lk 21.34-36)

#29 -- KEEP THE MEMORIAL.

The Nazarene preached that truth liberates. Though he did give commandments to his disciples, he does not lay out the floor plain to some High Church. He commands only one celebration. He gave no name to it but it has come to be called the Memorial, the Eucharist, the Christine Passover, the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion. (1 Co 11.26) "As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf and, after saying a blessing, he broke it and, giving it to the disciples, he said: "Take, eat. This means my body." Also, he took a cup and, having given thanks, he gave it to them, saying: "Drink out of it, all of you; for this means my 'blood of the covenant,' which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins. But I tell you, I will by no means drink henceforth any of this product of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father." (Mt 26.26-29) Also, he took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: "This means my body which is to be given in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me." Also, the cup in the same way after they had the evening meal, he saying: "This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf." (Lk 2..19, 20)

#30 -- LISTEN AND OBEY.

The Nazarene encouraged listening or paying attention. Particularly in the context of his parables he repeats this formula. Jesus does it again when he writes the seven apocalyptic epistles in the Book of Revelation. "Whoever has ears to listen, let him listen." (Mk 4.23) "I say to you, my friends, Do not fear those who kill the body and after this are not able to do anything more. But I will indicate to you whom to fear: Fear him who after killing has authority to throw into Ge·hen'na. Yes, I tell you, fear this One." (Lk 12.5) "He that hears my word and believes him that sent me has everlasting life, and he does not come into judgment but has passed over from death to life." (Jn 5.24) "My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (Jn 10.27) "If you love me, you will observe my commandments." (Jn 14.15) "He that has my commandments and observes them, that one is he who loves me." (Jn 14.21) "If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our abode with him. He that does not love me does not observe my words." (Jn 14.23, 24) "If you observe my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have observed the commandments of the Father and remain in his love." (Jn 15.10) "You are my friends if you do what I am commanding you." (Jn 15.14)

#31 -- HONOR PARENTS.

The Nazarene agrees with Moses when he chastises the religious hierarchy of his own day. Surely, we can only see the little Nazarene honoring his parents with respect. In the context of this statement, the Christ is discussing material assistance to older parents. "For example, Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Let him that reviles father or mother end up in death.'" (Mk 7.10) #32 -- BECOME SPIRITUALLY REBORN. To become a Child of God one must undergo a spiritual regeneration. This requires positive action on the part of the Nazarene disciple to "receive" or accept the teachings of the Messiah as part of the Word of The God. (Jn 1.12, 13; 1 Pe 1.3, 23; Ja 1.18) "Most truly I say to you, Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ... Unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. What has been born from the flesh is flesh, and what has been born from the spirit is spirit. Do not marvel because I told you, you people must be born again." (Jn 3.3-7) "While you have the light, exercise faith in the light, in order to become sons of light." (Jn 12.36)

III. PRINCIPLES FOR DEVELOPING THE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER.

Besides the above negative and positive commands the Nazarene taught many principles which are not specifically "commands." They come in the form of basic truths or fundamental principles when viewed from a divine perspective. In addition to these listed there are numerous principles which may be implied by direction instructions to the Nazarene’s own apostles or to single individuals. The extent these apply to Christians today must be determined by each Saint.

#1 -- TOLERANCE.

By example, the Nazarene demonstrated tolerance even for those who might hear him but choose not to follow his teachings. (Jn 12.47) "In response John said: ‘Instructor, we saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he is not following with us.’ But Jesus said to him: ‘Do not you men try to prevent [him], for he that is not against you is for you.’" (Lk 9.49, 50) "Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one that will do a powerful work on the basis of my name that will quickly be able to revile me; for he that is not against us is for us. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink on the ground that you belong to Christ, I truly tell you, he will by no means lose his reward. But whoever stumbles one of these little ones that believe, it would be finer for him if a millstone such as is turned by an ass were put around his neck and he were actually pitched into the sea." (Mk 9.39-42)

#2 -- THE SWORD.

The night of his arrest the Nazarene made sure there were two swords among his apostles. This was to prove to be an object lesson that Jesus’ followers could have put up some resistance to the arrest of their Master. It is Peter who possesses one of the swords and strikes out at one of the crowd. "All those who take the sword will perish by the sword." (Mt 26.52)

#3 -- RESPONSIBILITY.

No one has ever been more responsible than the Nazarene. It is because of this he is exalted to a higher position upon his resurrection. (Ph 2.5-11) The principle of increased reward with increased responsibility is the moral behind many of the Nazarene parables. "For whoever has, more will be given him and he will be made to abound; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him." (Mt 1312) "Therefore, pay attention to how you listen; for whoever has, more will be given him, but whoever does not have, even what he imagines he has will be taken away from him." (Lk 8.18) "Everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him; and the one whom people put in charge of much, they will demand more than usual of him." (Lk 12.48)

#4 -- BLASPHEMY.

