God’s Commandments and Human Traditions

June 20, 2024
God's Commandments and Human Traditions

Faith and Deeds

Many churches insist that we only have to ‘believe’ to be saved. They say we do not need to keep God’s commandments. Yet they are faithful in keeping human traditions that have nothing to do with God. God’s commandments and human traditions can never go hand-in-hand. Faith is not just claiming to believe in God and doing nothing. Faith should be accompanied by action, as faith without deeds is dead. The Apostle James clearly emphasized that faith without deeds is useless.

James 2:14-15 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them..?

James 2:17,20-22 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

God commanded His people to keep His law. Then today, many churches insist that the commands of God are abolished and we no longer need to keep them and insist that those who keep the law of God are wrong and legalistic. Is this true? No, it is not. Let us find out.

God’s Commandments and Human Traditions

God’s people should differentiate between God’s commandments and human traditions.

1 John 2:3-4 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

The Bible says that whoever claims to know God, i.e. believes in God, must keep God’s commandments. This is why it is essential to differentiate between God’s commandments and human traditions. People of God must keep God’s commandments. Many people around the world claim to believe and have faith in God. They are convinced that they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. However, how can they prove they know and believe in God? It is by keeping God’s commandments.

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Who is ‘me’ here? It is Jesus. Although many people call out to Jesus ‘Lord, Lord,’ for their salvation, if they fail to keep God’s commandments, they are regarded as nothing but evildoers.

Human Rules

Mark 7:7-9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

Jesus said that people who forsake God’s commandments and hold on to human rules will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What are the rules taught by men? Anything people practice in the name of God that is not found in the Bible is man’s rule. Typical examples are:

  1. Sunday service and Christmas which originated from Ancient Rome.
  2. Sunday worship was introduced into Christianity in A.D 321. It is the sacred day to worship the sun god, Mithra.
  3. Christmas – December 25 was the birthday of the sun god, Mithra.
  4. Another example is Easter, which originated from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility.

God’s Thoughts and Man’s Thoughts

Even Apostle Peter was sternly rebuked by Jesus, ‘Unless I wash your feet, you have no part with me.’

John 13:6-9 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

In those days, masters washing the feet of a servant was unheard of; it was regarded as a dishonour. What Peter did seemed noble at first, as a master should not wash the feet of the servant. However, Jesus surprisingly said, “Unless I wash your feet, you have no part with me.” It means that though Peter had great faith in Jesus unless he did what Jesus told him, he would have no part with Christ. What Jesus did was directly related to Peter’s salvation. God established the Feet-washing ceremony as a part of our salvation.

What if Apostle Peter held on to his thoughts and disobeyed? Would he have been saved? Likewise, we must get rid of our fixed ideas and align our thoughts with God’s.

Isaiah 55:6-9 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The Bible teaches us to forsake our thoughts and follow God’s thoughts. Where are God’s thoughts contained? In the Bible. Though God’s words might seem strange and unfamiliar, we should permanently abandon our thoughts and follow God’s.

Hosea 8:12 I wrote for them the many things of my law, but they regarded them as something foreign.

God’s Commandments

What does the Bible teach us about eternal life and salvation? Jesus said we can receive life by obeying God’s commandments.

Matthew 19:17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
Then, what are the commandments of God?

1 John 2:5-6 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Whoever claims to believe in God must walk as Jesus did. Whatever Jesus did and said should not be neglected.

  1. Jesus kept the New Covenant Passover by eating bread and drinking wine with His disciples (Matthew 26:17-28).
  2. His custom was keeping Sabbath day and going to the synagogue to preach (Luke 4:16).
  3. Jesus went to the temple and gave the living waters on the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles. (John 7:2,37-39).
  4. He poured out the Holy Spirit on His disciples on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

All these are the examples Jesus taught; whoever wants to be saved should know and keep them.

John 13:15-17 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

“You will be blessed if you do them.” Jesus is emphasizing that though we ‘know,’ we must do. It means having faith is not just a thought but seen through action. That is why the members of the World Mission Society Church of God strive to practice Christ’s teachings with joyful hearts—remembering the words of Christ. We hope you will study the Bible with us, learn to walk in the way Christ has taught us, and go to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Next Post