From Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth we read,
- “Do not be bound together with unbelievers, for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness . . .” (II Corinthians 6:14 – NASB)
Take note, “Do not.” The statement is often made, “I don’t want anything to do with Christianity. It’s just a religion of do’s and don’ts.” There is this continued mind-set that one wants to be free to choose what they want to do and not be told at every turn what they are not to do. I’ve heard this allegation thrown at my Christian faith many a time.
Is Christianity a bunch of do’s and don’ts? Well, the answer to that is, “Yes it is.”
It would seem though that we should be able to explain why that is, would it not? And I’m going to try to respond to that accusation by reasoning from the Scriptures, which by the way, should always be our source for reasoning.
First of all take note that it is clear from the Bible that God, the Creator, did not create chaos. Everything He created was good (Genesis 1 and 2). It was man who chose to rebel against His Creator (Genesis 3) and such,
- “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned . . .” (Romans 5:12 – NASB)
- “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6 – NASB)
That known, know that into this rotten mess of sinful mankind, a corrupt, depraved world, God, the Creator, has entered. He has chosen not to wipe it all out and start all over again but rather to enter into our fallen environment and, to His glory, reconcile sinners to Himself. Into the sinful world of mankind holiness has come, righteousness has been manifested. Nowhere was this more evident then in Jesus the Christ, the perfect, sinless Son of God, the Holy One who came into this world to reveal to fallen mankind the Father (John 1:1-18). Take note,
- “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us . . . the only begotten from the Father full of grace and truth . . . No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” (John 1:1, 14, 18 – NASB)
Truth and righteousness (“right acts”) was revealed right in the very midst of a fallen, sinful world! Holiness exposed ungodliness! The Creator, “the Father,” was “explained” and sinful mankind was revealed for what he really was. The right way of doing things was lovingly introduced to a people who were doing everything the wrong way. Man had “gone astray” from his Creator, he had “turned to his own way” and such was hopelessly headed for “death.”
The Son exposed the condition and in the process “explained” God. And in this explanation, He revealed the wrong way and the right way to God. Carrying that further, as His disciples carried His revelation forward, they revealed in word and in writing the way God would have His creation act and the way He would desire His creation not to act. Divine do’s and don’ts!
As I’ve been teaching on some lessons I put together on “Doers Of The Word,” I’ve become acutely aware of all the “do not’s” in the Scriptures, and of course, all the “do’s.” (Note as an example: Ephesians 5:1-21, noting all the “do not’s.”)
Divine instruction, the right way to do things brought to bear on the wrong way things are done. Right acts verses wrong acts. The right acts having a most important purpose . . . to convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:7-11). It is the divine Creator entering into man’s sinful environment, exposing His sinful condition and graciously calling him to repent of his sin and turn in faith to Jesus the Christ to save him from the penalty due his sin. And take note here that this is a “do” and a “don’t.” There is a right “way” to God; a “do,” and there is a wrong “way;” a “don’t.”
Yes! It is true! Christianity is a bunch of do’s and don’ts. But the “do’s” are oh so very important. And these “do’s” are to be evident in those who belong to Jesus for the reason of accomplishing the mission He has saved us for in this world of “don’ts!”
Have a good day brethren . . . and pay attention to the do’s and the don’ts of Scripture, submitting to the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, that you might be manifesting the do’s.
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