‘To do’ or ‘not to Do’? The importance of ‘Do’
I have been pondering all the Scriptures lately with the command, “do”. “Do” is such a small and powerful word!
I have noticed something peculiar in Christian circles, have you? It is that the Christians who are active in Christ’s service and who make full (or partial) use of their spiritual gifts for His Kingdom and for His glory alone (i.e., use of their “talents”) are often misunderstood by other Christians who are afraid of this word “do”. Particularly, they are misunderstood by Christians who have the notion that we are not to “do” anything because we are “saved by grace”! It is a sort of “do-phobia” that I have noticed, especially in my own Christian circle. These “do-fearers” don’t understand why I am so zealous, and misunderstand and falsely attribute my zeal to “trying to earn salvation”, which is definitely not the case (I am not claiming that I make full use of my God-given talents, but you get the point).
Sometimes, these zealous Christians are even condemned by other Christians who think we are to snooze until Christ returns. These non-zealous Christians often look at the zealous ones like they are aliens (or worse, call them “legalists”, or even worse, call them “Pharisees”). These zealous Christians are often met with statements like, “We are saved by grace, so we need not do a thing. Just have faith! It’s all been done for us”. While we are indeed “saved by grace” (only Jesus can “do” that), that should not prompt us to laziness or a prolonged spiritual stupor, but to loving service! In fact, “doing” has nothing to do with earning salvation, and “doing”, in this sense, is not the same as “salvation by works”. Truthfully, “doing” has a whole lot to do with what comes after true conversion: loving God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30) and the loving obedience that ensues. It’s that love, from the Holy Spirit, that propels us to “do”!
Consider just these six Biblical, New Testament admonitions to “do”:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)
“He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.'” (Luke 10:37)
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:14-30; The Parable of the Talents)”
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:1-10)
This Greek word for “do” is often “peripateó” which means to walk, behave or conduct ourselves. It can also be from the Greek word “poieó” which means to make, manufacture, construct or cause.