Whoever believes or whoever does?

25 02 2010

I’d like to go back to 1 John again and look at 1 John 2:17:

“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever”

I thought the second half of the verse was pretty interesting as it says “whoever does the will of God abides forever.”  What if this was the only verse we had from the whole bible!?  On the surface we may believe that we would have to “do stuff” in order to get into heaven…

But let’s look at the verse in light of John 3:16.  Here we have a verse written by the same author, inspired by the same Spirit and He says there “whoever believes….[will] have eternal life.”

Here in Scripture it may almost seem like a contradiction.  What must we do to inherit eternal life? Must we just believe? Or must we do? Or must we believe then do, or do then believe? I want to make the case that these two phrases should be seen as (for lack of a better term) “synonyms”.  I should clarify: There must be a point in every believer’s life where he confesses Christ as His Lord and Savior (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). However, this “confession” is synonymous with doing the will of God for the remainder of our lives here on earth!

Do you understand what the Word of God is saying? There is no “i was saved 5, 10, 20, 50, 80 years ago, but don’t do the will of God” salvation in the Bible! To trust in Christ as our Savior is to do the will of the Father! Practically, what does this mean in our lives? Does it mean that if you struggle with sin you aren’t saved? No, not necessarily…. But it does mean that as believers, we do the will of God.  In other words, we take the very Word of God and apply it to our lives.  For some this is difficult considering they do not read the Word of God!

You see the point is that our salvation is precious! In  1 John 2:15, as discussed in my last blog, John commands us to not love the world.  So many people who profess a belief in Christ, separate that belief from action as they also in love with the world.  Sure, Jesus is precious, but so are big screen tvs, fancy cars, houses, etc. I just heard an awesome message by David Platt (which you can watch below) where he challenged Christians with the question: Is Jesus enough?  Can we look past our wealth and ourselves and really say “Christ is sufficient.”?

The whole point of this post today is to get you examining your faith to see whether or not it is an action.  Is it living? Is it working? To John, James, Peter, and even Paul, etc. a belief in Christ that did not result in action by doing the will of God would have been impossible.

My challenge to you this weekend is to show the world that there is a Way… Show the world that we do not serve a middle class American Jesus, but that we serve the God of the Universe. That doesn’t just mean we need to rearrange our time, money, talents, etc. to follow Christ.  It means we must crucify our entire lives! We must take up the Cross and follow the King of Kings!

There is so much we could go into in application: Love Christ? Join and participate in a local church (actively)! Love Christ? Forgive that person who’s wronged you. Love Christ? Tip the waiter (even if they’ve been bad). Love Christ? Follow Phil. 2:3-4…. etc. etc. etc. The Word of God reveals the truth about God and what He desires for our lives. You want to know what doing the will of God looks like? Get into the Word. God bless…

The following message by Dr. David Platt was preached in Alumni Chapel at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY on February 25, 2010.