Faith and works together

I have recently begun reading through the New Testament again. I haven’t done this since high school. I’m only halfway through the book of Matthew. Still, in those few pages, there is tons of instruction on how a true Christian should and should not live.

I am struck as I read through how some Christians and even churches take these verses apart, ala carte style as to which they will hold. Jesus himself spoke against this. All quotes are KJV.

Many know and hold Matthew 4:4 “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [emphasis mine]

Matthew 5:18-19 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [emphasis mine]

There are many who say that it doesn’t matter what we do or say as long as we believe because Jesus knows our hearts. I say this is a dangerous doctrine to hold to. It does matter. Jesus speaks of this when he talks about fruits of the tree in Matthew 7. Especially verses 20 and 24,26.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”, We need to both hear and do. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man…And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man” [emphasis mine]

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith until me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [emphasis mine]

Also, Matthew 18:7 “Woe unto the world because of the offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” Jesus didn”t use exclamatory speeches very often. This must be a serious matter to warrant such a harsh warning.

In Matthew 19:17, Jesus tells what must be done to have eternal life. “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

As for what you say, Jesus spends a good amount of time on this subject as well.

Matthew 5:33-37 forbids the swearing of oaths. Instead verse 37 simply says “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” In other words, don’t swear to tell the truth, just be honest and truthful.

Matthew 12:36 forbids gossip. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment”

Matthew 12:37 “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

Matthew 15: 18-20 “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart preceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”

So you see, it does matter. If it didn’t why would Jesus have taught thus? Righteousness alone won’t get you into heaven, nor will faith alone. Instead, both are needed.

How can you best know what righteous living entails? Read your Bible. The book of Matthew is loaded with how a Christian should live.In there you can find guidance for any situation direct from the Master Teacher. If you believe and live a righteous life as laid out in the New Testament, you shall be saved.

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