The Body of Christ, Doing What God Says to Do
Individual Christians, members of the body of Christ, each DOING what God has instructed us to do. That’s how God has set up His congregation of the saved. Do you ever get the impression that a lot of members of religious groups believe that the DOING is set aside for only a select few, maybe even just for what they call “clergy”? And the rest of us are literally like “sheep” simply being led around and simply “fed” the word? It’s true that the bible depicts us as “a flock of sheep” under the guidance and care and protection of Jesus the “Good Shepherd” (The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters”) Psalm 23:1-2)
But the bible also tells us in no uncertain terms, “But prove yourselves DOERS of the word, and not just hearers who delude themselves.” James 1:22. Then we’re told in V-25, “But the one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, (liberty from sin) and ABIDES by it, not having become a forgetful hearer, but a DOER of a work, this man is blessed in his doing.” That makes it crystal clear, that first century Christians were obligated to DO what God says. And we also, are obligated to DO, just as they did.
You may be familiar with the verse in John 14:15, where Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”. So Jesus says that the manifestation of our love for Him, is the DOING of what He says to do. What about these next verses.. “And with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the LOVE of the truth so as to be saved; And for THIS reason, God will send them a strong delusion, so that they might believe what is false.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11.
Let’s break this verse down a little bit. There is great deception in “wickedness”, in other words, in NOT obeying God. “Righteousness” is the keeping of God’s commandments, and “wickedness” is NOT keeping God’s commands. So there’s great deception, in NOT keeping God’s commands. People will make up excuse after excuse for not obeying what the bible tells us to do, and they think God is “OK” with that, but they’re only deceiving themselves. And so God is telling us here, that people will perish, because they didn’t receive the LOVE of the truth. What did Jesus say that the manifestation of our love is? “If you LOVE Me, you will KEEP My commandments.”
And now we’re being told that if we DON’T love the truth, in other words, if we don’t OBEY the truth, and KEEP His commandments, so that we CAN be saved, then we’ll perish because of the “strong delusion” that God will allow us to have, that will cause us to believe the false teachings of men. Thus we have the verse in James 1:22, “But prove yourselves DOERS of the word and not just hearers, who DELUDE themselves.” A lot of people think it doesn’t make any difference what you believe. But God is telling us that we’ll perish, because of the delusion, of believing what is false.
It’s a “delusion” to think that somehow you are “exempt” from doing everything that God has said to do. And it’s a ‘delusion” to think that we can be saved by the words of “man”, even when they’re in sharp contradiction to the word of God. If you realize you’re in sin, and realize that through Jesus you can be forgiven of sin, and you ask “man”; What shall we do? “Man” will tell you; “Simply accept Jesus into your heart and He will save you”. But if you ask GOD, What shall we do; just like the people on the day of Pentecost did, when they said to Peter; “Brethren, what shall we DO?” Then God will say, just like He said to them on that day; “Repent and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38. Now there’s a sharp contradiction there, isn’t there? So, WHAT are you going to believe? The Truth, or what is false? And WHO are you going to believe? God, or man?
God Establishes Principles For Us To Live By
God has always given commands to man, and He has always expected man to follow His commands. The sin that caused Adam an Eve to be banished from the garden of Eden was the sin of not following God’s command. God said to Adam, in Genesis 3:11, “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” And furthermore, God said in V’s 18-19, “..because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and eaten from the tree about which I commanded you saying; You shall not eat from it; Cursed is the ground because of you. In toil you shall eat of it, all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you, and you shall eat the plant of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground. Because from it you were taken, for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
And we’re still suffering from the effects of Adam and Eve’s sin, because the ground is still yielding thorns and thistles, and we’re still eating by the sweat our face! So, was God serious when He told Adam to obey His command? You can see that God set forth the principle of obedience, from the beginning of time.
When God commanded Noah to build an ark, He gave Noah specific instructions and even specific dimensions concerning how to build the ark. And it says in Gen 6:22, “Thus Noah did. According to all that God had commanded him, so did he.” And because Noah did exactly as God had told him to do, God said in Gen 7:1, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone, I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.”
God gave Moses specific instructions pertaining to the making of a golden lampstand, with seven lamps. And God said to Moses in Exodus 25:49, “And see that you make them after the pattern shown to you on the mountain.”
We could go on almost endlessly showing example after example of how God demands that we do everything exactly as He has commanded. That is a “principle” that we are expected to live by. God’s laws have changed from the Patriarchal days, to the days of the Law of Moses, to these last days, when we now live under the Law of Christ. But the “principle” of obeying exactly what the Lord has commanded, has never changed, and never will. As a matter of fact, we’re told very plainly, in 2 John V-9, “Anyone who goes too far, and does NOT abide in the teaching of Christ, does NOT have God. The one who ABIDES in the teaching, has both the Father and the Son.” We must abide in the word of God, 100%, or we do NOT have God! No interpretation required! Just faith and obedience.
Jesus tells us in John 12:48, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one that judges him in the last day. The words that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” You and I COULD be among those who reject His words, if we choose to. But I for one, am not going to make that my choice. I have faith in what Jesus said, that His words will judge me in the last day. Therefore my choice is to obey His words, and not to reject them. And I pray that your choice will be the same.
Until next time; May God bless you in the study of His word.
P.S. “He is the author of salvation to all those who OBEY Him.” Hebrews 5:9