“If you do this, I will bless you.” That is the Old Testament.
“I have blessed you, now do this.” That is the New Testament.
How many people that claim to serve Christ understand this truth, how many have you met that perform deeds, do good works, adhere to a predetermined set of obligations they have set upon themselves that they believe will bring the favor and thereby blessings of the Lord upon them, and if they do them not will bring His disfavor and keep His blessings from flowing down upon them?
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 3:10)
The works-based ideology has its foundation, if not upon the Laws of the Old Testament, then upon a standard, a set of laws imagined by these individuals that in their mind presupposes a “give and get” mentality, and sadly it is the foundation of many who claim Christ as Lord. Hebrews 10:25 is the first one that comes to mind, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4 would be the second, and so they sing while they assemble in that building with a cross in it somewhere.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil. 4:6) Having it placed in the Sunday morning bulletin would place a checkmark beside that one.
Of course, there are the Ten Commandments, even though they have already been saved by grace through faith they must be adhered to, along with what the Lord said to the young man, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) Did you happen to notice what He then said to him? “And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.” (Mark 12:34)
“Not far from” is “not in the” Kingdom of God my friends.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1) Paul spent the remainder of his life after his three years in Arabia trying to help people to understand the grace of God, doing all that he was commanded to do to get those he met, and all that would come after, that grace through faith is what brings the salvation of the Lord, that the sacrifice of Christ was and always will be the only work that would be accepted by the Father, that we have no part in that moment save for believing the truth of, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
Supposed obligations performed in the hope of receiving blessings from the Lord done outside of anything beyond a love for Him will avail no one anything, love knows no greater blessing than that which has already been received, eternal life.
Any religious organization, any church setting where it is taught that you must obey either this or that to receive blessings from the Lord and stay His hand from chastisement is a cult of lies and does not understand John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
We serve in love, no matter the circumstances that may surround us or the possible consequences to ourselves, never in hopes of receiving either in this life or the next, not because we hope to be blessed, but because we are already blessed.
The unspeakable gift of God is Jesus Christ, there is no greater blessing.
“We love him, because he first loved us.” (1st John 4:19) Every work you do, every deed, every word is because of love, not in the hope that more will be received, not in the fear of possible chastisement if you do not perform them, but always because you have already received the greatest gift you will ever have.
As He said to Abraham He says to you, “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1)