The Commandments of Christ
Epitome of Commandments of Christ
IN FORCE IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
"Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." - Jesus.
"Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded." - Jesus
"If ye know these things, happy are ye, if ye do them." - Jesus
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom, but he that doeth the will of my Father." - Jesus
"Be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." - James
"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar." - John
Popular theology has reduced the commandments of Christ and His Apostles to a practical nullity. It has totally obscured the principle of obedience as the basis of our acceptance with God in Christ, by its doctrine of "justification by faith alone," and that too, of the most momentary character in the hour of death. It is part of the modern restitution of primitive apostolic ways, to recognize distinctly, that while faith turns a sinner into a saint, obedience only will secure a saint's acceptance at the judgment seat of Christ; and that a disobedient saint will be rejected more decisively than even an unjustified sinner.
The rule or standard of obedience is to be found in the commandments of Christ. Christ speaks very plainly on this subject in the statements quoted on the title-page. They are summed up in this saying of his - "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love."
Before we can keep his commandments, we must know them; and in order to know them to any purpose, we must remember them. This epitome is intended as a help to the memory. The commandments are picked out from the apostolic writings, and classified in a way convenient to remember, and printed in a form convenient for carrying about on the person daily, so that they may be often looked at, and imprinted on the mind. The references are supplied for the satisfaction of those who desire to be quite sure of their foundation. What excellent men and women are those who keep all these commandments! Where are they? Lord, increase their number.
THE COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST
In which are included the commandments of his apostles, concerning which he said, "He that heareth you, heareth me"; and Paul, "The things that I write are the commandments of the Lord."
I. CONCERNING GOD
1. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy strength, and all thy mind. (Matt. 22:37)
2. Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. (Matt. 10:28)
3. Glory in the Lord; not in man. (1 Cor. 3:21; 2 Cor. 10:17).
4. Be imitators of God; be like Him in His kindness to the undeserving. (Matt. 5:45-48; Eph. 5:1).
5. Pray to God always and faint not. (Luke 18:1; Matt. 7:7; 26:41; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6, Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:8; Heb. 4:16); pray with brevity and simplicity (Matt. 6:7); pray secretly (Matt. 6:6).
6. Have faith in God; cast your care upon Him: He knows your need and will provide. (Mark 11:22; Matt. 6:25; Phil. 4:6, 1 Peter 5:7).
7. Give yourselves to His service without reserve, recognizing that you cannot serve God and Mammon (Matt. 6:24; Rom. 12:1).
8. In everything give thanks to Him for this is His will and pleasure concerning you. (Eph. 5:20 ; Col. 3:15, 17; 1 Thess. 5:18; Heb. 13:15).
9. Recognize Him in all your ways, saying concerning your purposes "if the Lord will." (Jas. 4:15; Prov. 3:6).
10. Come out from the world and be separate unto Him, as His sons and daughters. (2 Cor. 6:14-17).
II. CONCERNING CHRIST
11. Let Christ dwell in your heart by faith. (Eph 3:17).
12. Give him a higher place than father, mother, husband, wife, children, relations, houses, and lands. (Luke 14 26; Matt 10:37).
13. Set your affections upon him, and not upon the present world at all. (Col. 3:1-4; 1 John 2 : 15).
14. Take him for an example and follow in his steps. (1 Pet. 2:21-23; John 13:15).
15. Abide in him: do not let him slip from your memory and affections. (John 15 :7; Heb. 2:1).
16. Call him to remembrance every first day of the week in the breaking of bread, as he has appointed. (Matt. 26:26-27; 1 Cor. 11:24-26; Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2).
17. Be not ashamed to confess him before men, (Luke 12:8; Mark 8:38; 2 Tim. 1:8), at the same time taking care to expose not your holy things to the profane. (Matt. 7:6).
18. Aim to be in a state of continual readiness for his coming. With this in view, be on your guard against the engrossments of business, the cares of life, and the allurements of pleasure. (Matt. 24:14; Luke 12:35-37; 14:26; 2 Pet. 3:14).
