LIFE AS A BELIEVER: The Apostles’ Instructions To the Church
I have been reviewing the New Testament scriptures following the ascension of Jesus, slowly and deliberately, seeking passages that teach believers (myself, especially) how to live a life that glorifies Jesus Christ. More specifically, I have been seeking to determine what things were most important to the Apostles, as indicated by the instructions they emphasize and repeat in their teachings to the churches. The themes that I am finding are: we are to flee sin, cast down our idols, and live, through Christ, lives of love, obedience, self-control, and holiness. Love is clearly the most important of all of those commands because it epitomizes what Jesus and the Father have done for us…while we were yet sinners, they loved us.
While there were a episodes of healing and the casting out of demons in Acts, and in the Epistles, Paul, James, Peter, John and Titus almost never mention those things. Instead, they focus their exhortations and instructions on avoiding sin and loving our brothers and sisters. They warn their flock repeatedly to watch out for false prophets and teachers masquerading as angels of light, and they instruct all of us to preach the word of God in humility and confidence. This writing will focuses on the commands given to us by them, which relate to daily life as believers.
1 John 2:3-6 summarizes what it means to truly be a follower of Christ in very clear terms. In that passage, John says that we know that we have come to know Jesus if we obey his commands. The man who says he knows Jesus but does not do what He commands is a liar and the truth is not in him. If anyone does obey His word, then God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know that we are in Him. Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.
The above scripture embodies everything contained in the verses I am going to summarize below… we are to walk as Jesus did. Jesus walked in gentleness, peace, love, confidence, and strength, through His Father. He was holy, He was pure, He was bold and He was righteous. As the scriptures below indicate, we are all called loudly and clearly to do the same – not as works, but because we truly know and love the Living God.
In Acts 5:29-32, the apostles were brought before the high priests for disobeying their command not to preach in the name of Jesus. The apostles told the high priests that they must obey God rather than men, even though it would result in a severe beating. In verse 32, this passage states that the Holy Spirit comes to those who obey God. The implication is that, if you do truly receive the Holy Spirit, then you will obey God. If you do not have a growing interest in obeying God, then it is quite possible that the Holy Spirit does not dwell in you.
In Acts 26:20, Paul emphasized that our good deeds are evidence that true repentance has taken place in our hearts.
In Romans 1:3-6, Paul received grace and apostleship to call the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. This scripture corresponds with the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20, when Jesus tells the disciples to go and make more disciples baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything that He has commanded us. We are all called loudly and clearly to teach – and practice – obedience.
In Romans 2:5-16, Paul states that if we persist in doing good for the sake of God, we will receive eternal life. If we are self-seeking and reject the truth and follow evil, then there will be wrath and anger. It is not those who hear the word that are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the word who will be found blameless, according to Paul.
In Romans 5:11-16, Paul teaches us not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies so that we obey its evil desires. Also, we do not offer parts of our bodies to sin but instead we offer the parts of our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be our master.
In Romans 6:1-6, Paul asks, shall we continue sinning because of grace? No. Jesus died for sin so how can we live in it any longer? We were buried with Christ by baptism into His death so that we might live a new life. Our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
In Romans 7:4-6, Paul says that we died to the law for the body of Christ that we might belong to Jesus in order that we might bear fruit to God.
In Romans 15:17, Paul states that he glories in his service to God and will not speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished in him in leading the Gentiles to obey God by both what he has said and done.
In 1 Corinthians 3:10-17, Paul says that our foundation is Jesus Christ, and we should not build on that foundation with earthly things for they will be burned up in the fire. We are God’s temple and if we destroy that temple, God will destroy us.
In 1 Corinthians 4:16-17, Paul urges us to imitate him. He emphasizes the fact that his way of life agrees with what he teaches.
In 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, Paul tells believers expel the immoral brother from their church. Hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature may be destroyed. Paul says that we must not associate with someone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral, greedy, an idolater, a drunkard, or a slanderer.
In 1 Corinthians 7:19, circumcision and un-circumcision mean nothing. Obeying God’s commands is what counts.
In 1 Corinthians 7:35, we are exhorted to live a life of undivided devotion to the Lord.
