Monday, April 11, 2016

Defeating Jesus's Commandments

Can you reconcile the following two claims?

  1. It is impossible to keep all of the commandments.
  2. All we need to do is keep the so-called "Two Great Commandments."

The combination of these two claims is the most common objection raised to keeping the commandments.

Here's the problem.

  1. Jesus's commandments are God's commandments (John 7:16).
  2. You love Jesus if, and only if, you keep his commandments (John 14:15-24).
  3. Jesus's Father is God (John 8:54)
  4. Jesus and his Father are one (John 10:30)[1].

Therefore, you love God if, and only if, you keep all of Jesus's commandments.

If it is impossible to keep all of the commandments, then it is impossible to love Jesus and it is impossible to love God, therefore it is impossible to keep the so-called "Two Great Commandments."

The "Two Great Commandments" objection is intended to be a way of defeating the commandments of Jesus, which are the specific, actionable things people don't want to do - the exact ways in which we demonstrate our love for others.  People don't want to keep the commandments of Jesus because they don't have love for others, and also therefore do not love God (1 John 4:20).  But if they had love for God, then they wouldn't be offering up excuses for why they aren't doing what Jesus asked; they'd be doing it instead.

After all, when we in reality do love someone, we do what they ask.
1 John 3
17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

1 John 5
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
[1] JST Luke 10:23 All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.