2009-05-23 - Blessed if You Do
John 13:17, If you know these things, you are blessed if your do them."
We have if twice here. First, If you know these things, and secondly, you are blessed if you do them. They are two separate ideas, but they go together. The Expositor John Guyse interpreted this verse more than 250 years ago as saying, Ye may hence receive useful instruction relating to your own duty; and if ye really understand what I mean by all this, it will be your great happiness and comfort, honour and advantage, to practice according to it. Guyse is right. Jesus gives us useful instruction, and if we know these things - if we know the instruction in such a way that we have received it - it is our happiness, comfort, honor, and advantage to do what we know.
Matthew 7:16, You will know them by their fruits.
It would seem strange that God would give His blessings to those who do not bear fruit, from what they have been taught and know. We must put into practice what we know. It is the kind of obedience that we require of children. Are we bearing fruit? Our happiness comes not only in knowing the things of Christ, but by putting them into action in our lives. It is the second stage - doing what we have learned. It is a blessed thing to be obedient to God. The soul that desires to be truly happy will seek to be living in Gods will. If you follow the Lord, you will have Heaven on Earth. It was what our Lord sought, Yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt, Matthew 26:39. And so it is with us. We seek to come to that level where our will is to be in the Lords will. It is Heaven on Earth to be so.
The follower of Christ should be consistent. We can talk until the cows come home, about what we do believe and what we do not believe. We can pontificate until we run out of words, about right or wrong things concerning the Lord, but those words are empty if they are not interwoven with a holy life - a daily life that is seeking holiness in all of life. That is what the Christian life is all about. It is about what we do on Monday, Tuesday, and the rest of the week. It is the only faith worth having. We strive for faith that transforms us, so that we are blessed when we do the things we know.
We might ask what is the end result of being taught of the Lord, and of having the Holy Spirit working in our hearts, in such a manner that we apply it. The result in us is holiness, but on our part, we express gratitude to the Lord for His work in and through us. There is no place for self-congratulation or pride. It is all the Lords, and all we do it unto His glory. What do we have that we have not received? How blessed we are that we, who were once dead in sin, incapable of being able to spiritually see or hear - how blessed we are that we have been made to hear the Good News, and see the beauty of the Gospel. God gets the glory in all our application of His truth. We know the Lord. We love Him. We trust in Him. We follow Him. We are His children, and our desire is to be like Him in all things. The follower of Christ knows that he/she is blessed if they do the things of Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,