In 1 Corinthians 8:9-13, Paul teaches us not to let the exercise of our freedom cause a weak brother to stumble. If anything that we do causes a weak brother to stumble, then we are sinning against Christ. Give up anything that could cause others to sin out of a sincere love for God and for others.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul says that we are to run a disciplined race like someone who competes in the games. He exhorts us to discipline our bodies and make it a slave so that after we have preached to others, we ourselves might not be disqualified for the prize.
In 1 Corinthians 10:1-14, we are told not to set our hearts on evil things as those in the desert with Moses did, and suffered for it. Do not commit sexual immorality or test the Lord. Do not fall away and flee every kind idol.
In 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, we learn that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. No one should seek their own good, but instead should seek the good of others.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31-32, whatever we do, do it for the glory of God and not for ourselves. Do not cause anyone to stumble.
In 1 Corinthians 10:33, we are again told not to seek our own good, but the good of many so that they might be saved. Follow Paul’s example as he follows the example of Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, we take our stand on the Gospel, and hold firmly to it. Otherwise we have believed in vain.
In 1 Corinthians 15:33-34, Paul teaches that bad company corrupts good character. Stay away from those who love sin and we ourselves must stop sinning.
In 1 Corinthians 15:57-58, Paul states that we have victory through Jesus, therefore we are to stand firm and let nothing move us – always giving ourselves fully to the work of the Lord.
In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, we are told to be on guard and to stand firm in the faith. Be men of courage. Be strong and do everything in love.
In 2 Corinthians 1:12, Paul emphasizes that him and his followers have conducted themselves in the world with holiness and sincerity.
In 2 Corinthians 1:21-24, Paul says that we are to stand firm in Christ with the help of God.
In 2 Corinthians 2:9b, Paul says that we are to be obedient in everything.
In 2 Corinthians 4:2, Paul tells us to renounce all secret and shameful ways.
In 2 Corinthians 4:10, Paul encourages the believers to desire the life of Jesus to be revealed in their bodies.
In 2 Corinthians 4:18, we told to fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
In 2 Corinthians 5:9-10, Paul says that we are to make it our goal to please God rather than man or ourselves. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one of us may receive what is due for the things done in the body, whether good or bad.
In 2 Corinthians 5:15, we are reminded that Jesus died for us, so that we should no longer live for ourselves but for the one who died for us.
In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul says that we are Christ’s ambassadors, so we must live accordingly.
In 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, we are told to separate from the world and to not be unclean because we are temples of the living God. We are to come out from the world and be separate. We are told not touch what is unclean.
In 2 Corinthians 7:1, Paul exhorts us to purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
In 2 Corinthians 9:13b, Paul tells the people that men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies their confession of the Gospel of Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5, we are told to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 13:11, Paul says that when we were children we thought and reasoned like children. As we grow up in Christ, we are to put childish ways behind us and must lay aside our selfish and immature ways.
In Galatians 5:13, we are called to be free, but we are not to use our freedom to indulge in the sinful nature.
In Galatians 5:16, we told are to live by the Spirit so that we will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
In Galatians 5:19-24, Paul says that the acts of the sinful nature are sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, envy, and drunkenness. Paul warns the church that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires therefore, let us walk in the Spirit.
In Galatians 6:7-9, we told not to be deceived. God will not be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. If we sow to please the sinful nature, we will, by that nature reap destruction.
In Galatians 6:14-15, Paul says that he will never boast of anything except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ through which the world has been crucified to him and him to the world. Nothing in the flesh matters -what counts is a new creation.
In Ephesians 2:1-3, Paul states that we were dead in our transgressions when we followed the ways of the world – the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says that we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
In Ephesians 4:1-2, we are told to live a life worthy of the calling we received. Be completely humble, gentle, and patient.
In Ephesians 4:17-32, Paul states that we should not live in sin, which separates us from the life of God. Instead, we are to put off our old selves, which are corrupted by deceitful desires and put on a new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We should not ever let unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only that which is helpful for building others up. We do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Finally, we are to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, slander, and every form of malice.
In Ephesians 5:1-18, Paul says that we are to be imitators of God, with no hint of sexual immorality nor any kind of impurity or greed. We should not indulge in any type of obscenity, foolish talk, or course joking, but rather thanksgiving. No immoral, impure or greedy person – such man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of God. We are to let no one deceive us with empty words for it is because of these things that God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient. Therefore, we should not be partners with them. We were once darkness, but now we are light – live as children of the light. We are to find out what pleases the Lord and have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. We must be careful how we live, not as unwise, but as wise. We must not get drunk, which leads to debauchery, but instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.
