By Don Willis
The Bible is the world’s most sought after book. More volumes of it are sold than any other publication. The Bible is translated into more languages and dialects than any other book. Probably, more people read some daily out of the Bible than any other book.
James affirms, “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (1:22-24). John, in the Revelation, said, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (1:3).
Jesus said, “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” (Mt. 7:21).
Many read, but fail to hear, understand, and obey the things that Jesus has said. They read with preconceived notions. They have been told that one does not have to obey the things found in the Bible.
The, Bible teaches that one must be baptized in order to be saved from past sins; however, man teaches that baptism is not necessary to salvation. Therefore, many churches deny that baptism is necessary.
God revealed that baptism is an immersion in water, using the word buried (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12); but man is ready to substitute sprinkling and/or pouring instead of what the Lord commanded.
Jesus promised to build his church (Mt. 16:18); told all the disciples to be one (Jn. 17:20-21); added all of the saved to his church (Acts 2:41); died in order to make of all men one body (Eph. 2:14-16); condemned division and man made names (1 Cor. 1:10-13); and said there is but one body (Eph. 4:4) which is the church (Eph. 1:22-23). But, man teaches that one church is as good as another. Why did we read, unless we were going to hear and obey?
Jesus died to cleanse us from sin (Rom. 3:23-26). Without the shedding of his blood, there could be no remission (Heb. 9:22). As one is saved from sin, he is raised to walk in a newness of life (Rom. 6:4). Christians are not to serve sin, sin is not to reign in their bodies that they obey it in its lusts, nor can Christians yield their bodies to sin, or permit sin to have dominion over them (Rom. 6:6,12,13,14). One might occasionally sin, but cannot give in to sin, serve sin, let it reign in them, yield to sin, nor let sin have dominion over him. When sin does arise, a Christian must repent of the same (Acts 8:22), confess this sin and ask God to forgive (1 Jn. 1:9). Even though this is what we read in the Bible, some human made churches teach that it is impossible for one saved to so act as to be eternally lost. Even some, whom we call brethren, teach that God’s grace will automatically cover sin, that sin is not charged to them. Why read, if we do not intend to hear, understand and obey? One is the servant of the one whom he chooses to obey, “whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” (Rom. 6:16).
How often must we be told?
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 2, p. 41
January 21, 1988