Blasphemy is a serious matter. The word means to speak abusively of another though it is generally applied to speaking against God. When a godly person truly sent by God is accused of wrong unjustly, it becomes a dangerous matter. (Mt 5.22, 23) The Nazarene warned in most extreme terms not to speak abusively of someone anointed by God. "Every sort of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven. For example, whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the holy spirit, it will not be forgiven him, no, not in this system of things nor in that to come." (Mt 12.31, 32)

#5 -- CAUTION AND INNOCENCE.

Persons who are motivated by love for all can be taken advantage of easily . They are guileless and lacking in suspicion. The Nazarene cautions his own sheep to exercise caution and remain innocent. "Look! I am sending you forth as sheep amidst wolves; therefore prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves." (Mt 10.16)

#6 -- SPIRITUAL MOTIVES.

The "heart" is a Biblical metaphor for "motive" or inner affection. In the context of daily concerns, and the tendency to seek Riches, the Nazarene said the following. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Mt 6.21)

#7 -- BAPTISM.

John came baptizing. Jesus was baptized. His own disciples baptized others. Jesus commands his apostles to baptize. The early Christians practiced baptism. This all agrees with the Nazarene’s statement. "By (water baptism) it is suitable for us to carry out all that is righteous." (Mt 3.15)

#8 -- POOR BLESSED.

There are many reasons why people are poor. Often it is beyond their control. There is no shame in being poor, particularly if it is motivated by a loving interest in others as a chosen life-course. "Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them." (Mt 5.3) "Happy are you poor, because yours is the kingdom of God." (Lk 6.20)

#9 -- MOURNING COMFORTED.

Paul describes creation’s existence as "a season of groaning pain." (Ro 8.22) There are many reasons which cause us to mourn. The Nazarene assures: "Happy are those who mourn, since they will be comforted." (Mt 5.4)

#10 -- MEEKNESS.

The Nazarene was meek and mild in teaching and manners. He encourages the same among his disciples. "Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth." (Mt 5.5)

#11 -- RIGHTEOUSNESS.

This word occurs upwards of 50 times in the Gospels. It means the state of being right, or law-abiding, particularly regarding God’s Law. Now, with the arrival of His Son it includes obedience to the commandments of the Nazarene. "Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled." (Mt 5.6) A thirst for righteousness also conveys the idea of wanting to see justice done. "If your righteousness does not abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens." (Mt 5.20) "For he that practices vile things hates the light and does not come to the light, in order that his works may not be reproved. But he that does what is true comes to the light, in order that his works may be made manifest as having been worked in harmony with God." (Jn 3.20, 21)

#12 -- CHARITABLE.

The Nazarene was a giving type of man. Charity characterized his spirit. He teaches his disciples to do the same. "Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy." (Mt 5.7) "If, then, your eye is [generous], your whole body will be bright; but if your eye is [greedy], your whole body will be dark. If in reality the light that is in you is darkness, how great that darkness is!" (Mt 6.22, 23) "'Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; naked, and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to me.'" (Mt 25.34-36) "'Truly I say to you, To the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" (Mt 25.40)

#13 -- PURITY.

The Nazarene was the purest of men. His own Beloved Apostle wrote: "Everyone who has this hope (of seeing the Son) set upon him purifies himself even as that One is pure." (1 Jn 3.3) The Nazarene teaches the same. "Happy are the pure in heart, since they will see God." (Mt 5.8) "Everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Mt 5.28)

#14 -- PEACEFUL.

A peaceful person is not judgmental, not confrontational, not adversarial. The peacemakers are willing to compromise and seek good relations for all. "Happy are the peaceable, since they will be called 'sons of God..'" (Mt 5.9) "Make your peace with your brother, and then, when you have come back, offer up your gift." (Mt 5.24) "Be about settling matters quickly with the one complaining against you at law, while you are with him on the way there." (Mt 5.25) "Have salt in yourselves, and keep peace between one another." (Mk 9.50) "you are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its strength, how will its saltiness be restored? It is no longer usable for anything but to be thrown outside to be trampled on by men." (Mt 5.13) "When you are going with your adversary at law to a ruler, get to work, while on the way, to rid yourself of the dispute with him." (Lk 12.58) "Everyone who continues wrathful with his brother will be accountable to the court of justice; but whoever addresses his brother with an unspeakable word of contempt will be accountable to the Supreme Court; whereas whoever says, 'you despicable fool!' will be liable to the fiery Ge·hen'na." (Mt 5.22)

#15 -- HAPPY WHEN PERSECUTED.

