As part of Paulâ€™s letter to Titus and in his admonitions concerning â€œthings that become sound doctrineâ€ he gave advice and godly instruction on how all Christians are to act and as to the character they should exhibit. In chapter two and verses seven and eight is this statement: â€œâ€¦in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.â€ (Titus 2: 7, 8)
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obey, you are the servants of the one you obey, whether of sin leading to death or obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6: 16)
Whatever it is – I won’t get away with it.
God has said that I cannot divide my time between serving Him and myself. There are only two sides — God’s and the World’s. The Lord of Hosts said You will have no other gods before me. Jesus said No one can serve two masters. I can’t be the servant of God doing that. And it simply does not matter what comes in second; I am told that I cannot give in to or fall to the enticements and inducements being pitched. You cannot serve both God and Mammon. That was what Judas Iscariot had going on; wasn’t it? Do we suppose we can have some other “king” than riches in our lives, and manage to skate around God’s Word and still end up in Paradise with life everlasting? Ah, rationality: another gift that just never stops giving!
The Apostle Peter said publicly of Jesus, There is no other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved.
Therefore, in religion it’s a two dimensional world. Both sides are clearly marked and identified. Satan has me if I ignore that, and I am then bowing before the god of this world. The same is true when I let anything else take over my life and supplant the truth of the Word of God — to do so smacks of unbelief and rebellion. I’m told that if I put on that cloak, and lose sight of what it is all about, things will not go well for me when I go off into eternity’s night.
So, if I don’t spend time with the Word of God, I won’t know what to do to save my own soul. And if I supplant the Word of God with anything else: I’m done for. I then cannot tell good from bad. If I flatter myself or deceive myself that I am serving God while doing something outside of his will – I lose.
On the good side: God gave us the answers to the test. How simple is that? However, most of us completely ignore the information. Jesus’ Apostles pointed out that we should save ourselves. But, we don’t seem to be able to figure out how to do it. Along the line, God has said His will has been completely revealed — the mystery has been revealed so that we can save ourselves. All we have to do is follow the instructions. Yet most will choose to follow somebody else’s instructions. Mike Schmidt pointed out in a lesson a few weeks ago that the bumper sticker has the order wrong. “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” should be “God said it, that settles it, I believe it.” Do we have things in the proper order?
So how is it that we can believe something we refuse to recognize? If we don’t revere the authority of the Word, and don’t read the Word of God, how could we ever say that we “love Jesus?” Jesus said If you love me, keep my commandments. How will we ever decipher the good from the bad, the required from the imposed? I suspect that you know there are a good number of the followers of the false religion of Islam who have their little book set and loaded into their memory. We have the truth and pay it no mind.
God is in the details. And God has also said that he will not overlook the details.
If we never spend a minute actually seeking the Word and identifying what it is we have been told to do, and diligently getting it done: no matter what the investment in time and energy in surrogate things – we will fail. Do we believe that?
How can we know both what God demands and what he would give to us, if we are continuously spinning and thinking but never getting around to doing what we have been told? How would we ever get to the finish line, or rid ourselves of our own sinful leprosy?
But Naaman became furious and went away and said, “Behold, I thought that the prophet would surely come out to me, and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and heal the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.
And his servants came near, and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash and be clean?’” (2 Kings 5: 11- 13)
God through Elisha, His Prophet, told Naaman exactly what he must do, just as through Jesus, His Son, he has told us exactly what we must do. Can we not see that? Naaman figured it out.
If we fail to follow the simplicity that is in Christ, and over which the Son of God was murdered — what do you suppose will be the outcome? We need to be both shaken and stirred. Shaken by a fear of God and stirred to drop the doctrines of men and to follow His precepts to the exclusion of everything else.
Will someone please tell us to stop being stupid, to follow the instructions and be healed?
Here is water. What stops me from being immersed? (Acts 8: 36)
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may receive the things done in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5: 10)
The one who rejects Me and does not receive My Words has a judge; the words that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (John 12: 48)
And the common people heard Him gladly. (Mark 12:37)