In Ephesians 6:6b, Paul says that like servants of God, we should do the will of God from our heart.
In Ephesians 6:10-13, we are told to be strong in the Lord and to put on the full armor of God so that on the day of evil we will be able to stand our ground.
In Philippians 1:9-11, Paul’s prayer for us is that our love may abound more in knowledge, and depth of insight so that we might be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.
In Philippians 1:27, we are advised to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.
In Philippians 2:1-11, Paul says that if we have any encouragement from being united with Christ, then we will be like minded with each other, being one in Spirit and purpose. Our attitude should be the same as that of Jesus, who being God, gave up that glory to be a servant of man – and he became obedient to His Father even to the point of death, and death on a cross.
In Philippians 2:12-16, we are told to continue obeying Jesus and to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We should do everything without complaining so that we may be blameless and pure before God.
In Philippians 3:7-15, Paul says powerfully and poetically that everything should be considered a loss to us compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ. Paul wanted to know the fellowship of sharing in the sufferings of Christ so that he might become like Jesus in his death. He put his past behind him, setting his mind and heart on his future with Jesus. Everyone who is mature should take such a view of things.
In Philippians 3:17-20, Paul said that we should follow his example and take note of those who live as he instructed. We are told not live like those whose mind is on earthly things.
In Philippians 4:9, Paul says that whatever we have learned or received or heard from him, we need to put into practice.
In Colossians 1:10-12, we are advised to live a life worthy of the Lord, pleasing him in every way, bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God that we may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father.
In Colossians 1:21-23, Paul tells us that once we were alienated from God because of our evil behavior. But now we are holy through Christ’s death…if we continue in our faith, not moved from the hope held out in the Gospel.
In Colossians 2:6-8, Paul proclaims that, just as we received Christ Jesus as Lord, we are to continue in Him, rooted and built up in Christ. We are not to be taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophies, which depend on human tradition and the basic principles of this world, rather than on Christ.
In Colossians 3:1-3, we told to set our hearts and minds on things above and not on earthly things. We are to focus on things above since Christ is seated in heaven at the right hand of God.
In Colossians 3:5-10, we are told to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature – sexual immorality, impurity, greed, etc., for God’s wrath is coming because of these things. We used to walk in these ways in our old lives, but now we must rid ourselves of anger, rage, slander, malice, and filthy language since we have put on our new self which is to be renewed in the image of God.
In Colossians 3:12-15, we are advised to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, and gentleness, and to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.
In Colossians 3:17, Paul says that whatever we do in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to the Father – and whatever we do, work at it with all of our hearts as working for the Lord, not man.
In Colossians 4:2, we are told to devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
In Colossians 4:6, Paul says that our conversations should always be seasoned with grace.
In Colossians 4:12b, we encouraged to stand firm in the will of God, mature and fully assured.
In 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7, Paul commends the Thessalonian church for being imitators of him and of Christ, despite their severe suffering. This was a model for all believers.
In 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, Paul says that we are to turn to God and away from all idols, in order to serve the living and true God. We are also encouraged to live waiting for God’s Son in heaven to return.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12, Paul stated that he and his followers were righteous, holy, and blameless among the Thessalonians. They dealt with the people as a father deals with his children, encouraging them and comforting them and urging them to live lives worthy of God who calls us into his kingdom and glory.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, we are to instructed to live our lives in order to please God. It is God’s will that we be sanctified, avoiding sexual immorality, and controlling our bodies in a way that is holy. For God does not call us to be impure but to live a holy life. He who rejects this instruction does not reject man, but God who gives us His Holy Spirit.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:4-9, Paul reminds believers that we do not live like the world but are to be are self-controlled, for God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through Jesus Christ.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, we are told to test everything and avoid every kind of evil.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:3-5, we are encouraged to have patience and faith through trials. By doing this, it will be evident that we are worthy of the kingdom of God. When the Lord Jesus is revealed, He will pay back those who do not obey the Gospel.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, Paul prayed for the people so that God would fulfill every good purpose and act done by faith so that the name of the Lord might be glorified in the people and in him.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:10 and 12, Paul says that counterfeit miracles deceive those who are perishing – who don’t really love the truth. Those who do not believe the truth but have delighted in wickedness will be condemned.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:15, Paul encourages believers to stand firm and to hold fast to the teachings he passed on to us.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:6b, we are advised to keep away from every brother who does not live according to the teachings received from Paul.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15, we are told to never tire of doing what is right, and to not associate with those who do not obey Paul’s teachings.