It was foretold the Messiah would be persecuted and suffer at the hands of men, a man meant for pain. (Is 53) He foretold his disciples would be persecuted for bearing his name. (Mt 24.9) Paul teaches "we must enter the Kingdom through many persecutions." (Ac 14..22; 2 Tm 3.12) And so the Nazarene taught to find joy and happiness in this oppression. "Happy are those who have been persecuted for righteousness' sake, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them. Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you." (Mt 5.10-12) "Happy are you whenever men hate you, and whenever they exclude you and reproach you and cast out your name as wicked for the sake of the Son of man. Rejoice in that day and leap, for, look! your reward is great in heaven, for those are the same things their forefathers used to do to the prophets." (Lk 6.22, 23)

#16 -- ATTITUDE TOWARD RICHES.

No where does the Nazarene teach: "Do not become rich." He demonstrates, first by his life-style, the course his disciples should follow. His first disciples copied him exactly. Jesus does tell certain particular men to divest themselves of their belongings and properties. He tells the "little flock" to "sell their belongings and give gifts of charity to the poor." (Lk 12.32, 33) The Christ has much to say on this subject as any word search in a concordance will show. "You cannot slave for God and for Riches." (Mt 6.24) "Jesus said to him: ‘If you want to be perfect, go sell your belongings and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven, and come be my follower.’ When the young man heard this saying, he went away grieved, for he was holding many possessions. But Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Truly I say to you that it will be a difficult thing for a rich man to get into the kingdom of the heavens. Again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to get through a needle's eye than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God.’" (Mt 19.21-24) "And everyone that has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive many times more and will inherit everlasting life." (Mt 19.29) "How difficult a thing it will be for those with money to enter into the kingdom of God!" But the disciples gave way to surprise at his words. In response Jesus again said to them: "Children, how difficult a thing it is to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." They became still more astounded and said to him: "Who, in fact, can be saved?" Looking straight at them Jesus said: "With men it is impossible, but not so with God, for all things are possible with God." (Mk 10.23-27) "And he sat down with the treasury chests in view and began observing how the crowd was dropping money into the treasury chests; and many rich people were dropping in many coins. Now a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins, which have very little value. So he called his disciples to him and said to them: ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow dropped in more than all those dropping money into the treasury chests; for they all dropped in out of their surplus, but she, out of her want, dropped in all of what she had, her whole living.’" (Mk 12.41-13.1) "But woe to you rich persons, because you are having your consolation in full." (Lk 6.24) "A man dressed in soft outer garments? Why, those in splendid dress and existing in luxury are in royal houses." (Lk 7.25) "As for that which fell among the thorns, these are the ones that have heard, but, by being carried away by anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life, they are completely choked and bring nothing to perfection." (Lk 8.14) "Keep your eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness, because even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses." (Lk 12.15) "So it goes with the man that lays up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God." (Lk 12.21) "Make friends for yourselves by means of the unrighteous riches, so that, when such fail, they may receive you into the everlasting dwelling places." (Lk 16.9) "The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and the person unrighteous in what is least is unrighteous also in much. Therefore, if you have not proved yourselves faithful in connection with the unrighteous riches, who will entrust you with what is true? And if you have not proved yourselves faithful in connection with what is another's, who will give you what is for yourselves? No house servant can be a slave to two masters; for, either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. you cannot be slaves to God and to riches." (Lk 16.10-13) "And a certain ruler questioned him, saying: "Good Teacher, by doing what shall I inherit everlasting life?" Jesus said to him: "Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God. you know the commandments, 'Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'" Then he said: "All these I have kept from youth on." After hearing that, Jesus said to him: "There is yet one thing lacking about you: Sell all the things you have and distribute to poor people, and you will have treasure in the heavens; and come be my follower." When he heard this, he became deeply grieved, for he was very rich." (Lk 18.18-23) "Jesus looked at him and said: "How difficult a thing it will be for those having money to make their way into the kingdom of God! It is easier, in fact, for a camel to get through the eye of a sewing needle than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God." Those who heard this said: "Who possibly can be saved?" He said: "The things impossible with men are possible with God." But Peter said: "Look! We have left our own things and followed you." He said to them: "Truly I say to you, There is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not in any way get many times more in this period of time, and in the coming system of things everlasting life." (Lk 18.24-30) "Now as he looked up he saw the rich dropping their gifts into the treasury chests. Then he saw a certain needy widow drop two small coins of very little value there, and he said: "I tell you truthfully, This widow, although poor, dropped in more than they all did. For all these dropped in gifts out of their surplus, but this [woman] out of her want dropped in all the means of living she had." (Lk 21.1-4)

#17 -- YOUR SPEECH.

