How Often Do You Look? Part Two

If a person can be convinced to look into “the perfect law of liberty”, then there comes the importance of continuing “therein”. It is very simple. It is one thing to gain knowledge, but it is another thing entirely to put that knowledge to work. I might know what is the right thing to do, but unless I do it, what good has it done for me? The Bible is filled with examples and explicit commands to obey and be faithful. Perhaps one of the most obvious examples is that of Nadab and Abihu. Both were sons of the first High Priest of Israel, Aaron. They apparently were assigned the task of burning incense as part of their priestly duties. The problem that came was because Nadab and Abihu decided to do what they wanted instead of what God commanded. “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not” (Lev. 10:1). The text implies that God had already commanded what should have been done. This is further validated later when it is written, “And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil” (Lev. 16:12). The fire to burn incense was supposed to come from “off the altar”. The fact that the fire that Nadab and Abihu used is called “strange fire” shows that they were using “foreign” or “unauthorized” fire. We could speculate as to why they chose to do such, but all that really matters is that they knew what to do and did not do it. How seriously did God consider such an action? “And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD” (Lev. 10:2). Their punishment was death! God took the offense very seriously then, and God takes similar offenses today just as seriously. While death is not always immediate for the man that violates God’s law, there will come a time when the “second death” will be the punishment for those who sin (Rev. 21:8). As we can see, knowing God’s law is one thing, but obeying, or “continuing therein” is another.

Then there is the issue of “being not a forgetful hearer”. Sometimes a person might have learned what God’s will is, but since he does not practice nor continue to study God’s Word, he “forgets” what he learned. There are many that fit this bill in the church today. As young people, they heard the truth of God’s Word as it was taught and preached. Unfortunately, as they became more and more inundated with the theories and philosophies of men, they “forgot”. Our college-aged young people seem to be one of the larger groups that fall into this trap. We must strive to retain what we learn. This is aided by repetitive study of the Bible. It is amazing how much is either relearned or brought to light when we reread the Scriptures. It is a true statement that no one will ever exhaust a study of God’s Word. Paul knew and wrote that a man’s faith hinges on one’s willingness to “hearing” the Word of God. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). When one becomes “a forgetful hearer”, it is likely that the person has ceased utilizing the instructions of God found in the Bible.

Finally, James indicated that a blessed man is one that is “a doer of the work”. This is directly connected to “continuing therein”. Later in his letter, James wrote, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him…Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works…Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:14-24). When a man learns “the perfect law of liberty” and does what it commands, then truly that man will be “blessed”. Not only does the man ensure that his soul will be saved, but his influence can help others to start their journeys into studying and obeying the Word of God.

May we all do our best to “look” into God’s “perfect law of liberty” frequently. Do not allow ourselves to become “forgetful hearers”. Make sure that we are “doers of the work” who “continueth therein”. This will allow us to know for certain that God is pleased, and that our souls are saved (1 John 1:7; 2:3).