19. Endure to the end, submitting to hardship if the necessary consequence. (Matt. 24:13; 2 Tim. 2:3).
20. Hold fast your confidence and rejoicing in him till you die or he come. (Rev 2:10-25; Heb. 3:14).
III. CONCERNING BRETHREN AND SISTERS
21. Love one another with a pure heart fervently. (John 13:34; Rom. 12:10; Eph. 5:2; Col. 3:14; 1 Thess. 4:9; Heb. 13:1; 1 Pet. 1; 22; 1 Pet. 4:8; 1 John 3:14-19).
22. Brethren not to exercise lordship over one another; the greatest to be as the youngest; he that is chief as he that doth serve; Christ's example the illustration of what is meant. (Matt. 23:11; Luke 22:26-27; John 13:13-17).
23. Not to be angry without righteous cause; and to take care lest anger even in that case lead to sin. (Matt. 5:22; Eph. 4:26; Col. 3:8).
24. In case of breach, to seek reconciliation and exercise forgiveness to the utmost extent. (Matt. 5:24; 18:35; Col. 3:13).
25. In case of sin (known or heard of) speak not of it to others, but tell the offending brother of the matter between thee and him alone, with a view to recovery. (Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1; Jas. 5:19-20).
26. Grudge not: Judge not: condemn not one another. (Matt. 7:1; Rom. 14:13; 1 Cor. 4:5; Jas. 4:11).
27. Shut not your ear to the needy: relieve the afflicted. (Acts 20:35; Rom. 12:13; Jas. 2:16; Gal. 6:10; 1 John 3:17).
28. To seek not your own welfare only, nor bear your own burdens merely, but have regard to those of others. (Phil. 2:4; 1 Cor. 10:24; Gal. 6:2).
29. Be of one mind, and follow the things that make for peace. (1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; 1 Pet. 3:8; Rom. 14:19).
30. Confess your faults one to another. (Jas. 5:16).
IV. CONCERNING THE STRANGER
31. Let your light shine before men. (Matt. 5:16; 10:32-33). Hold forth the Word of Life. (Phil. 2:16). Say to the perishing, Come. (Rev. 22:17).
32. Agree with your adversary quickly, submitting even to wrong for the sake of peace. (Matt. 5:25; 1 Cor. 6:7; Rom. 12:18-19).
33. Do good to all men as opportunity may allow. The Samaritan succoured a stranger in distress: "Go thou and do likewise." If even thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. (Gal. 6:10; Luke 6:27-28; 10:37; Rom. 12:20; Matt. 5:44).
34. Pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. (Matt. 5:44).
35. Recompense to no man evil for evil. (Rom. 12:17; 1 Thess. 5:15); render not evil for evil or railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing. (1 Pet. 3:9); bless, and curse not. (Rom. 12:14).
36. Resist not evil; compel not the restitution of stolen goods: avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath. (Matt. 5:39-40; Luke 6:29-30; Rom. 12:19).
37. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:21).
38. As ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also so to them. (Matt. 7:12; Luke 6:31).
39. Walk not as other Gentiles walk- (Eph 4:17): have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness- (Eph. 5:7-11): be not conformed to this world- (Rom. 12:2): come out from among them and be ye separate. (2 Cor. 6:17).
40. Walk honestly toward them that are without; give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully; be blameless and harmless, as the sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. (1 Thess. 4:12; 1 Tim. 5:14; Phil. 2:15).
V. CONCERNING YOUR OWN CHARACTER
41. Be ye holy in all manner of conversation (1 Pet. 1:15-16): without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14).
42. Be wise as serpents, harmless as doves- (Matt. 10:16; Phil. 2:15): not fools- (Eph. 5:15-17): gentle, meek, kindhearted, compassionate, merciful, forgiving- (2 Tim. 2:24; Tit. 2:2; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12; Matt. 18:35).
43. Old and young to be sober, grave, sincere and temperate. (Phil. 4:5; Tit. 2:2,7; 1 Pet. 1:13; 5:8).
44. To be hearty in everything. "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men." (Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 3:23).
45. To be watchful, vigilant, brave, joyful, courteous, and manly. (1 Cor. 16:13; Phil. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:6,8,10; 2 Pet. 1:5-7).
