DO MORE THAN YOU HAVE TO!
INTRO: Somewhere in the past fifty years or so there has developed a concept of minimum standards. Perhaps minimum standards have developed to protect us from danger, sloppy workmanship and such. What has happened, though, is that many people relate only to the minimum standard. They do no more than is absolutely required. So, it is not unusual to find people satisfied and contented with less than the best from themselves. Scripture advises, Do more than you have to.
I. WHO ARE WE?
A. Christians - the bride of Christ
1. we wear His name - and say we believe it makes a difference that we are Christians
2. fact: what we do will invariably reflect on Him
B. We think of moral and spiritual correctness
1. and well we should - important
2. but what about an attitude which will only do what must be done? how does that reflect?
II. SOME TEXTS TO CONSIDER
A. Mt 5:38-42 Go the extra mile
1. even people unfamiliar with Bible use this saying
2. what does it mean? do more than is required
3. yes, the text had some specific points of concern with things going on politically and religiously
4. but the principle inherent in the text is do more than you have to
5. reason: thats the way kingdom citizens behave!
B. Eccl 9:10 Give it all youve got
1. with but limited time it does not make sense to do things in a mediocre way
2. a thing worth doing is worth doing well
3. and shouldnt that be the manner of a Christian?
4. how can we give less than the best and do only what we must and believe that wont reflect on the Lord?
5. is it not really cheating?
C. Col 3:22-24 Its service to the Lord
1. over time, this passage has become a motto which I use to remind myself of how to do everything
2. the spirit and manner of the things we do have eternal ramifications
3. yes, it is done in an earthly arena
4. but it is always reflecting into heavenly concerns
5. work to rules - minimum standards ... is that our relationship to the Lord? hardly
III. A VIVID ILLUSTRATION
A. 1 Chron 22:7-10 David desired to build the temple
1. as I read various accounts, it seemed to me this was a passionate desire
2. to honor God in this way was a hearts desire
3. but God forbade his doing so
4. now what? sit, and stew - be angry - do minimums?
B. 1 Chron 22:5, 14-19 He did all he could to prepare
1. no one would have blamed him for saying, Well, the temple is none of my business
2. but going the extra mile was Davids way
3. the rule of his life ... service rendered to God
4. indeed, that should, must be the rule of one who wears Christs name
CLOSE: I have found that it is often in the extra mile that the greatest pleasure is found. Another reminder is this: Mt 5:43-48. Christians go the extra mile because it is the manner of Christ, of God!
Cecil A. Hutson
28 February 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)