Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number 36
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
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In this issue:
Occasionally, you and I are confronted by someone who wants
to emphasize and elevate God’s love, mercy, and grace over God’s
commandments, truth, patterns, and will. The person may also emphasize and
elevate our attitudes, heart, and emotions over the necessity of our actions
and obedience. The person who emphasizes these attitudes over actions can
be your neighbor, your co-worker, your social contact, religious leaders,
and sometimes our brethren. Examples may include:
“I’m saved by grace, not baptism.”
“You’re being Pharisaical.”
“I just feel like I’m saved.”
“Just pray the sinner’s prayer and ask Jesus
to come into your heart.”
“I’m inclined to give more grace.”
When confronted with these and similar
statements, we may feel unprepared and embarrassed that we haven’t memorized
the appropriate scriptures to present what God’s word says about the
connection between attitudes and actions.
The purpose of this article is to show that
attitudes and actions are “super-glued” together in God’s word. We don’t
have to memorize passages that are unfamiliar to us. Most of the passages
below that link attitudes and action are very well known to us. We
memorized some of them as children. The passages below can be used by us to
show our neighbor, our co-worker, our social contact, religious leaders, and
our brethren that God doesn’t elevate attitudes over actions but rather
regards both as equally important in the life of the person who wants to
walk with God and love Him with all of their heart, soul, and mind (Matthew
As with all of the
characteristics of God, we could never say enough nor be thankful enough for
His awesome attributes. His love, mercy,grace,
and ways are immeasurable (Romans 11:33, Isaiah 55:8-11). We can benefit
from these awesome attributes only when coupled with faithful, obedient
action on our part. Consider the following scriptures and note the
connection between attitudes and actions in the highlighted words in each.
1. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the
world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in
Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
2. John 14:15 – If you love Me, you
will keep My commandments.”
3. Ephesians 4:15 – “but speaking the truth in love, we
are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”
4. I Peter 1:22 – “Since you have in obedience to
the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the
brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.”
1. Titus 2:11-14 – “For the grace of
God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness
and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in
the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of
the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself
for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for
Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
2. II Peter 3:18 – “but grow in the grace and knowledge of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both
now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
3. II John 1-3 – “The elder to
the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and
not only I, but also all who know the truth, for the sake of the truth which
abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace will
be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the
Father, in truth and love.”
1. Romans 6:17 – “But thanks be to God
that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the
heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed.”
2. Acts 2:37-38 – “Now when they heard this,
they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the
apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them,
“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
3. Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who says
to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who
does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”
4. Deuteronomy 32:46 – “he said to them,
“Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you
today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all
the words of this law.
5. Hebrews 10:19-25 – “Therefore, brethren,
since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a
new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is,
His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of
God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of
faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil
conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast
the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and
let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good
deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of
some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you
see the day drawing near.
inextricable connection and equality of God’s love, mercy, and grace
with God’s commandments, truth, patterns, and will in all of these
passages. Notice the inextricable connection and equality of our attitudes,
heart, and emotions with our actions and obedience.
Joe R. Price
The person who practices righteousness is righteous (1 John
3:7). Likewise, we cannot just talk about self-sacrifice; we must practice
it daily. Consider these applications of self-sacrifice.
(1) Self-sacrifice is necessary to repent
and be saved. The godly sorrow that produces repentance unto salvation is
ready and willing to sacrifice every sin that was previously committed (2
Cor. 7:10; Acts 19:18-20).
(2) Self-sacrifice is necessary to worship
God. Many excuses are heard when one chooses not to deny self and worship
the Lord. To put the Lord first and worship Him will mean sacrificing your
time and your personal convenience to assemble with God's people (Acts 20:7;
Heb. 10:24-25). Giving as the Lord has prospered you involves self-sacrifice
(1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7).
(3) Self-sacrifice is
necessary to learn God's word. Time and effort are required to study and
learn the Bible. The upright in heart make the necessary sacrifices to learn
and live the word of God (Psalm 1:1-2; 25:4-5; 2 Tim. 2:15).
(4) Self-sacrifice is necessary to live a moral life. The
gospel calls us to put away evil companions and immoral conduct (2 Cor.
6:14-7:1; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). As we live in the world, we must not be
of the world (cf. John 17:15-17). This requires putting away fleshly desires
and putting on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 13:13-14; 1 John 2:15-16).
(5) Self-sacrifice is necessary to help
those in need. To refuse to help someone when we can do so is not the love
of God or the character of Jesus (1 John 3:17-18; Luke 10:30-37; Matt.
characterizes the disciples of Jesus. Our purpose in life must be to gain
Christ - everything else becomes secondary. But what things were gain to me,
these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things
loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I
have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may
gain Christ (Phil. 3:7-8).
Created by Tyler Rorvig-Rieksts, last updated.
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149