By Randy Cavender
In our society, most people are concerned about their rights. Individuals say that they have the right to do anything they desire, sometimes caring little who they hurt in the process. It seems that many have this attitude in the religious world also. They surmise that since we are constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom that we can believe anything that suits us. Consequently, it makes no difference what the Lord has said, as long as they can do what they want. When Jesus was at the wedding in Cana of Galilee and the wine supply was depleted, Mary, the mother of Jesus, told her son about it. We find in verse 5, “His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever he says to you, do it'” (Jn. 2:5). The Colossians were taught, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17). We need always to keep in our minds that Jesus is who we must follow and heed the advice of Jesus’ mother to the servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it.” What are some things that Jesus expects of us?
In Matthew 16:24 Jesus said, “if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). If one is going to follow Christ, he will have to deny himself. There will be no more of this “my rights” attitude. We will voluntarily lay aside our wants and wishes and transform ourselves to obey the commandments of the Lord. If one is to please God, he will have to deny himself, by himself. But many have not done this! They simply do what they want in religious matters, failing to recognize Jesus as their Lord. Since Jesus said, “Let him deny himself,” a Christian’s will should simply do it!
Furthermore, Jesus taught that we should follow his example. “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (Jn. 8:12). Are you walking in the footsteps of Jesus? Do you look to the Son of God as your example in life? Many use the excuse that we cannot do this. But apparently Jesus thought differently, for he expects us to do as he has done (Jn. 13:15). Peter also teaches us that we should follow Christ (“leaving us an example, that you should follow his step,” 1 Pet. 2:21). Are you following the example that Christ has left for you? Do you make the effort to be Christlike in your life? Remember, this is required of us. Therefore we should do it!
Finally, we shall discuss another command that apparently troubles many people, i.e. baptism. When Jesus gave the Great Commission, he told his disciples to teach the gospel to all nations. He then taught them that “he who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:16). We also have example after example in the book of Acts that teaches us how people were converted to the Lord and one will find that baptism is in every account! It amazes me that so many affirm that one does not have to be baptized to be saved. Sometimes they claim to have already been saved without it! But why? Why do people try to get around a plain commandment of God? It seems to me that pride has kept some from doing all that God has said to do. Let us remember that if we fail to obey fully, we will be lost. Therefore what Christ has commanded, let us do it!
Let us stop questioning why the Lord has given us things to do. Let us simply with love for our Lord obey his every command. Therefore, “whatever he says to you, do it” (Jn. 2:5).
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 24, p. 745
December 19, 1991