Where do you belong?We can always testify in the Word that we are walking spiritually or in flash. This is why we need to keep reading because it can determine whether or not we live according to God's will. Therefore, the Word is also a mirror for us, in which everyone can examine himself whether he belongs to the world or the kingdom of God. God does not ask us for emotions! That is why we cannot read in the scripture that emotions would be a validation of our life in God's will. Worshipers practice worship in emotional manifestations rather than what God asks of us. Because what does God ask of us? Deeds that glorify Him! Let's read from James what about those who listen to God's Word but do not put it into action:
„Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.”
Therefore, those who only study theory and do not put into practice what they hear are deceiving themselves. It is a very good parable of what James said, we can see a clear message about today's believers. They do so today, they listen to the Word of God, and when they see the distorted picture of themselves in the light of the Word, they go away and forget what flaws they have. But how should we look at the Word of God? So that once we understand the theory, we put it into practice immediately. Let's continue reading James' letter:
„But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
So look at ourselves in the light of the Word, and then act accordingly! Don’t be like those who hear the Word of God again and again, but it’s not reach their hearts. Many times the distance between the ear and the heart (approx. 40cm) can be very long! Let's read from James again:
„But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing."
Blessed in his doing? Yes! Our actions determine our belonging, not our speech or our emotions.
„For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.”
We can find rest in our actions, because it proves that we are citizens of the kingdom of God. This is what John is talking about:
„My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.”
Although the Apostle John is not "sympathetic" to many as he said many things that are harsh and incompatible with today's creeds, the words of the "beloved" disciple must be important for us! We read from him that we must act by love, and that is the testimony, seal and fact that we are in the truth. How important is it to be in the truth? The short answer is: life and death! Let's read some of the many testimonies:
„The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.”
„Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?”
It's so important to be a true Christian! Although believers who do not have righteous deeds hope for white robes. White robe is one of the many things which believers widely misunderstood. They believe that they will be righteous before God by this white robe. But it's not a magic robe! We will not be righteous before God by this robe, but because we are righteous we will receive a white robe. Because what does the white robe mean?
„it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure"--for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”
But if we get away from earthly thinking, we can see something more going on with the subject of white robe. When Jesus was changed on the mountain in the presence of Peter, James, and John, his robe became white, as no one on earth could bleach them.:
„and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.”
His cloth wasn't just white. Jesus' garment shined, the disciples saw it, and that light was the glory of Jesus! What makes Jesus glorious? Because he followed the Father's will in full obedience. We can share this glory with Jesus, if we do not live for ourselves, but for the will of God. This may be our righteousness, righteous acts of obedience, for which we may receive the seal of God (white robe). So if our actions are righteous (which is only possible by Jesus), then we can walk with Jesus in white, which represent our righteous actions.
If we want to be a citizen of the kingdom of God, let us do good deeds, and if someone fruitless (inactivity) or bear bad fruits (evil deeds), they are still in this corporeal world and will be cast into the eternal fire.
„The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”
Author: Antal Farkas
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