Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Commands vs. Orders

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)

The key words in verse 31 are “Get rid of all”. This is a command, an imperative. It is not an order. What is the difference? A command is something to be obeyed right now in the right way. “About Face.” “Forward March!” “Halt!” There is nothing “iffy” about a command. If it is not obeyed right now it is disobedience. An order still has to be obeyed, but it might take some time and may be done in different ways. “Invade and occupy Europe.”
“Get rid of all” is a command. If it is obeyed there will be no bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slander, or malice by tomorrow. If any of these attributes are still here tomorrow, “Get rid of all” was not obeyed.
We see this command again in Colossians 3:8.
“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
We are not allowed to adjust the command to fit our perceived ability to obey it. God gives the ability to fit the command.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3)

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