The Reformed Witness


APOSTASY Part V   “Duty”      Volume 1, Issue 5

The word "observe" means to "keep" or to "preserve". [Heb. shamar 08104]. The implication is that once the child of God is born of His Grace, by the hearing of the Word of faith, he must go on to be attentive and labor to preserve the integrity of the precepts of God. This is to be done in both word and deed. Without the diligent exercising of duty, the Christian has not fulfilled his Covenant responsibility.
Introverted  Limitations
It is a sad fact that many who claim to be Christian children of God have no pragmatic understanding of their commission. Too often, in many churches, the responsibility of the saint is restricted to evangelism. "Win souls to Christ", say the preachers. Although an essential component of Biblical duty, this message is only a small portion of the "whole counsel of God". If the whole of the Great Commission, and the comprehensive counsel of God is restricted to an "ecclesiastic, evangelical" slant, then the Christian has not done his or her duty.
What has become the norm in the Christian Community is a posture of "personal introvert-ism". A spiritual "tunnel-vision" has gripped the people. The entire concern of the saint is placed upon himself, and his relationship to God, rather than his duty to address the economic, social and political ills in the world.
This idea of 
limiting the Christian's life by "trying to be more holy, and more righteous" is contrary to the Scriptures. The Christian must realize that by being "In Christ", the soul has become holy, just, and good, perfectly. The flesh will always lust after sin, and the workings of sin will naturally be manifested in daily living. Obedience, therefore is essential to mortify the deeds of the body, yet, personal obedience should never be sought solely as an effort to get right with God.
Self-absorbed Christianity, is called "Pietism". Pietism is a dreadful snare which stresses the ability of man, and focuses upon the self, by entirely ignoring pertinent issues of society. Thus, "pietism" under     Continued...

  "And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:"                                        (Deuteronomy 28:1 AV)

Perhaps the two most destructive antagonists of Christianity are sloth and complacency. Coupled together with ignorance, fear and unbelief, these bring reproach and shame to the Kingdom of Christ. They act as negative forces amidst a people who are called to be a positive influence in the world around them. Thus, all those that fail in the explicit commandment of God to be "about the Father's business" are in fact, working against the business of the Kingdom of Righteousness.
In the assembly of the Saints, there are not to be any who are uninvolved. Idle on-lookers are said to have their way hedged in with thorns.
cf. Proverbs 15:19   Those who shun their Christian duty are likened to the fig tree, who, although in leaf, had not the productivity of fruit. They become clouds without water and is a brother to him that is a great waster. The Apostle Paul instructs us not to be slothful in business, but rather fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. cf. Romans 12:11  This reference to "business" can only be in regard to the business of Christ and the Kingdom of God. The community of Christians is one of activism and transformational change.
Consider the components of Deuteronomy 28:1. God is carefully laying down fundamental principles of the Christian life. Notice, firstly, He commands the saint to "harken" . If the saints hears God and diligently listen attentively to His voice, then they shall be set high above all nations. In essence, that is what God is stating. But there is more.
It is not enough to hear and to be attentive to the Word of God. One must observe and DO His commandments. Herein is the action of responsible listening on the part of the saint.






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