Are God’s promises and blessings conditional?


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Conditional promises in the Old Testament

The scriptures in the OT, teach that the blessings of God were conditional and dependent upon Israel’s obedience to His commandments (Ex. 19:5). God said, “if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways… And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you… if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them…” (Deut. 28:9-14). On no other terms but obedience did God agree to be their God or to have them for as His special people (Deut. 7:12).

Conditional promises in the New Testament

Jesus affirmed, in the New Testament, the same truth. “Now behold, one came and said to Him, Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? So He said to him, Why do you call Me good?  … if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:16-17).

In order to reflect the “love,” of God, we must love Him completely and our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37, 39). If we ask how we are to show our love to God and our fellow men, Jesus answers by keeping the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:3–17), which He clarified and exalted (Isa. 42:21) in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:17–48).

And Jesus added that only when we put first things first, that we obtain His promises of blessings. “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Grace doesn’t free the believers from duty

The grace of Christ that brings redemption to all people (Titus 2:11) does not free us from our duty to obey God’s moral law. “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Rom. 3:31). Faith in the saving merit of Christ when united with the power of His indwelling Spirit, aids us to keep the Ten Commandments (Rom. 8:1–4).

The apostles of Christ also affirmed this same principle of obedience to God’s divine law. John wrote, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3,4). And Paul declared, “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters” (1 Cor. 7:19).

Also, James stressed that all the commandments are manifestations of love at work, either to God or to our fellow men. “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:10-11). And in summary, the apostle invited all to strive to speak and act in harmony with God’s law. For the life record of every man will at the end be judged by it (v. 12).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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