In 1 Timothy 2:1-6, we are instructed to live quiet and peaceful lives in all godliness and holiness. This pleases God.
In 1 Timothy 4:12, we are encouraged to set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, and in purity.
In 1 Timothy 4:16, we are warned to watch our lives and doctrine closely. We are to persevere in them, because if we do, we will save both our hearers and ourselves.
In 1 Timothy 5:22, we are told to keep ourselves pure.
In 1 Timothy 6:6, Paul tells Timothy that Godliness with contentment is great gain.
In 1 Timothy 6:11, we are told to flee from the pursuit of riches and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, and gentleness. We are to take hold of the eternal life to which we are called.
In 1 Timothy 6:17-21, Paul instructs the rich to put their hope in God, not wealth – and to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share – laying up treasure in Heaven – so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. We are to guard what has been entrusted to us and are to turn away from godless chatter and opposing ideas that have caused some to wander from the faith.
In 2 Timothy 1:8-9, Paul says that we are not to be ashamed to testify about our Lord but are to join him in suffering for the Gospel by the power of God who has called us to a holy life.
In 2 Timothy 1:13-14, we are encouraged to hold fast to the pattern of sound teaching in faith and in love. We are to guard the good deposit in us with the help of the Holy Spirit.
In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul says that we should do our best to present ourselves as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed – correctly handling the word of truth.
In 2 Timothy 2:19b, we are taught that everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.
In 2 Timothy 2:22, we are exhorted to flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace.
In 2 Timothy 3:14, Paul tells us to continue in what we have learned about Christ.
In 2 Timothy 3:19, we are encouraged to know the scriptures, which fully equip us for every good work.
In 2 Timothy 4:2-5, we are commanded to preach the Word, and to correct, rebuke, and instruct the brethren. We are to continue in sound doctrine and endure hardship. We are to do the work of an evangelist.
In 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul says that we should not live longing for the pleasures of this world but instead we should live for His appearing.
In Titus 1:1, we are taught that knowledge of the truth is designed to lead us to godliness.
In Titus 1:16, Titus states that some who claim to know God deny Him by their actions.
In Titus 2:1-8, we are instructed to teach sound doctrine and are to be temperate and self-controlled in all things.
In Titus 2:11-12, we are taught that the grace of God, which brings salvation, teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions. We are to live self-controlled and Godly lives.
In Titus 3:1-6, we are advised to do what is good. At one time, we were deceived and were enslaved by every kind of passion and pleasure, but God saved from those things us through the washing and rebirth of His Spirit.
In Hebrews 1:9, it says that Jesus was exalted by God because He loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
In Hebrews 2:1-3, we are taught to pay careful attention to what we have heard so that we do not drift away from God. How will we escape God’s just punishment if we ignore such a great salvation?
In Hebrews 3:1, we are encouraged to fix our thoughts on Jesus.
In Hebrews 3:6, Paul says that we are God’s house …if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
In Hebrews 3:12-19, we are taught not to turn away from the living God and become hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly to the end. (If we are truly His, Jesus will hold us firmly to the end as we trust Him.) Our distrust of God leads to disobedience. Those who don’t trust and obey God will never enter His rest.
In Hebrews 5:8, Paul preaches that although Jesus was God’s son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and became a source of salvation for all who obey Him.
In Hebrews 5:11-14, we are told not to be slow to learn, needing to be taught the elementary truths again. We must be acquainted with the teachings on righteousness. By constant use, we train ourselves to distinguish good from evil.
In Hebrews 6:1-8, Paul states that we are to leave the elementary teachings about Christ and move toward maturity. It is impossible for those who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God, if they fall away to be brought back to repentance. Land that produces thorns is worthless and will be burned in the end.
In Hebrews 6:11-12, we are instructed to show diligence to the end and to make our hope sure.
In Hebrews 9:28, we are encouraged of the fact that Christ will appear again to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.
