Friday, July 29, 2016

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

Consider the question above closely. This is not a matter of what God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit must do. It is not a question of what others have done, what must I feel, what experience must I have, what do I think, or what do other religions think. It is a question of “what must I do?” Matthew 7:21 says: “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (See also Revelation 22:14; James 1:21-25). There are certain things that must be done if we would enjoy the salvation in Christ. The Bible clearly teaches there is something to do; and this must be done.

To Be Saved We Must.....
To be saved we must believe the gospel; we must believe in Christ (John 8:24). After believing, we must repent of all of our sins, which is a turning from the sinful things we have done in our past and be determined to live a life of godliness. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins....” (Acts 2:38). We must then confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God as stated in Romans 10:9-10. Then we must be buried in baptism to get INTO Christ (Galatians 3:26-27), where all spiritual blessings reside (see also Romans 6:1-5). We must then live a life devoted to Christ in order to receive the eternal reward (Revelation 2:10). Knowledge of God’s Word is of no avail unless we act upon that knowledge. Have you taken the steps needed for salvation?

Friday, July 22, 2016

I Want to be a Worker for the Lord?

There is a song that we sing from time to time entitled “I want to be a worker for the Lord.” It is a song that most everyone knows and as a result we really sing out. But have we really paid much attention to the words of that song? Verse one goes like this; “I want to be a worker for the Lord, I want to love and trust His holy word; I want to sing and pray and be busy every day, In the kingdom of the Lord. I will work, I will pray, I will labor every day in the vineyard of the Lord.” Every Christian should love to sing this song because they are living this kind of life on a day to day basis. However, such is not the case. Many, far too many, Christians are singing the words to this song and others without thinking about what they are saying to God. How can one sing “I want to be a worker for the Lord” and seldom attend the services of the Lord? Or how can one sing “I want to sing and pray and be busy every day” when God is not their priority in life? There are many things that are involved in the Lord’s work in which we should be active workers in His vineyard.

The Lord’s Work is More Than Singing
The Lord’s work consists of several areas of our life as a Christian. Before we can get motivated to do His work we must first believe totally in Him (John 6:28-29). When we believe in the Lord we then should be moved to constantly want to do good. Paul wrote: “comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:17). Wanting to do good and to practice righteousness in the Lord is something that each one of us should WANT to do (Ephesians 2:10; Acts 10:35). A worker for the Lord is one that takes every opportunity to teach someone about the wonderful Christ (1 Corinthians 16:10). However, we can’t teach anyone the word of God if we do not take the time to study the word ourselves (2 Timothy 2:15).

The Lord’s work also consists of keeping ALL of the commandments in which He has given to us (Luke 17:10; Philippians 2:12-14). It does not do us any good to profess to be a Christian, a disciple, if we are not making every attempt to DO all of the things in which Christ has asked us to do. 

How Should We Do His Work?
When we do the Lord’s work we should not do it to be seen of men (Matthew 6:1; 23:5). We should be workers for the Lord because we want to please Him, not because we want to be seen of men to please them. If we are pleasing to the Lord, then we will be pleasing to men. We should desire to do His work because we want to give God the glory (Matthew 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:31). When we set our minds to do His work willingly (1 Corinthians 9:17), and heartily (Colossians 3:23), then we will ensure that everything we do in word or deed will be in Christ’s name (by His authority, Colossians 3:17).

Why Should We Have a Desire to Do His Work?
There are at least four reasons I can think of why we should have a sincere desire to do the Lord’s work. 1) In order to be saved. Paul wrote: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Eternal salvation with Christ will only come to those that obey him (Hebrews 5:9). 2) In order to be acceptable to Him. “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:35). When we fear God we will keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13) and do the right thing in His sight (James 4:17). Are you working righteousness in all aspects of your life before the eyes of Christ today? 3) To be blessed. We are blessed when we perform up to Christ’s standards, not ours or our friends (Matthew 5:3-11). 4) To be rewarded. In the book of Revelation 22:12 we read: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” Since our reward is based upon our work (2 Corinthians 5:10), then what manner of persons ought we to be (2 Peter 3:11). 

May we all be “workers for the Lord” not in word only but in action! A true worker for the Lord will be evident to all. Paul wrote to Timothy: “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15). May we all be determined to work for the Lord to the very end (Revelation 2:26). Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). How sad it will be at the judgment to know that we wore the name “Christian,” and sang the song to God “I want to be a worker for the Lord,” but never put into practice what we said to Him (Matthew 15:8-9)!

Friday, July 8, 2016

What's Our Main Interest?

If the Lord came at this present moment to take the faithful home, would He take one who has intentionally been putting off doing right? Would He take one who weekly sheds his Christianity as often as he sheds his Sunday clothes? Would He receive the one who has been bored with short periods of worship, has found teaching others a chore, or visiting the sick an imposition? Would He take the one who must be continually prodded into doing what he ought to do?

I'm afraid that many have no idea what it means to serve the Lord. I'm concerned for those who have relegated the Lord to only a small portion of their week. I fear for those who have become so preoccupied with material things that they have neither time nor energy to be concerned about the terrible condition of their souls.

When we decide to serve the Lord, we need to know what is involved. Our obedience to the Lord needs to be without reservation. It must be complete. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Colossians 3:2 says, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." 1 Peter 1:13 says, "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ..."

What about us? Do we really have our priorities in order? Is serving the Lord our main interest? Our honest answer to these questions may very well determine where we will spend eternity.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Walk as Children of Light

The children of God are given instructions in the New Testament of grace as to how they are to live their daily walk in Christ. The apostle Paul calls upon Christians to be imitators of God as dear children (Ephesians 5:1). He tells the child of God to walk in love, to walk as children of light, and to walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise (Ephesians 5:2,8,15).

Most of us like to take a walk in the morning or at the end of the day. Our walk might be in our own neighborhood or on a trail or even on a treadmill. Yet, it is evident in this Bible text that the word “walk” is being used figuratively to represent “the whole round of activities of the individual's life” (W. E. Vine's Bible Dictionary).

Here are some New Testament uses of the word “walk” in connection to the life of a Christian: walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4); walk according to the Spirit (Romans. 8:4); walk properly as in the day (Romans 13:13), walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7); walk in good works (Ephesians. 2:10); walk in truth (2 John 4); and walk according to His commandments (2 John 6). The above references of the word "walk" are not exhaustive, but they serve to demonstrate a clear picture of the directives given to Christians to help them walk worthy of their calling in Christ Jesus!

Paul describes the child of God as “light in the Lord.” He then admonishes all followers of Christ to “walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). The word “light” is being used figuratively to represent all the goodness, righteousness and truth that comes forth from God and His Son (1 Timothy. 6:16; 1 John 1:5; James 1:17; John 1:4-5, 9; 3:19; 8:12; 2 Peter 1:19 etc.).

What does it mean to walk as children of light? The answer centers in and upon Jesus and His Word. A child of God reflects the life of Christ and His teaching. Christians are to shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15). Jesus said that He is the Light of the world (John 8:12). We are to walk as children of light by being in fellowship with the Father, with the Son, with the Holy Spirit, and with one another (1 John 1:5-7; Galatians 5:22-28).

Walking in the light means that we “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). Light is the opposite of darkness, like righteousness is the opposite of sin. Our light in Christ makes manifest or reveals the sins around us as shameful and evil, things we wouldn't speak of (Ephesians 5:12-13)!

How do we become children of light? We become a follower of Jesus Christ for He will give us the light (Ephesians 5:14). We cannot reflect what we do not have. All who desire light must come out of darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:12,13)! In Christ “was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

Written by: Ron Drumm