Posted by: dhkrause | July 30, 2017

Be Doers of the Word

Psalm 119_45

Jesus, His brother James, and the Apostle John all strongly emphasize that true faith will be accompanied by loving obedience to the commandments of God, as the writer of Psalm  119 so beautifully describes:

44 So shall I keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
46 I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed.
47 And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.

93 I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have given me life.

Where there is true faith, the hearing and the doing go together.  This is seen in the following  exchange between Jesus and one of the scribes:

Mark 12 (NKJV)
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

In Matthew 5:16, Jesus tells the disciples, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Then in the strongest possible terms, He enjoins them to keep all the commandments of God:

Matthew 5
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

James 1_22

In John 6:63, Jesus tells the disciples, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”  Speaking of eternal life, He promises in John 8:51, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” 

Speaking of a deep relationship with His followers, He says in John 14:23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

Hearing and doing God’s word are the two wings by which a believer rises into the perfect liberty God has planned for us.  James exhorts believers,

be doers of the word, and not hearers only”. He then explains that God’s commands are “the perfect law of liberty”, and meant to be a blessing.

James 1 (NKJV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

1 John 1_7

The Apostle John contrasts walking in darkness, with walking in God’s light, where we have fellowship with Him and with one another:

1 John 1 (NKJV)
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Trust and obey: love God and keep His commandments.  As the song says, “ there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”
John assures us, “And His commandments are not burdensome.
This is the living faith, “the victory that has overcome the world”.

1 John 5 (NKJV)
1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Faith is the Victory (2)

James asks, can faith without works save a person?  He answers no, “as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

James 2 (NKJV)
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?

17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Matthew 19_26

Jesus tells the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:17, “if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”  Later, speaking of the deceptiveness of riches, and of the challenge of walking in full obedience to God’s commands,  He gives us the key to victory: “with God all things are possible.”

 Matthew 19 (NKJV)
23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 7/29/2017, https://compellinglove.net/


Responses

  1. Always a needed encouragement! Put the faith in practice!


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