Things to Keep
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
"And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17)
The two main Greek words for "keep" in the New Testament both mean more than just "obey," though this meaning is certainly included. They also mean "guard" and "preserve." We are thus told by Christ, in our text above, to guard and obey God's commandments.
The same urgent command to keep what God has given is applied to many other entities in Scripture. For example, Paul stresses that we are to "keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called" (1 Timothy 6:20). In other words, false science (evolution) and vain babbling (humanistic philosophies) will seek to destroy the tenets of God's truth, so we must always be diligent to guard and protect these truths.
Each person is also urged to "keep himself unspotted from the world" and to "keep thyself pure" (James 1:27; 1 Timothy 5:22). The forces of darkness make perpetual attacks against the spiritual and moral integrity of the Christian, so we must constantly be alert to protect ourselves against their enticements. Then we must also endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3), and to "keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 21), for the enemy will continually try to sow discord and bitterness among God's people.
There are many verses which stress the keeping of His commandments (e.g., John 14:15) and the keeping of His words (e.g., 1 John 2:5). Finally, in the very last chapter of the Bible, the Lord sums it all up, as it were, when He promises: "Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (Revelation 22:7). HMM