Believing and Obeying

Believing and Obeying

Every single day, we must determine what is real and genuine in our lives—and what is not. But these types of distinctions are not always as easy as we would like them to be. There are many counterfeits out there—counterfeit relationships, counterfeit beliefs and counterfeit faiths. Our responsibility is to make sure that we are basing our lives on the truth.

The challenge we face is determining what truth is and how to weed out the facts from the fiction. In essence, all of life for the believer is seeking out the truth so that we know how to love, live and serve according to God’s will. And knowing the truth centers around one central theme—helping people become all that God intended them to be.

But I can assure you that none of us will be successful in this endeavor unless we do things according to God’s plans, unless we live our lives according to God’s direction and God’s truth.

The world thinks they have the answers, and those answers are based on their knowledge, their own abilities, their own concept of what is and what is not true. The world believes there is no absolute truth, that everything is relative. People claim: “It’s true now, but it may not have been true in the past, and it may not be again in the future because it’s always subject to change.” They believe that as long as we are respectful of others’ beliefs, as long as we don’t offend someone, as long as we don’t step on someone’s toes, we can believe whatever we want to believe. Our culture today believes that we can determine what is right and wrong.

The Bible exposes a major problem with relative truth. If you are going to rely on your own heart and human, fallen, limited wisdom, you are relying on an unreliable source. Jeremiah 17:9 states: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it?”

The Bible is clear that we can’t determine on our own what is right and what is wrong. We must base our beliefs on moral absolutes. Truth is true whether we believe it or not. Truth is discovered or it is revealed; it is not invented by culture or even by religious men.

As the Scriptures assert in John 8:32—”And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We must know that truth in order to experience absolute freedom, absolute joy and absolute peace. That truth is only found through Jesus Christ.

Jesus declared about Himself: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

For us to be what God wants us to be, to experience what God wants us to experience, to accomplish what God wants us to accomplish and to know what God wants us to know, we must abide in Him and allow His Words to abide in us.

John 15:7 promises: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” That is a vital truth in the Christian’s life. Our only hope for seeing God’s best in our lives is to hold fast to the truth of God’s Word.

Christ’s disciples understood this fact. In John 6:66-69, we read: “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'”

To ensure that we are abiding in Christ, it’s imperative that we are reading and studying God’s Word on a consistent basis—and obeying it. John 14:21 clearly points to the importance of putting truth into action: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

To combat relativism, we have no option but to pray that God will move in our midst.  We have no option but to believe in Him, trust in Him and allow Him to use us to change the world. We have no option but to seek God’s face and allow Him to lead us each day. We must abide in His Word as the only source of truth.

So, what do we do in a world that convolutes the truth? We continue to follow the teachings of the Word of God—the source of truth! There’s a passage of Scripture that has been so meaningful to me through my Christian life. Within these few short verses, I find great hope and great promise as to what God’s Word can do for me, and for you if you will allow Him.

Second Timothy 3:14-17 teaches: “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Here are six things that the Bible will do for us:

The Word of God saves you. (verse 15)

The Word of God teaches you. (verse 16)

The Word of God confronts you. (verse 16)

The Word of God corrects you. (verse 16)

The Word of God guides you. (verse 16)

The Word of God equips you. (verse 17)

But did you notice something interesting in these verses? Did you catch that the Apostle Paul tells us that when we were saved, we were “children” in verse 15, but then in verse 17, we are “men” of God. What matured us to go from being a spiritual infant or a child in Christ to becoming a spiritual adult? The answer is found in verse 16—the Word of God.

Here’s the point. If you want to be an effective witness in today’s relativistic world, you have to know the Scriptures. You must abide in the truth of God’s Word, clinging to it in every situation in life, for there is found the only true direction that will lead to life—and to transformational revival.

The culture in which we live is one that denies absolute truth. One that is more concerned with not offending than confronting sin. One that is focused on accepting anything as normal when the Bible is clear that only a life lived based on the Word of God is right. We live in an increasingly sin sick society, but it is a society for whom Christ died!

So, what must we do? First, know that He alone is God. Second, believe in the inspiration and inerrancy of God’s Word. Next, do your level best to walk daily in that truth. And, last (but certainly not least), use every opportunity to share the truth of God’s Word and His love with others.

Abide in that truth and your world will never be the same!

©2012 Jonathan Falwell
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.

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