The Nazarene’s disciple James wrote: "The tongue is a whole universe of unrighteousness." (Ja 3.6) Jesus taught the mouth could be a person’s complete undoing, possibly affecting everlasting life. (Mt 5.22, 23) It becomes necessary to guard the speech and strive to make it "good" as evidence of a "good" heart. "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure sends out good things, whereas the wicked man out of his wicked treasure sends out wicked things. I tell you that every unprofitable saying that men speak, they will render an account concerning it on Judgment Day; for by your words you will be declared righteous, and by your words you will be condemned." (Mt 12.34-37) "Every [writer], when taught respecting the kingdom of the heavens, is like a man, a householder, who brings out of his treasure store things new and old." (Mt 13.52) "Not what enters into [his] mouth defiles a man; but it is what proceeds out of [his] mouth that defiles a man." (Mt 15.11) "However, the things proceeding out of the mouth come out of the heart, and those things defile a man. For example, out of the heart come wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, fornications, thieveries, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things defiling a man; but to take a meal with unwashed hands does not defile a man." (Mt 15.18-20) "That which issues forth out of a man is what defiles a man; for from inside, out of the heart of men, injurious reasonings issue forth: fornications, thieveries, murders, adulteries, covetings, acts of wickedness, deceit, loose conduct, an envious eye, blasphemy, haughtiness, unreasonableness. All these wicked things issue forth from within and defile a man." (Mk 7.20-23) "A good man brings forth good out of the good treasure of his heart, but a wicked man brings forth what is wicked out of his wicked [treasure]; for out of the heart's abundance his mouth speaks." (Lk 6.45) "Watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing carefully concealed that will not be revealed, and secret that will not become known. Wherefore what things you say in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you whisper in private rooms will be preached from the housetops." (Lk 12.1-3)

#18 -- SERVE OTHERS.

God created mankind in His image. He has put in humans (hard-wired them) a sense of His own centeredness as if the cosmos revolved around each one as they look out through their eyes with no one able to read their minds. This ego-centricity is now burdened with inherited sin and can easily become egotism and arrogant pride. It takes much training to learn to rid oneself of this self-centered interest. By discipline, and transforming the mental attitude, the Nazarene Saint can develope an almost knee-jerk response when it comes to putting others first. The Nazarene is the premier example of this. (Ph 2.1-9) "You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and the great men wield authority over them. This is not the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. Just as the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many." (Mt 20.25-28) "If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and minister of all." (Mk 9.35) "You know that those who appear to be ruling the nations lord it over them and their great ones wield authority over them. This is not the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all. For even the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many." (Mk 10.42-45) "However, there also arose a heated dispute among them over which one of them seemed to be greatest. But [Jesus] said to them: ‘The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those having authority over them are called Benefactors. you, though, are not to be that way. But let him that is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the one acting as chief as the one ministering. For which one is greater, the one reclining at the table or the one ministering? Is it not the one reclining at the table? But I am in your midst as the one ministering.. ’” (Lk 22.24-27) "You address me, 'Teacher,' and, 'Lord,' and you speak rightly, for I am such. Therefore, if I, although Lord and Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash the feet of one another. For I set the pattern for you, that, just as I did to you, you should do also. Most truly I say to you, A slave is not greater than his master, nor is one that is sent forth greater than the one that sent him. If you know these things, happy you are if you do them." (Jn 13.13-17)

#19 -- FRUITFUL.

The Nazarene teaches directly and by parables that his disciples ought to bear fruitage. By this he means two things: a) a righteous life growing in Christian character; and, b) make other disciples. "Every branch in me not bearing fruit he takes away, and every one bearing fruit he cleans, that it may bear more fruit." (Jn 15.2) "He that remains in union with me, and I in union with him, this one bears much fruit; because apart from me you can do nothing at all." (Jn 15.5) "My Father is glorified in this, that you keep bearing much fruit and prove yourselves my disciples." (Jn 15.8) "I appointed you to go on and keep bearing fruit and that your fruit should remain." (Jn 15.16) CONCLUSION. Those who are truly serious about becoming and remaining loyal disciples of the Nazarene -- "Christians" in the real sense of the word -- will regularly review the "commandments" of Jesus Christ. By doing so it becomes clear Jesus laid particular emphasis on certain subjects: Anxiety (I. #6), Humility (II. #6), Faith (II. # 7), Discipleship (II. # 10), Charity (II # 19), Love (II. # 20), Watchfulness (II. # 28), Attitudes toward Riches (III. # 16), Speech (III.. # 17), and, Service to Others. (III. # 18) These are in harmony with the brief summary the beloved apostle John gives in 1 John 3.23: "This is God’s commandment: believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another." The disciple James echoes the same in his letter where he shows works of charity ought to accompany faith. The Nazarene Saints desirous of "following the Lamb no matter where he goes" will demonstrate their love and friendship for Jesus Christ by conforming as closely as possible to these "commandments" of their Lord. The Nazarene exhorted: "Strain [agonize] every nerve to enter the narrow door." (Lk 13.24 AT)

May The God of our Lord Jesus bless the spirit you show.

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