…lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. ..
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
Galatians 3:10, 13
As we look from the Old Testament to the New Testament, I find it interesting to see how the Old Testament ends and how the New Testament begins. I find it fascinating that, though separated by several hundred years, the place where Matthew begins fits perfectly with the place Malachi left off. I supposed it shouldn’t be too “fascinating,” as the same One wrote both books, but I digress.
The word “curse” is the last word of the Old Testament. The Old Testament ends with a curse. The New Testament begins in Matthew 1:1 with “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ.” The Old Testament ends with a curse and the New Testament begins with Jesus Christ.
Galatians speaks of those under the law as being under a curse. And in Galatians 3:13, we find this: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” The Old Testament is about the law. The New Testament is about redemption from the law through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
If that isn’t a perfect ending and beginning, I don’t know what is!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
In the last of our short series on some resolutions that would be good to make in our Christian lives, we will look at a resolution that would basically encompass all of the other things we have dealt with. If we would be bear the “fruit of the Spirit” in our lives every day throughout the year, it would take care of almost everything else that we need to do.
Just think about the list of things here: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Think about what our lives would look like if we allowed the Holy Spirit to help us exemplify these things every day. Like Moses coming down from the mountain, we would almost radiate the glory of the Lord if these things were given free reign in our lives.
As the end of the verse tells us, “against such there is no law.” There is nothing wrong with any of those things. Those are the things that every person wants to describe their lives. It’s amazing to think about how far short we often fall in these areas.
How do we get these things in our lives? They are called “the fruit of the Spirit,” so I would think that they would come about in our lives by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us. As we yield to Him, we begin to bear this “fruit” in our lives. Let us seek to follow Him more closely and “bear a little more fruit” in the coming year!
And let us not be weary in well doing: for un due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
It has become a term of derision to be labeled as a “do-gooder.” But that is exactly what a Christian is supposed to be. I understand that the negative connotation of the phrase deals with people who try to do good outwardly with a heart full of hatred or bitterness. But doing good can almost be considered the “job” of the Christian. In fact, the Bible tells us in Acts 10:38 that Jesus Himself “went about doing good.” And He is to be our example in all things.
These verses tell us to “do good unto all men.” There is good that we can do to everyone. Any time the Bible tells us to do something to “all men”, we know that it is important and we can also assume that it is going to be sometimes difficult. Some people are easier to do good to than others. But it doesn’t say “do good unto all men who are nice to you,” it tells us to do good unto all men. If a person is alive and comes across my path, I am supposed to “do good unto them.” That is a hard saying!
Of course, the best thing that we could possibly do for anyone is to point them to Jesus. That is the ultimate in “doing good.” But there are so many things that could be included in this statement and I will allow you to make your own applications to your own life. Do good.
Also notice that the verse also tells us to do good “especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” We are especially supposed to do good to other Christians. When you think about it, a Christian should find little fellowship with the world, so his only human help will be other Christians.
Doing good is important, and we can surely all (with the Lord’s help) do a little more good this coming year!
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
The Bible, in speaking of Jesus, tells us that He “went about doing good”. As Christians, doing good is our “job”. Of course, we speak of doing not in the context of salvation, for salvation is entirely by the grace of God. We cannot hope to work for or earn our salvation, but we are called to “work out your own salvation” in Philippians. Notice that it says “work out” not “work for”. We do not do good works in an effort to become Christians, but rather we do good works because we have become Christians.
This verse tells us to do good to all men, as we have opportunity. I don’t know about you, but I have plenty of opportunities to do good. I have far more opportunities to do good than I take advantage of. There are opportunities to good to people all around us every single day. The verse tells us to do good to all men. We are not to pick and choose who will be the recipients of our goodness and kindness. We are supposed to be doing good to “all men”. We often find it easy to be good to those who return our goodness. It is easy be nice to a nice person. But how often do we really work at being good to those who maybe aren’t as easy to be good to? That is where the Christ-centered life differs from the average life. We are to do good to “all men”.
We are “especially” supposed to do good to those who are “of the household of faith”. As we are given the opportunity, we are to help and encourage our Christian brothers and sisters. Again, sometimes we find it easy to highlight our differences and pick each other apart. Sometimes those of the “household of faith” don’t act like they should. But that should not stop us from “doing good to them”.
Let us follow the example of Christ and “go about doing good”!
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I am a dead man. We are all dead men. The question is this- what are we dead to? There are only two options. We are either:
1. Dead to Christ- Man in his natural state is dead to righteousness. He is spiritually dead. Ephesians 2:1 says “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins”. Without Christ, we are dead to everything good, servants of sin and children of the Devil. Fortunately, that is not the only option. We can also be…
2. Dead to sin and the world- When we receive Christ, we become alive in Him. We are supposed to be dead to our sin and our flesh. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:11) Paul says in Galatians that he is crucified with Christ, and any life he has is only in and through Christ. I am dead- Christ and Christ alone is my life. This is a powerful truth- my body is not mine, it is Christ’s; my mouth is not mine, it is Christ’s; my eyes are not mine, they are Christ’s; everything is His and nothing is mine.
You can really never take this truth too far. A dead man has no possessions. My money is not mine- it’s Christ’s. My house is not mine- it’s Christ’s. My time is not mine- it’s Christ’s. It will be a wonderful day when we even begin scratch the surface of living this truth!