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The Whole Duty of Man

 


There is an author who says the mega-strategy of Jesus is making disciples. Then he says every Christian must do this. There is a pastor who said that the duty of man is the Great Commission. However, these statements are not true.

It seems that the human mind would sometimes take one thing that God told us to do and convert that into a replacement for everything that God told us to do. We do all have a responsibility to have a testimony to those outside of the Body of Christ. That testimony is usually put forth by the kind of life we live and the love that flows from the throne of God through us. "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man." Eccl 12:13 That would certainly may include many things. "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Galatians 5:13-14 "Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in [literally, into] the one he has sent." John 6:29 These four verses are very broad and cover a lot of ground. They don't conflict with each other at all but all say the same thing. If the whole duty of man was to do the Great Commission, then no man would have a duty to support his wife and children or to love his fellow man--that makes no sense at all. Besides, the Great Commission was given to apostles, traveling ministries. It seems as though someone is rationalizing an application of this Scripture to every person. To rationalize in this way is to add to Scripture. God has different calls for different people. God speaks to each person moment by moment. As we listen, our hearing becomes better. Our senses are exercised by reason of use. If we don't listen, then our senses are calloused and we lose our ability to hear God clearly. Listening implies yielding to the Spirit so that we can obey God, or, more exactly, so that God can do His works through us as we yield our members to Him.

(some caveats about hearing God's Voice)

Fearing God, in Eccl 12:13, is a respect and holy awe for God. This is the beginning of wisdom and allows us to hear His voice as He directs our lives. We have found that it is impossible for us, as humans, to self-generate obedience to the voice of God. The article that I have put below this paragraph explains how God has given us grace for the purpose of giving us the ability to keep His commandments. We were created to be in constant communion with God, not working from a rule or a set of rules. He wants to direct every aspect of our life and to do His works through us. Let me know if the explanation leaves any questions in your mind or if any of the Scriptures don't support the statements made.

The true Church follows God's process and God's pattern. Whatever is not according to God's pattern and God's process is not the part of the Church. The world is always trying to creep into the Church, to bring things that are not of the pattern or of the Spirit into the Church, but we must guard against this.
God's Process: Righteousness, Holiness, and Redemption.

Righteousness always starts with God--we cannot initiate it. God leads. He speaks in many ways, especially through Christ as He is unveiled in the members of Christ the Body, through ministries. Here is the process: 1. Faith comes by hearing the word (literally, utterance) of God. (Ro. 10:17) 2. Hearing requires humility and reverence, which is the beginning of wisdom. 3. Faith gives access to God's grace including the free gift of righteousness. (Ro. 5:2, Ro. 5:17, Ro. 10:3, Isa. 45:8 Heb. 12:28) 4. Grace does the work of God in us. (1 Cor. 15:10) These four steps take only a moment and continue moment by moment perpetually. These steps are God's righteousness in thought, word, and deed, bringing us from glory to glory. Of course, we can slow, stop, or reverse our progress by ignoring, adding to, or taking from God's leading or by trying to self-generate the works. Anything that is not of faith is sin. (Ro. 14:23) Righteousness is the same as flowing in the Anointing of the Holy Spirit or walking in the Spirit. Righteousness is love. (Ro. 5:5, Ro. 13:8-10, Gal. 5:13-14, James 2:8) Works of righteousness are by grace, and grace is through faith. And righteousness always leads toward the establishment of God's pattern.

Righteousness leads to holiness and redemption. (2 Cor. 3:18) While righteousness is in the moment, holiness is a transfiguration of what you are; it is a change in your mind. When we turn to Jesus instead of our own understanding, God plants His holy seed and the fruit of the Spirit springs up. Then, you are reaping what you sowed. Holiness is Christ (your ministry) formed in you. It is progressive from glory to glory and from faith to faith. Holiness is sanctification, maturity, faithfulness, or stability. Holiness leads to redemption, and redemption is freedom from slavery to sin.

If you can receive it, God's process is the process of wisdom. Wisdom consists of righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Cor. 1:30) Christ is wisdom. (1 Cor. 1:24 & 30) Wisdom is also the only process by which the Church can come to the manifestation of the sons of God. (Ro. 8:19-23) However, the process without the pattern cannot fulfill God's purpose (Ro. 8:28-29) just as the pattern without the process is very limited. Wisdom is God's process, but God's process is without meaning without God's pattern.

God's Pattern: See, says God, that you build all things according to the pattern. (Heb. 8:5) The foundation of the Church must be laid first. (1 Cor. 3:11) First Christ, then the apostles built on Christ are the foundation of the Church. (Eph. 2:20) The Church abandoned God's pattern in the early centuries after Jesus ascended and gave gifts to men. (Eph. 4:11) However, God has been restoring His Church to its original glory and purpose. Every order, gift, ministry, and office must be operating at the direction of the Holy Spirit in perfect submission to Him as He leads and does His work through each member. As God's process of righteousness always begins with God's leading, God speaking, one of the main ways that God speaks is through the members of Christ the Body. (1 Cor. 12:2-3) Apostles receive the interpretation of Scripture (Eph. 1:8-9, 2 Peter 1:20) and pass this to local elders who, in turn, teach the people according to the pattern. (2 Tim. 2:2) This is God speaking to His people. Now, in local churches throughout the world, every joint supplies (Eph. 4:16, 1 Cor. 14), using the process of righteousness by grace through faith, which brings holiness and redemption, which is God's wisdom, Christ unveiled in His Church. (Eph. 3:10) We are joined into One Body (1 Cor. 12:12-30) that is growing to fullness through God's pattern and process. (Eph. 4:13)

God is restoring line on line and precept on precept, here a little and there a little as we seek to remain in the flow of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit at all times. We allow the love of God to flow through us to our spouses, our children, our grandchildren, our brothers and sisters, our parents, every member of the church, and every other person. We walk in His leading at all times in every part of our lives. We allow Him to do His work through us. We discern the Body of Christ, seeing every order while avoiding every disorder. We discern between true apostles and false apostles. Christ the Body is just as much Christ as Christ the Head is Christ. (1 Cor. 12:12) They cannot be separated. To discern the Body of Christ is to see Jesus face to face. When we see Him, we become like Him. (1 John 3:2) We walk in submission to the government of the church, which comes from Christ, through the apostles, the local elders, husbands and wives (parents) all of whom also walk in submission. Our homes flow in the Spirit according to the pattern that God has given. If we fail to yield to God's righteousness in any way, we confess our sin, are forgiven by God, and continue to walk. (1 John 2:1) Every part of the pattern is important and no part will be taken away until Christ the Body comes into such a unity that it stands as One Complete Man. This will be fullness of Christ the Body in perfect submission to Christ the Head with every part fully mature and in order according to the way the God planned it from the beginning. This is the manifestation of the sons of God.



Author/Compiler
Last updated: Oct, 2011
 
 




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