FIVE NEW TESTAMENT COMMANDMENTS
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is the
will of God in Christ Jesus for you ... Test all things; hold fast what is good.
Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22)
In the Old Testament, we received 10 commandments which God gave to Moses
to give to the people of Israel, as well as to us. And there are another five
commandments, which St. Paul wrote to the people of Thessalonica, and for sure,
these five commandments can serve us and help us to lead a Christian life.
! Commandment 1 : Rejoice always
! Commandment 2 : Pray without ceasing
! Commandment 3 : Give thanks
! Commandment 4 : Test all things
! Commandment 5 : Abstain
1. REJOICE ALWAYS
Sometimes this commandment may seem difficult because we are told to rejoice ‘always’.
This means rejoice when you succeed, and rejoice when you fail. Rejoice when the life is
smooth, and rejoice during times of hardships. Rejoice in good health, and rejoice in
sickness. Therefore, the words “rejoice always” may seem unbelievable, but in Christ, you will
not only believe that joy can be always, but you will be able to practice such joy, and this
commandment is very important in our lives as Christians.
There are four reasons through which we lose our joy :
! By committing sin
! By facing a problem
! By fearing what will happen to us in the future
! By feeling we have a meaningless life
Therefore, in order to lead a joyful life, please get into contact with the Lord Jesus Christ, and
through this love and this contact and this commitment to be one of the sons or one of the
daughters of God, regarding sin, no problem - you can repent and confess. Concerning
problems, say “God is present”, which means that God is powerful enough to solve any
problems regardless of how difficult they may seem. And His Holiness the late Pope Kyrillos
VI, always had a lovely response to those who were worried about their problems : “Don’t be
afraid, for what is fire today will be ash tomorrow.”
Therefore, through repentance you rid yourself of sin, through faith you can tackle any
problem, through love you can handle any fear, for love drives out fear, and if you feel you
have a meaningless life, serve. The purpose and meaning of our life here on earth is to
experience the love of God, and to convey this love to others through service. So, to
! When you commit sin, repent and confess
! When you face a problem, have faith that God can solve it for you
! When you are afraid, through loving and trusting Him, you will believe He will do what’s
best for you
! When you feel your life is meaningless, serve
If you maintain this spiritual pattern in your life, for sure your life will be joyful always. The
characteristic of a Christian is joy, and the church fathers mention that a humble person is
always joyful and smiling because he passes on all his concerns to the Lord, in full faith, and
so he is always at peace.
Please, my dear young people, be committed to the Lord, and come into contact with the
Lord. Have the Lord abiding inside your heart and lives, and you will enjoy the Christian joy
which is always infinite; the joy that can stand against anything which may keep us anxious,
sad or annoyed.
2. PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
Joy does not come except through prayer. Our church offers many different types of prayer :
the holy Mass, Agbia prayers, and even the Jesus Prayer, which is “My Lord Jesus Christ have
mercy upon me!” If you repeat often this short and beautiful prayer, you will always feel the
presence of the Lord. And when you ask the Lord to come and bless you, He will come for
sure. Through prayer, you are going to enjoy the presence of the Lord and the power of the
Lord dwelling inside you through the Holy Spirit, who is even known as the ‘Paraclete’,
meaning ‘Comforter’. Therefore, by having the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you, you will always
3. GIVE THANKS
He who is always joyful in Christ, because he prays without ceasing, will be thankful in all
things. You will thank the Lord in every occasion, in every condition, and for all things, as we
pray in the Agbia. The Church teaches us that before we begin any prayer, or ritual, or
occasion, whether it be a wedding, or funeral, or Mass, etc, we first pray the Thanksgiving
Prayer. And this is because we believe that regardless of the situation, the Lord is preparing
the best thing of all for everybody. And this is a fact - God will always do the best for our
salvation and our happiness, and therefore the Christian person is always thankful.
4. TEST ALL THINGS
The Christian person has an internal light which helps him to differentiate right from wrong.
In life you are going to face many situations and will be forced to make certain choices.
Therefore, you need someone to guide you; you need some light. And this light comes
through three sources :
! The gospel, “Your words are a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”
! The church teachings, such as sermons, books, spiritual meetings, which are all Biblically
! The confession father, who will give solutions to your questions, and absolution for your
Read the Bible as much as you can, attend spiritual meetings as much as you can, be regular
in confession as much as you can.
You need the power to differentiate between right and wrong and to be able to implement
your decision. Therefore you need the light of the Lord inside you, and this light will give you
the power and the ability to implement your decisions.
You must not be a dependant personality, having a weak personality with negative flexibility,
for in so being, anyone can lead you astray and you will be a failure. We don’t want you to be
isolated from the society, but we want you to have the strong flexibility to say ‘yes’ when
something is right, and ‘no’ when it is wrong. You must be different, and dare to be different.
We want you to be an ambassador for Christ, to be the salt of the earth, and the light of the
St Paul is not asking us to be sinless, but is asking us to ‘abstain’. Therefore, if desire starts,
please abstain, and be convinced that to abstain from committing sin is for your profit and
benefit, and that committing sin is destructive. To abstain from sin will be easy for you
because you have the Lord dwelling inside you, and so these feelings will be very weak in
comparison to the grace of the Holy Spirit abiding in you. Therefore, once desire stirs, you
will be able to maintain self control, through the Lord, and abstain from committing sin.
In the western world, sin is easy, and offering itself openly. But sin is the most dangerous
thing in the life of any person, or family, and the society generally. Therefore even if sin
presents itself to you, try your best, calling on the help of the Lord, to abstain. And the Lord
will give you power to stand against any sin or harmful desire. You are not an angel, but you
are the temple of the Holy Spirit - this is more powerful than an angel! For even the angels
are sent to serve us.
To conclude, please keep these 5 commandments in your heart and mind : rejoice, pray, give
thanks, test, abstain.
If you rejoice in the Lord, it will be through your prayers, and through this experience of joy
you will be thankful all the time. And being satisfied in the Lord you will test all things, and
have the power to abstain from every form of evil.
Jesus Christ the Lord is your light, Jesus Christ the Lord is your life, Jesus Christ the Lord is
your eternity. Every Christian will enjoy the light, the life, and the eternity, not in heaven
only, but now, because the Kingdom of God is inside you.
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium