Summary: This describes the three purposes of our salvation- trust, oobedience and love. It also shows how love gives birth to the other two
The Christian Life Luke 10:25-37
What Does God Want Us to Do?
What is the purpose of a sock factory? If you said to make socks, you are wrong. The purpose of a sock factory is to make money. What is the purpose of a Christian? Why did God convert us? Why are we on this planet? If we do not know what God wants, how can we do it? If we aim at nothing we will most certainly hit it. Worse, we wind up aiming at the wrong things and fail to be and do what God wants.
Not Religion- If we look at what it means to be a Christian in Evangelical churches the answers is – to be religious. People in our churches will answer this question by telling us to do what they are doing.
The soul winner will says win souls; the Bible student says study the Bible; the Presbyterian says worship God; the TV healer says send your money to God at his address; holiness folk say, “Don’t smoke, don’t chew and don’t go with girls who do.”; and the Baptist will say get busy in your church. “Mary had a little lamb/ It would have been a sheep /But then it joined a Baptist Church / And died from lack of sleep.”
The truth is, these things are mentioned in the NT but not emphasized. For example, take the three most emphasized religious duties in the Baptist church- supporting the church, Bible study and soul winning. Do these three things and you are Deacon material and Sunday School teacher material. There are very few verses telling us to do these. We already know more Bible than we are doing. Helmut Theilicke says,
“One of the best ways to keep God at arm’s length is to study and discuss Him”.
But the biggest problem is this is exactly what the Pharisees did, and they called Jesus a devil, and had him killed. They were in church every week. Jesus said they “searched” the Scriptures (Jn. 5:39). And he said they traveled land and sea to make converts and made them two times the child of hell they were (Matt. 23:15)
We can go soul winning every night, study the Bible every day, go to church, worship God, give our money to God, serve on seventeen church committees and go to hell. The Pharisees did all these and more.
What God Wants- What then does God want? He wants faith. Hebrews 11:6 says.
“Without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.”
God wants obedience. I John 2:2-4 says,
“The one who says, ‘I know Him’ and does not do what He commands is a liar and the truth is not in him.”
And finally, God wants love for Him and our fellow man.
In our text a Bible teacher (scribe) asked Jesus how a person receives eternal life, e.g. becomes right with God. Jesus asked him what his Bible said. The man quoted Lev. 19:8 and Dt. 6:5,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Lk. 10:
The Priority of Love
The Bible makes it clear that of these three- trust, obedience and love- love is primary. Paul listed faith, hope and love and said love was the greatest (1 Cor. 13)
In Matt 22:37-40 another Scribe asked him, which of the commandments is the greatest and Jesus quoted these same verses and said,
“This is the greatest commandment. On these two commands you can hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
The “Law and the Prophets” was a Jewish phrase for the Old Testament. The Amplified Bible says these two commands “sum up” the Old Testament.
Romans 13:9 says,
“There are many commands but all are summed up in the word love.” (Rom. 13:9)
1 Jn. 4:21 says,
“The commandment God has given us is to love God and love each other.” (1 Jn. 4: 21)
I love the story of the man hunting at night who fell into an old well. Clawing and scratching on his way down, he managed to catch hold of a root. He was a Christian, so he prayed in the inky darkness. “Oh God are you up there?” Amazingly, a voice answered back, “Yes, my son, I am here, what can I do for you?” The terrified man said, “Father, tell me what to do.” The voice gently answered, “Turn loose my son turn loose.” There were 10 seconds of silence and the man yelled again, “IS ANYBODY ELSE UP THERE?”
Now here is another one:
A young man is in a hotel that is on fire. The fire is behind him and he is looking out a window at the end of a hall. All he can see is black smoke. Beyond the smoke a fireman is yelling for him to jump into a net held by other firemen. Unable to see the net or the firemen, the boy is afraid. Suddenly another voice comes over the mega-horn, “Jimmy, this is day. We need for you to jump son. The firemen are there and they will catch you. After a few moments, Jim gets the nerve and jumps.