The Expository Files

The Teachings of Christ, Your Present Life and Your Eternity  

Polls suggest that over 80% of us believe in God. Unfortunately, a much, much smaller percentage are willing to do much about their belief. This helps explain why we are afflicted by so much crime and sin in a nation where so many believe in a Supreme Being. They believe He exists, but the belief is rather vague and so it does not really effect their day to day lives all that much. There is a big difference between believing that God exists and having a living faith in Him as God. It takes a living faith to change lives (James 2:14-26).

Judged According to Deeds
Some suggest that religion has been the source of much evil in the world. That is true - it has. But Christianity in its true form has not. The practice of the life Jesus calls upon us to live has never been the source of a single evil act. Not one! While there have been those professing to be Christians while completely ignoring the teachings of Christ who have given His way a bad rap, those who have committed themselves to keeping His word are responsible for much good. No one can name one evil that has been done by someone who was obeying Jesus at the time!

All religious con men and hypocrites; charlatans and pretenders, will one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ and answer for their evil deeds “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10). We must not back away from declaring the whole counsel of God - there will be a judgment and there will be either eternal victory or eternal condemnation If you believe in God, you do well. Satan believes in Him as well. But he does not follow the teachings of God. Do you?

If You Abide in My Word
Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.” (John 8:31). One must live by the teachings of Jesus to truly be His disciple. Disciples are also called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). What does Jesus expect out of His disciples?

He expects us to be knowledgeable. We should know why we believe as we do. For example, we should be able to give good reasons why we believe that He is the Son of God. Knowledge of the Scripture is highly recommended by the Lord. “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

He also expects us to have faith. Enoch is one example of a believer who had the kind of faith He wants us to have (Hebrews 11:5). Enoch probably lived in a culture much like our own - with little thought given to God. But he persevered as he lived by faith and refused to allow others to deter him. He “walked with God” the Bible says.

Our God also expects us to choose Him whenever the choice presents itself. One who casually sets aside the will of Christ whenever it is convenient is not truly His disciple. “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…” (Philippians 3:7,8).

Finally, He expects us to be God-fearing and principled. We put Him first as Lord of our lives regardless of the cost. Discipleship is not for the weak -willed. It takes tough-mindedness. For those who are absolutely determined to stand up for Jesus, God will give the strength to do so.

God Has Spoken To Us Through His Son
Jesus said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me,” (John 7:16). The New Covenant that Jesus gave us is God's final word. The Bible says, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrews 1:1,2).

The Scriptures are adequate to guide us through life, to enlighten us so that we may please God and win our eternal goal, We do not need a conglomeration of man-made religious creeds or laws. They do more harm than good. The Scriptures are complete and able to equip us unto every good work.

We are also adequate for the Scriptures. By that we mean that we can read and understand and use them to make our lives better. God wants us to live by the words of the New Covenant. Remember what the apostle Paul told Timothy: “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:14,15).

Two things to notice here. First, Timothy had learned these things from childhood. Second, he was not taught by a professional educator, Rabbi or priest, but by his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). God's truths are able to give wisdom which leads unto eternal life!

By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 18.11; November 2011