The Commands of Christ

What does Christ command of us as new (or old) believers?

God wants faithfulness not perfection. He wants holiness, not perfection. He wants a loving spirit, not a superior one. I am still the same person I was before I surrendered my life to Christ, but I’m deeply loved, accepted and approved by the only person whose opinion matters. I have a future and a hope. I’m “in” with God. Never an outcaste.

After establishing my identity in Christ, what I do next tells whether I believe that identity or not. How do I live as a Christ-loved person?

One missionary and his church distilled this list to keep the focus on faith in Christ, with acts of service as a byproduct of that relationship and not its prerequisite. He teaches his church to memorize these, and this is a good idea. So here they are:

7 Basic Commands of Christ

  1. Repent and believe (Mark 1:15). (My note: God first. See also Matt 22:37,38)
  2. Be baptized and continue in the new life it initiates (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-11).
  3. Love God and neighbor in a practical way (Matt 22:37-40)
  4. Celebrate the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:17-20)
  5. Pray (Matt 6:5-15)
  6. Give (Matt 6:19-21; Luke 6:38)
  7. Disciple others (Matt 28:18-20)

This list crystallizes my aim in life so that I’m not in danger of running ahead of God, or falling behind in disobedience. I can clearly view all the rest of scripture in the lens of these commands.

Whenever I wonder if I’m pleasing God, I can look at this list. Some commands remind me of where I’ve been with Christ and who I am in His eyes. They comfort me. Other commands challenge me to dig in, get involved, connect with others, and give up my ease for Christ’s sake. Still there are only 7 and it will take a lifetime to fulfill them. I only have to look to Him today, because He has redeemed my past, He is with me today, and He holds my tomorrow in His mighty, loving hand. My perfectionist heart is at rest.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, that you do not lay on burdens, but relieve them. You modeled a life of simplicity and focus, always acting only in obedience to the Father, and you bid me follow. All I have to do is look for your footsteps and match my feet to yours, seeing you in the faces I meet each day. Take my restless spirit, Lord, and guide me toward you with a single heart, despising the condemnation or approval of man. Comfort my soul. Help me to care for those around me, close to me, that in my realm of responsibility. Help me to see my responsibilities to you and others clearly. Help me to be firm in saying no to competing interests; what is good is not always best at this time. Help me be an effective witness for Your Name, and a cheerful giver of all that You have given me. Give strength and grace to my struggling brothers and sisters right now whom You know and see with all love. Send them the provision they need and let them see You and find comfort tonight. I pray this, together with my family in Christ, in Your Powerful Name, Jesus, Amen.

© April 2019, by

Footnotes: 7 Commands of Christ

Patterson, George. 2009. “The Spontaneous Multiplication of Churches”, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, Fourth Edition, ed. by Ralph D. Winer and Steven C. Hawthorne. p639.


My Grace is Sufficient by Lynn DeShazo, Integrity Music. [; 3:25 min.]. 2 Corinthians 12:9 put to song for your memorization.

My grace is sufficient for you,
My grace is sufficient for you,
For power is perfected in weakness 
My grace is sufficient for you. (2x)

Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses (2x)
That the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2x)

Your grace is sufficient for me,
Your grace is sufficient for me
For power is perfected in weakness
Your grace is sufficient for me. (2x)

Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses (2x)
That the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2x)

My grace is sufficient for you,
My grace is sufficient for you,...

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