The duty of man is to do the will of God the Father. The will of God is that we love him, and love one another, according to the gospel of Jesus Christ. To be a holy people before God, in (through) Jesus Christ (not ourselves)– Jesus Messiah whom we can’t do anything without.
Romans 12 begins; I urge you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable duty (some translations say spiritual duty).
The reasonable duty, according to Romans 12 verse 1 is to be holy. Plenty of people take that statement to mean they have to do lots of work because their lives are messed up or because they’re broken. That is not true because we’d all be in trouble because we’re all messed up. Trust Jesus and ask him in prayer or in your heart about those things that you want to change. That is all the work you need to do, trust Jesus. Remember in John 16 verse 23 Jesus says “Whatsoever you will ask the Father in my name, He will give you”. The Lord didn’t joke when it comes to salvation and us.
We’re supposed to be good?
As I listened to my pastor preaching yesterday my heart was shouting This, This, This! That is because he was speaking from truth. The point he was making was simple; “The work of people who are saved is to believe in Jesus” the word he spoke is according to John 6:29 where Jesus instructs that “the work of God, is that you believe on him he hath sent”. In this Jesus was saying that the work we do is to believe in him and ask of him. Work done.
But we’ve heard we’re supposed to be good?
Yes. But you have also heard “submit to God”. The righteousness that we live by is not our own, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Yeshua Messiah: Father, son and Holy Spirit) who gives to us freely of his own goodness and love. Understand that though you hear the word, Trinity kicked around, the Lord is one God, according to Deuteronomy 6:4. Doing good means believing God and submitting your requests to Him.
Now, God says in Jeremiah 29:13; “You will seek me, and find me, when you search for me with your whole heart”. And this is what I want to talk about. The duty of man since we have mentioned that the work God wants us to do is to believe in Jesus. But what about our duty? About our duty Jesus himself says “not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will be saved, but those who do the will of my Father, which is in heaven”. So what is this duty and why is it different from working to be good humans.
The work God wants us to do is to believe in Jesus. Our duty is to listen to him, and Jesus wants us to do the will of the Father, which is our duty. To be honest our righteousness is summed up in Isaiah 64 verse 6 “filthy rags”. The righteousness of Jesus is what God wants to see in us. If you don’t believe in Jesus or obey him everything we do is useless before God (critically important).
So there is a difference between work and duty?
Yes. Our work is to believe in Jesus (John 6:29). Our duty is the will of the Father. To do the will of the Father, we trust in the Lord Jesus who guides us in the righteousness given to us freely by God, which is Jesus. When we do the work of believing in Jesus all of our sins are wiped out. When we hear about God’s free grace it is forgiveness prepared for us before the foundation of the world. You don’t have to chase forgiveness or look for it, you only need to accept the forgiveness God gave you in Jesus. Being baptized shows your full commitment to accepting God’s free grace. Jesus is the forgiveness. His life, death, and resurrection is our whole forgiveness and eternal life.
So what is this duty?
About the duty of man Jesus gave the disciples this command in John 13:34, “A new command I give to you, that you love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another”. About this command God the father testified through Moses “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” Deuteronomy 13 verse 3 and in Leviticus 19:18 God says “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. Further Jesus says in Matthew 5 verse 48 “be Holy as your Father in heaven is Holy”.
When we read that we are to be a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” 1 Peter 2:9. The Lord himself calls to us without ceasing, as it is written of him in Proverbs 15:3 “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the bad and the good.” So if you should feel your heart going toward learning about God, “do not harden your heart”, according to Hebrews 3 verse 15.
So then, the duty of man is simple. To do the will of God, which is to love the Lord with our whole heart, to listen to Jesus, and to love one another. According to Jesus “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14 verse 23). So then, love, the Love God poured out on the cross for us in Jesus, the Love God pours into our hearts when we ask Jesus to help us with anything that ails us or that we have a desire to do, according to the will of God is the whole duty of man. To be so resigned to follow Jesus that there is nothing we want.
We need to pay bills and eat
A common sense response to pouring our hearts into seeking God – the response to these statements according to Jesus in the book of Matthew chapter 6 verse 32 “your heavenly Father knows what you need”. And we know God provides for the good and bad on earth, according to Matthew chapter 5 verse 45. So then, if we’re doing our duty according to Romans chapter 8 verse 28 “in everything God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose”.
The work of God is to believe in Jesus. Our spiritual duty then becomes the will of God, to love God with our whole hearts, to humble ourselves and obey Jesus, and to love one another. And in Jesus the things that once seemed out of touch will suddenly seem to come to you overnight. And although we will face trouble in life, in Jesus, our duty to God is to trust Jesus and not ourselves, because he overcame for our benefit. The Love of God, our Father will keep us going as long as we’re willing.
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