46. Be sympathetic with others both in their sorrows and in their joys. (Rom. 12:5).
47. All of you be clothed with humility, not proud, minding not high things, but condescending to men of low estate. (Luke 14:11-13; Rom. 11:20; 12:3-16; Phil. 2:3; Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 5:5-6).
48. Be patient towards all, especially the weak and erring. (Rom. 12:10; 14:1; 15:1; 1 Thess. 5:14); put away anger, wrath, bitterness, and all evil speaking. (Eph. 4:31; 1 Pet. 2:1).
49. Follow after whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseful. (Phil. 4:8); abhor evil, and abstain from its appearance. (Rom. 12:9; 1 Thess. 5:22).
50. Things not to be named, still less practised, among saints: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, covetousness, wrath, strife, sedition, hatred, emulation, boasting, vain glory, envy, jesting, foolish talking. (Eph. 5:3-4; Gal. 5:19-21).
VI. CONCERNING YOUR ACTIONS
51. Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:3; Col. 3:17).
52. Live no longer the rest of your time in the indulgence of the lusts of the flesh, but in doing the will of God. (1 Pet. 4:2): reckon yourselves dead to sin but alive to righteousness (Rom. 6:11) doing the will of God from the heart (Eph. 6:6) henceforth live not unto yourselves, but unto him who died for you and rose again. (2 Cor. 5:15).
53. Be zealous of good works, always abounding in the work of the Lord, wearying not in welldoing. (Tit. 2:14; 1 Cor. 15:58; 1 Thess. 4:1; Heb. 6:11; Gal. 6:9; 2 Thess. 3:13).
The original list finishes here
54. Beware of false teachers. (Matt. 7:15; Phil. 3:2; 1 John 4:1).
55. Beware of covetousness; lay not up treasure upon earth: be ready to every good work. (Luke 12:15; Matt. 6:19; Titus 3:1; Heb. 13:5).
56. Give to him that asketh, and to him that is in need, visiting the fatherless and the widow in their afflictions; and give liberally and cheerfully, remembering that the Lord loveth a cheerful giver, and is well pleased with such sacrifices. (Matt. 5:42; Rom. 12:13; 2 Cor. 9:6-8; Heb. 13:16; Jas. 1:27).
57. Do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. (Matt. 6:1-4).
58. Labour not to be rich: having food and raiment, be content. (1 Tim. 6:8; John 6:27; Matt. 6:19).
59. Riches are dangerous if they come to your hand, turn them into safeguards and friends by using them liberally in the Lord's service, whose stewards we are. (1 Tim. 6:10,17-19; Luke 12:18-21; 16:9-13; 1 Pet. 4:10).
60. Walk in the spirit: walk worthily; put off the old man of the flesh: put on the new man renewed in knowledge after the divine image. (Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 4:24; 5:8-19; Col. 3:9).
61. Cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Your bodies are members of Christ, and God's temple; if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy. (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thess. 4:3; 1 Cor. 3:16- 17; 6:15-20).
62. Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14; Rom. 12:18; 14:19; 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 4:3).
63. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification, even as I (Paul) please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many that they might be saved. (Rom. 15:2; 1 Cor. 10:33).
64. Do all things without murmuring and disputing. (Phil. 2:14).
65. Speak evil of no man; be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness to all men. (Tit. 3:2).
66. Be swift to hear; slow to speak; slow to wrath. (Jas. 1:19).
67. Depart from all iniquity: let none of you suffer as an evil doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. (2 Tim. 2:19; 1 Pet. 4:15).
68. If any man suffer according to the will of God, let him commit the keeping of his soul to Him in well-doing, not rendering evil for evil, but rejoicing that he is a partaker of Christ's sufferings. (1 Pet. 4:19; 1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Pet. 4:13).
69. Drive away youthful lusts, but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22).
70. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, desire it with the ardour of a new-born babe for its mother's milk; meditate on these things; give thyself wholly to them. (Col. 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:2; 1 Tim. 4:15).
71. Pay your debts: owe no man anything, but to love one another. (Rom. 13:7-8).
72. Be subject to rulers: obey magistrates: submit to every law and ordinance of man, except where they come into conflict with the law of Christ. (Tit. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-17; Rom. 13:6; Acts 4:19).