In Hebrews 10:23-31, Paul says that if we deliberately keep on sinning after we receive knowledge of the truth, then no sacrifice for sins is left – only the fearful expectation of judgment that consumes the enemies of God.
In Hebrews 10:32-39, we are taught to remember when we first met Christ and were confident even in times of great persecution. We should remain confident and wait for our reward. We should not shrink back and be destroyed, but believe and be saved.
In Hebrews 11:6, Paul says that without faith it is impossible to please God, and God rewards those who earnestly seek him.
In Hebrews 11:25, we are reminded that Moses chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin with the Egyptians.
In Hebrews 12: 1-4, we encouraged to throw off everything that hinders and every sin that entangles, and to run the race of faith with perseverance. Let us live, fixing our eyes on Jesus, not on the world or on ourselves. We are to continue the fight against sin, resisting it with all of our might.
In Hebrews 12:12-13, Paul teaches that the Word of the Lord is living and active, and sharper than a double-edged sword. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.
In Hebrews 12:14, we are commanded to be holy, for without holiness no one will see God.
In Hebrews 12:16-17, we are taught not to be sexually immoral or godless like Esau who sold his blessing for one meal.
In Hebrews 12:28-29, we are reminded that we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, so let us worship God acceptably with reverence and awe for our God is a consuming fire.
In Hebrews 13:4, we told avoid sexual immorality, for God will judge the sexually immoral.
In Hebrews 13:7, we are instructed to imitate the faith of our leaders who spoke the Word of God to us.
In Hebrews 13:16-17 we are encouraged to praise God continually and to do good – for such sacrifices please God.
In Hebrews 13:18, we are told to live honorably in every way.
In James 1:21-22, we are instructed to get rid of all moral filth and to not merely listen to the Word and so deceive ourselves. Instead, we are to do what it says.
In James 1:26, we told to keep a tight rein on our tongue.
In James 2:14-26, we are taught that faith without deeds is meaningless.
In James 3:13, we are commanded to show our wisdom and understanding by living a good life, with deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
In James 3:16-18, we are taught that envy and selfish ambition lead to disorder and every evil practice. But wisdom from Heaven is pure, peace loving, considerate, full of good fruit, submissive, and is full of mercy.
In James 4:4, we are told in no uncertain terms that friendship with the world is hatred towards God. Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
In 1 Peter 1:1-2, we are reminded of the fact that we have been chosen for obedience to Jesus Christ.
In 1 Peter 1:13-16, we are instructed to be self-controlled; setting our hope fully on Jesus. As obedient children, we do not conform to the evil desires that we had when we were ignorant. We are to be holy in all we do just as God is holy.
In 1 Peter 1:18-19, we are reminded that we have been redeemed from the empty way of life passed down to us by our forefathers, by the precious blood of the Lamb.
In 1 Peter 1:22, we are taught that we purify ourselves by obeying the truth.
In 1 Peter 2:1-3, we are told to rid ourselves of malice, envy, deceit, and slander. We are to crave pure spiritual milk so that we may grow in our salvation.
In 1 Peter 2:11-12, we are instructed to live as aliens and strangers in the world. We are to abstain from the sinful desires which war against our soul. Instead, we are to live good lives so that pagans may see our deeds.
In 1 Peter 2:16, we are commanded not to use our freedom as a cover for evil, but to live as servants of God.
In 1 Peter 3:9-12, we are instructed not repay evil with evil, but with blessing. We are to turn from evil and do good.
In 1 Peter 4:1-9, we are taught that we should be willing to suffer in our body because those who suffer in the body are done with sin. We do not live our lives for evil human desires, but for God. People will heap abuse on us for not living in debauchery and drunkenness, but they will have to give an account to Him who judges all. We are to be clear minded and self-controlled so that we can pray. Above all things, have unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.
In 1 Peter 4:10-11, whatever we do, we are to do it for the Lord so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
In 1 Peter 4:19, we are encouraged that, even as we suffer for God, we should commit ourselves to our faithful creator and do good.
In 1 Peter 5:1-4, we are taught to serve others eagerly, not being greedy for money, but humbly waiting for the chief shepherd to appear at which time we receive a crown of glory that will never fade away.
In 1 Peter 5:6-11, we encouraged to humble ourselves and cast our anxiety on Jesus. We are to be self-controlled and alert. To Jesus be the power for ever and ever.
In 2 Peter 1:3-4, Peter teaches that God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Through His great and precious promises we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires.
