From a Biblical perspective, when we view what’s being taught in many of the local assemblies, you’d have to come to the conclusion that it’s a small part of the Gospel (good news).
Sunday after Sunday, religious network after network, we hear only one side of the true Gospel … and that’s “What God wants to do for YOU!” Very seldom, do we hear, “What God requires of US!”
Here’s a short list of things that God requires of His followers:
1. An Attitude of Gratitude (Thankfulness)
Jesus said in Matthew 7:9-11, “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him”
He’s saying that these gifts from our heavenly Father, are the things that Jesus , throughout sacred Scripture, as necessary for us to be His disciples: righteousness, humility, purity,, and godly wisdom. We know what we’re lacking in these areas and will ask our heavenly Father for them. OF course, He speaks of the ultimate gift in other text, and that of course, is the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 100:3, “Acknowledge that the LORD is God! … Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.”
Here, the psalmist is saying, don’t just approach our heavenly Father, always in an asking mode, without first acknowledging who He is, and giving thanks to His name: this is what ushers us into His presence. For the Word of God declares that He inhabits the praises of His saints.
In Luke 17:17, Jesus expressed His disappointment and asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”
In John 4:23-24, Jesus said, “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” This type of worship stems from reverential adoration and complete humility and appreciation, from deep within our inner being, because we know that He’s God all by Himself: One that truly deserves this kind of devotion. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus said, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”
The Apostle Peter picked up his pen in 1 Peter 1:15-16 and said, “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, be holy, for I am holy. Peter is saying, God is holy and commands us to be holy because He is holy!
The Bible speaks of the love of God, the power of God, the majesty of God, how worthy God is to be praised, but the supreme message of the Holy Scripture is the THE HOLINESS OF GOD!
The thing to remember is that holiness centers round what is uniquely associated with God. Then what we are saying is:
1. Holiness means uniqueness – In Old Testament holiness was associated with the nation of Israel because the nation was set apart from other nations. Today, the uniqueness is the residence of the Holy Spirit in the believer.
2. Holiness means belonging to God – A covenant relationship. God agrees to protect us, through covenant relation between God/Son.
3. Holiness means living with God – It’s for God and living in obedience to Him.
4. Holiness means being a light -We are anointed by the indwelling Holy Spirit to represent His light and radiate it out to those we come in contact with. We are light to the dark world. We are salt (flavor) to the bitter world.
In the Book of Acts 5:29, the Apostle Peter stated, “We ought to obey God rather than men”
All throughout sacred Scripture, we see this theme of ‘obedience.’ In Acts 26:19, Apostle Paul said, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” In James 1:22, he stated, “Be…doers of the word and not hearers only.
In Mark 12:30, we are commanded, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Why? Because of John 3:16-17, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” Remember, we love Him, because He first loved us.
Our heavenly Father longs to fellowship with us.
In 1 John 1:3, “We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” Saints, as His children, we are made in His “image and likeness.” He stated in Revelation 3:20, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
In conclusion: WHAT GOD REQUIRES OF US …?
To do justly
Toward God according to His divine law – Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Toward man according to His divine law – Ephesians 4:25-29, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grave unto the hearers.”
To love mercy
To show a compassionate warm-heartedness toward man
Toward widows and the fatherless – James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Even toward our enemies – Luke 6:35-36, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
To walk humbly with our God
This means to enjoy His fellowship and forgiveness by the blood of Jesus – James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” 1 John 1:2-9, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”