VII. CONCERNING YOUR THOUGHTS AND SPEECH
73. The harbouring of unlawful desire is divinely reckoned as guilty action. It is forbidden. (Matt. 5:27-28).
74. Mortify, therefore, or hold in subjection, your members which are upon earth. (Col. 3:5; Gal. 5:24; 1 Cor. 9:27).
75. Remove all causes of spiritual stumbling, or hindrance from your path, even at the risk of pain and loss. (Matt. 5:29; Heb. 12:1).
76. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt; let no filthy communication proceed out of your mouth, but sound speech, with gravity, and sincerity and simplicity. (Matt. 5:37; Eph. 4:29; Col. 3:8; 4:6; Titus 2:7-8).
77. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God. (1 Pet. 4:11).
78. Speak every man truth with his neighbour; lie not one to another. (Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9).
79. Swear not at all: let your communication be yea, yea, and nay, nay. (Matt. 5:34; Jas. 5:12).
80. Out of the same mouth ought not to proceed blessing and cursing. (Jas. 3:10).
VIII. CONCERNING MATRIMONIAL RELATIONS
81. At liberty to marry whom you will, only in the Lord. (1 Cor. 7:39).
82. Husbands and wives not to separate except for adultery. (Matt. 19:6-9; 1 Cor. 7:10) which will exclude from the Kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9).
83. A husband or wife becoming a believer without the other, not to leave the other, if he or she consent to a peaceable life. (1 Cor. 7: 12-15).
84. Husbands to love, honour, and cherish their wives. (Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19; 1 Pet. 3:7).
85. Wives to love, submit to, and obey their husbands as the head. (Eph. 5:23-24; Col. 3:18; 1 Pet. 3:1).
IX. CONCERNING PARENTS AND CHILDREN
86. Parents to bring up their children in the enlightenment of the truth, and to have them in subjection with all gravity. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21; 1 Tim. 3:3-4).
87. Children to obey their parents in all things. (Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20).
X. CONCERNING MASTERS AND SERVANTS
88. Masters to be kind, just and considerate. (Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1).
89. Servants to be obedient in all things to their masters, not with eye service as menpleasers, but with all faithfulness as unto Christ, even if the master happen to be a bad one. (Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22; 1 Tim. 6:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:18). But servants are at liberty to leave. (1 Cor. 7:21).
90. If the master be a brother, the servant (also a brother or sister), instead of rendering a slacker service on that account, is to show a greater measure of obedience. (1 Tim. 6:2).
XI. CONCERNING DISOBEDIENT BRETHREN
9I. If any man obey not the apostolic commands, the brethren to have no company with him. (2 Thess. 3:14).
92. To avoid those causing divisions. (Rom.16:17).
93. To withdraw from everyone walking disorderly, or not in accordance with apostolic precept. (2 Thess. 3:6).
94. To put away wicked persons. (1 Cor. 5:11).
95. To reject or receive not into fellowship those who consent not to the doctrine or the commandments of the Lord Jesus. (2 John 8-10; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Titus 3:10).
96. If any will not work, he is not to be relieved. (2 Thess. 3:10; 1 Tim. 5:8).
XII. CONCERNING THE ASSEMBLIES OF THE BRETHREN
97. All things to be done decently, and in order. (1 Cor. 14:40).
98. All things to be done in love, and in mutual submission. (1 Cor. 16:14; 1 Pet. 5:5).
99. Sisters to keep silence (1 Tim. 2:11-12), and to dress modestly and in sobriety. (1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:3-4).
100. The brethren at liberty on all questions of eating and drinking, and the observance of feasts, sabbaths, and holy days (Col. 2:16; 1 Cor. 10:25; Rom. 14:5-7), except that they are not at liberty to do anything inconsistent with holiness, or the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Heb. 12:14).
- Original 1877 and current version of the Commandments of Christ. The number 53 has its origin in the practice of the rotating presiding brother at Birmingham Ecclesia in the 1870s reading out one of the 53 each week to commence or conclude the ecclesial announcements.
- Unreferenced source for above copy of The Commandments of Christ This is an undated later edition with preface, subheadings and extra items No.54-100 added.