In 2 Peter 1:5-11, we are instructed to make every effort to add to our faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, godliness, and kindness. If we possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep us from being ineffective. Therefore, we are to be eager to make our call and election sure, and we will receive a rich welcome into Heaven.
In 2 Peter 2:15 and 19-22, we are told that if we escape the corruption of sin by knowing Jesus and are again entangled in it and are overcome, it would have been better for us to have never known the way of righteousness.
In 2 Peter 3:11-12, peter says that we are to live holy and godly lives as we look forward to the day of God.
In 2 Peter 3:14, we are instructed to make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with God.
In 2 Peter 3:17-18, we warned not to be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall away from our secure position.
In 1 John 1:5-7, John proclaims that God is light and that in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with God, yet walk in the darkness, we lie and the truth is not in us. But if we walk in the light, then the blood of Jesus purifies us from sin.
In 1 John 2:3-4, John teaches that we know that we have truly come to know Jesus if we obey His commands. The man who says I know Him but does not do what He commands is a liar and the truth is not in him.
In 1 John 2:6, John says that whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.
In 1 John 2:9, we are taught that anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in darkness.
In 1 John 2:15-17, we are instructed not to love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world then the love the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the lust of the eyes, the cravings of sinful man, the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires will pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
In 1 John 2:24-25, we are instructed that we must see to it that what we have heard from the beginning remains in us. If it does, we will also remain in the Son. And this is what He promised… eternal life.
In 1 John 2:28-29, we are told to continue in Him so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him. He is righteous and everyone who does what is right is born of Him.
In 1 John 3:6-10, John teaches that no one who continues to sin has ever seen or known Jesus. He who does what is right is righteous, and he who does what is sinful is of the devil. No one who is born of God will continue to sin. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: anyone who does not do what is right is not a child a God.
In 1 John 3:17-18, John says: let us not love with words but with actions and in truth.
In 1 John 3:23-24, we are told that this is God’s command: to believe in the name of Jesus and to love one another. Those who obey His commands live in Him.
In 1 John 4:7-8, we are instructed to love one another because love comes from God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
In 1 John 4:20-21, we are taught that anyone who says I love God yet hates his brother is a liar. If we don’t love men we can see, how can we love God whom we can’t see? Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
In 1 John 5:3-5, we are taught that we love God by obeying His commands and everyone born of God overcomes the world.
In 1 John 5:18, John teaches us that anyone born of God does not continue to sin, and reminds us that Jesus will keep us safe.
In 2 John 1:4-6, we are taught to walk in obedience to His commands. His command is to walk in love.
In 2 John 1:8-9, we are encouraged not lose what we have worked for. If we do not continue in the teachings of Christ we do not have God.
In 3 John 1:3-4, John states that it gave him great joy to hear that his friends were walking in the truth.
In 3 John 1:11, John teaches us not imitate what is evil, but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does evil has not seen God.
In Jude 1:4, we are told that men should not change the grace of God into a license for immorality.
In Jude 1:7, we are reminded that Sodom and Gomorrah gave themselves to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer punishment of eternal fire.
In Jude 1:18-20, Jude teaches us that in the last days there will be scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires. They divide us and do not have the Spirit (Acts 5:32, states that only those who obey the commands of Jesus have the Spirit). Remain in God’s love, and hate even the clothing stained by corrupt flesh.
In Revelation 1:5-6, we are taught that Jesus loves us and has freed us by His blood. He has made us a kingdom and a priesthood to serve His God and Father. In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus commands His churches to repent, to overcome, and to obey.
In Revelation 14:12, we instructed to have patient endurance as we continue to obey God’s commands and to be faithful to Him.
In Revelation 17:7-8, we are promised that he who overcomes will inherit the dwelling of God and will be His son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the sexually immoral, the liar, and those who practice the magic arts will be thrown into the fire.
The above scriptures are convicting and at the same time comforting. We are blessed to have clear directions for how to walk out our faith, and we have been given excellent role models in the apostles, and a precious Holy Spirit to teach us all things (John 14:26). As I wrote these verses out, I had to stop and repent many times as careless thoughts, words , and deeds came to mind. I prayed for endurance, patience, and love through the Spirit, as I continue to cast down my idols, and press on toward the goal of living in and through Jesus Christ every single day.