I think in order to understand what the Bible is conveying to us we need to find, if possible, the meaning of words or phrases in question, from the Bible itself.
Most of us when we questioned the keeping of Commandments we were told to memorize them. To “keep” them committed to memory with as many other Scriptures as we can. And to read the Scriptures daily.
My problem is: one, time. Two, I can’t memorize anything for any length of time. I seem to have C.R.S. syndrome. Not that I didn’t give it a gallant attempt. I would memorize them, forget them, again and again. My daily schedule was already maxed out. I did good to pray before I fell to sleep. And come to think about it, a bump on the head or just age itself will erase them from memory.
With these problems haunting me, and no one I asked could give me any satisfactory answer to the problem, I consulted The Bible itself, along with a good dictionary.
The word I seem to have trouble with is the word ‘keep.’ How do ya ‘keep’ commandments? That was the question I set out to find the answer to.
If ye love me, keep my commandments
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
(Ok, is this a hint, it can’t be just memorizing them because of the words ‘hath’ and keep. Isn’t ‘hath’ a possessive word?)
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
(We know Jesus kept His Father’s commandments, because He was instructed to do so in: Deuteronomy 4:2
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
And this is how Jesus did it.
Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.)
Like always, the answer to one question leads to many more questions. But let’s stay focused on the word ‘keep’ and maybe even ‘hath.’ So we don’t know yet what He means by “in your heart and in your soul,” but the rest is easy enough to do.
The dictionary: Keep–possess something: to hold or maintain something in your possession.
My conclusion is that if we love Jesus we need to “keep” His Commandments, just like He kept His Father’s. That would mean we would bind them. So the first thing that comes to my mind is what are Jesus’ commandments?
I have heard some say it is the Sermon on the Mount because Jesus, like God, was on the mount when speaking. That is also true of the red words of Rev. Or even the New Commandment. Still others say that it is the Greatest Commandments. All I can really say is: choose the one that works for you. Pick one of your choice, your best guess, and bind it then put it in a headband and wristband. He will add what He sees fit. Just try, and He will help us work out the salvation of our souls.
May God go with us all.