Summary: 1. Believe; 2. Be faithful; 3. Be fruitful; 4. Be obedient; 5. Be loving.
“The Beactions of the Bible”
September 29, 2019
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Jesus was walking the dusty roads of Judea. He left Galilee and crossed over to the other side of the Jordon and large crowds were following Him – after all, He performed miracles, raised the dead and fed multitudes. Now He was teaching them. He talked and taught about marriage and divorce; He talked about little children and parents brought their babies to Jesus to have Him bless them – and He did. Then the crowds parted and an impressive young man came up to Jesus. He not only had youth going for him but he was rich and smart – after all he was a ruler among the people. He asked Jesus a question that was heavy on his mind; it probably was a concern to him and revealed an extraordinary intelligence and wisdom. He asked, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Read this account of Jesus and the rich, young ruler with me.
“A man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.” Matthew 19:16-22
The question was asked and answered - “Keep the commandments.” Then the excuses began. Why? Because we can’t do it in our own strength. It doesn’t matter how strong and smart we are. It doesn’t matter how rich we are. We can’t buy it. It doesn’t matter how influential or powerful we are. We aren’t powerful enough to save ourselves. We need a Savior. There isn’t ‘one’ thing that we do. We must have a relationship with the Savior. And it needs to be a certain kind of relationship. We need to take action. I call these ‘Beactions”. Jesus talked about the “Beatitudes” – this are actions to be taken.
“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” 1 John 3:23
These are the two greatest commands in the Gospel. Jesus gave us the two great commandments in the Old Testament – love God and love others. But Jesus gave us the two greatest commands in the New Covenant. The second one is similar to the OT command. Loving others. But where the Old Testament calls us to love others as our self – Jesus changed it to love others as God loved you. That makes a big difference doesn’t it? And it is impossible without His Spirit.
The greatest command is to believe. Let’s look at a few times Jesus gave us that command.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 3:36
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24
We usually don’t associate believing with choice – but it is. Often we will look at evidence concerning something and then decide what or whom we are going to believe. It may be something like ‘climate change’ or evolution or creationism. We choose what we will believe or not believe. For many people their minds are made up in a matter in spite of the evidence. Romans, chapter one talks about a people who choose to believe the truth is a lie and a lie is the truth. We see a lot of that today. But when it comes to eternal life – there is one way. Jesus said,