Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

The Importance of Doing

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“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21)

One of the greatest challenges for Christians is doing. We have no problem with believing. We talk a lot about what we believe. We argue about what beliefs are important. We post belief statements on websites. It is important to know what we believe, but it is just as important to act upon those beliefs. Jesus does not say, “Believe me.” He says, “Follow me.” Walking in the footsteps of Jesus is essential to being a Christian. The disciples did not always believe the right things (e.g. Matt. 16:23), but they continued to follow Jesus. The doing eventually led them to the right beliefs.

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7), Jesus turns his attention to doing. In Matt. 7:24 he says that a wise person is someone who hears his words and acts upon them. In Matt. 7:21 he makes it known that only those who do the will of the Father will enter the kingdom. What is it that we must do? It is everything he has already mentioned in Matt. 5-7. These words are like an invitation. He is telling the people who have just listened to this sermon that they now need to put these things into practice.

The Sermon on the Mount is full of things to do that many consider difficult. We are to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). We are required to turn the other cheek (Matt. 5:39). Jesus says, “Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you” (Matt. 5:42). We are to give to the poor (Matt. 6:3). We are to devote ourselves to prayer (Matt. 6:9-13). We are to fast (Matt. 6:16). We are to follow the golden rule (Matt. 7:12). There are lots of things Jesus wants us to do in this sermon, and at the end of the sermon he does not say, “Believe these things.” He says, “Do these things.”

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

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2 Responses to “The Importance of Doing”

  1. You have hit the nail right on the head. Great post


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