Thursday, 20 January 2022
Let's go a little deeper into the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Let's unpack this verse. Yeshua is telling us that there is more to being saved than just saying, "You are my Lord."
If we expect to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must MAKE Him our LORD, and only then will we enter the kingdom of heaven. Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my loved ones, just as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence - work out your salvation with fear and trembling. We must actually DO the will of His Father in heaven.
When the various writings and letters were being canonized into the New Testament, the were strong objections to including the book of Jacob (later renamed James). Even more recently, Martin Luther disputed that it should even be in the Bible. There is an emphasis on doing that made some theologians uncomfortable. But, I have good news. According to the will of God, Jacob IS included in the New Testament. Let's look at a few examples of what gave them concern. Here are 3 such verses.
Jacob 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
Jacob 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can such faith save him?
Jacob 2:24M/b> You see that a man is proved righteous by works and not by faith alone.
I could have reprinted all 11 verses between Jacob 2:14 and Jacob 2:24. Read them if you like. I've been asked, "How much of obeying God is optional?" My answer, "All of it, but so are the blessings that go along with our obedience." We show our love for God by our willingness to follow Him. And yes, faith is connected to obedience.
We demonstrate our trust in God through obedience. Obedience to what? What makes us feel good? What we think God wants? Our understanding of morality? It's better for us to have a firm foundation. Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
In the same way that every soldier must endure training, we too, as members in the Lord's army, must endure testing. Jacob 1:12 Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him.
We show our love for God by doing what He said to do. John 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. Wondering about what "commandments" were meant by Yeshua? Jacob 1:21 So put away all moral filth and excess of evil and receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. If we have a "yes" in our hearts for God, and He will lead us, guide us, and direct us into our common destiny, His presence where we will find true shalom.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,