His Commandments Are Not Grievous

by Dennis Michelson
(Painesville, Ohio)

I John 5:3


Introduction: One of the problems in the time when our Lord walked the earth was the multiplicity of Pharisaic rules and regulations which were not founded upon the Word of God. There is much talk in our day about standards (or lack of them).

In this passage we are taught the same truth as found in Matthew 11:28-30 where our Lord stated that His yoke is easy and His burden was light. The term "grievous" in our text means something which is heavy, burdensome and oppressive. If the life you are living can be characterized by the term "grievous" then it is not the life the Lord came to give.

1. The Meaning of Grievous


  • The way of wickedness is always grievous (Psalm 10:5)

  • The sharp tongue is grievous (Proverbs 15:1)

  • Correction is grievous (Proverbs 15:10; Heb. 12:11)

  • Life apart from God is grievous (Ecclesiastes 2:17)

2. Ministers Can Be Grievous

  • They bind heavy burdens (Matthew 23:4)

  • They split the flock (Acts 20:29)

3. Message of the Grievous Life - What Can It Mean?

  • God's Word is never the problem, it is always the solution (Psalm 19:7-11; 119:45, 103-104, 127-128)

  • I may not really be a Christian (I John 5)

  • I may be living a Christian list rather than the Christian life (Matthew 11:28-30; Micah 6:8)

4. Conclusions

  • God's commandments are for protection, not presecution (Proverbs 3)

  • A life of anxiety indicates a divided heart (Matthew 6:24-34)

  • A lack of assurance is symptomatic of a lack of obedience (I John 5)

Conclusion: Many so-called mental health issues today are being misdiagnosed. The world can sometimes confuse an issue of the brain with an issue of the heart. There are legitimate brain disorders which require treatment and medication.

However - as is often the case - the heart is the problem and people are attempting to cope with grievous lives in destructive ways. Jesus said that He came to give us an abundant life; not a grievous one!

You need to be absolutely sure that you are a Christian as there is only grievous frustration awaiting those who try to live the Christian life without Christ.

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