“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the LORD showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.’” Deu 6:20-25
The father’s answer to his son’s question, which is, essentially, Why do we do these commandments of the Lord’s? is in three parts.
First: Israel was delivered from slavery in the kingdom of Egypt. Deliverance from Egypt is history- prophecy of deliverance from the kingdom of darkness, which is salvation. What commandments did Israel obey in order to be delivered from Egypt? Just one: apply the blood of the Passover Lamb to your doorposts. Thus we see that salvation in the Old Testament is exactly the same as salvation in the New Testament: it is achieved by grace through faith in the shed blood of the Lamb.
So the first part of the answer to Why do we do the Lord’s commandments, is that He delivered us from the kingdom of darkness (where we were slaves to sin) by grace through faith in the shed blood of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
Second: God brought Israel out from Egypt, that He might bring them in to the Promised Land. In fact, He brought them out of one kingdom, out of Pharaoh’s kingdom, that He might bring them into another kingdom, into His kingdom, where He would be king over them (1 Sam 8:7-8). Israel was not delivered from one kingdom in order to live in anarchy; they were brought out in order to be brought in. This is why, when Jesus preached the gospel, He preached that the kingdom of God was at hand (Mar 1:14-15). He was saying, that with His coming, we were being brought out of the kingdom of darkness in order to be brought in to the kingdom of God. Thus we do not become free from submission to a king upon salvation, but the kingdom in which we dwell changes.
So the second part of the answer to Why do we do the Lord’s commandments, is that we were delivered from the kingdom of darkness, in order to be brought into the kingdom of God.
Third: In our new kingdom there are commandments to obey. That is the way it is in any kingdom. If there is a kingdom, there is a king, and if there is a king, there are citizens of that kingdom who reveal their citizenship by obeying the commands of their king. Those who are outlaws have renounced their citizenship and have revealed themselves to be outsiders by living outside the Law (outside the Torah). That is why we do not want to be found to be outlaws (Law-less or Torah- less) when Messiah returns (Mat 7:21-23)!
So if we are not of the kingdom of God, then we are of the kingdom of darkness – because there are only two kingdoms, and no one is an anarchist. But belonging to the kingdom of God is like being born into a big family where your Papa is the King, and moreover, the commandments He has given us are not to benefit Him or anyone else, but obeying them is for our good always.
So the third part of the answer to Why do we do the Lord’s commandments, is that we obey the commands of the King in whose Kingdom we dwell as citizens, for our good.
Now it is clearly taught in both Old and New Testaments, that deliverance and redemption (from Egypt in the Old, and darkness in the New) is by grace through faith. We do not obey commands in order to get into the kingdom. But once we become citizens of the kingdom of God, there is a certain way to walk which is worthy of the Name by which we have been called (1 The 2:10-12). And that way to walk, is in accord with the will of Him who is our King. This is why, when we pray for the Lord’s kingdom to come, we pray that His will be done (Mat 6:10). His will is expressed in His commands.
The bias many of us have against obeying commandments is a learned bias and not a doctrine of Scripture.