My To-Do List

Living Abundantly 
According to God's Word Series

Read time: 9 Minutes

We always want to know what we can do . Whether it is in an attempt to fix something, help someone, reach a better status, earn kudos with a boss, with a spouse, with God.  Yes, it is true, we even want to know what we are to do to have favor with God. I know there are scripture telling us what we are to do so I thought I'd tackle the task of making a To-Do List from God's Word; however, I have realized that God's Word is primarily not about what we can do, but God has the emphasis on what He has done for us.

Let us look at Romans, a doctrinal epistle. A doctrinal epistle which tells us how to believe rightly and, by the nature of the book, what to do - believe rightly. In the beginning of the book we learn what Romans is about.

Romans 1:
:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
        which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power,
        according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship,
        for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

This book is about God's son Jesus Christ, our lord, who is of the seed of David according the flesh but spiritually, the son of God with power because God raised him from the dead. By this same man we have also been called. Right away we see that the focus is not on us. God explains in chapter 1 that for those that take their focus off of what God has done and worship the creation (their own bodies and other beings) more than the Creator it leads to destruction.

Israel was given the law so they could walk rightly before God and do things to be cleansed of their sins. Much of the first half of Romans emphasizes that we are no longer under the law.

Romans 3:
:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:
        for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested,
        being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ
    unto all and upon all them that believe:
        for there is no difference:
:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,
    to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:
        that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
:27 Where is boasting then?
    It is excluded. By what law? of works?
    Nay: but by the law of faith.
:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Jesus Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice for us so that we are redeemed, bought back, had a change in ownership from the god of this world to the one true God and Father of our lord Jesus Christ. Therefore our righteousness is not of our own doing but bestowed upon us by God. Our action, what we do, is to believe on Jesus Christ (the focus of the Romans, remember). So, for any of you who still feel unworthy of anything you need to change your mind. God has brought you into the fold to take care of you, let Him; quit trying to do everything yourself.

Chapter five of Romans elaborates on our redemption unto life. God orchestrated the plan and Jesus Christ carried it out.

Romans 5
:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,
    and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:
    knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
:4 And patience, experience;
    and experience, hope:
:5 And hope maketh not ashamed;
        because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts
        by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
:6  For when we were yet without strength,
    in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:
    yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
:8 But God commendeth his love toward us,
        in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood,
    we shall be saved from wrath through him.
:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
    much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
    by whom we have now received the atonement.

 Who did the 'doing'? Jesus Christ! He lived and sacrificed himself for us so that we can have peace with God (ahhh - sigh of relief), we have access by faith into this grace (unmerited divine favor), and we can glory (rejoice) in tribulation, not because we are having troubles but we give God the glory for giving us strength and delivering us. I am strengthened by God because Christ died for me. It is not because I have any great ability, I humble myself to God and realize that I can do what I do because it is God in Christ in me! While we were sinners under the law Christ died for us to buy us back, save us, redeem us; we are now reconciled to God. "We also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom we have now received the atonement." (vs. 11) What have we done? Nothing. That makes for a really short To-Do List so far.

Romans 8
:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

We are no longer under the law or any part of it, so we don't have to 'do' the law. The following verses give us a preview of a to-do:

:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,
    God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,
    who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;
    but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
:6 For to be carnally minded is death;
    but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

There is a "to-do"!  Walk after the spirit!  We will need to know more about walking after the spirit; fortunately God doesn't leave us guessing.

:7 Because the carnal mind [thoughts centered around the cares of this world]
    is enmity against [in opposition to, hostile toward] God:
        for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit,
        if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
    Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;
    but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you,
    he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors,
        not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
:13   For if ye live after the flesh,
            ye shall die:
        but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body,
            ye shall live.
:14   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
        they are the sons of God.

Here we have something to do . Where are your thoughts? Are they preoccupied with how to please yourself? Is what you do centered around what will make you happy? Do you work so that you can buy bigger or better toys? Or do you set your thoughts above, are you thinking about God and glorifying Him? Do you seek whom you may bless? Are you always ready to tell someone why you have hope? Do your thoughts discern the stimulus around you with the Word of God? Do you rely on God for all your needs or do you have to provide everything? Being spiritually minded is to cast down worldly reasonings and every thought contrary to the truths of God's Word and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; diligently line every thought up with God's Word (II Corinthians 10:5). Think on the Word of God. Do read God's Word and meditate on it, get to know it, think about it, hold it in your mind. This is walking spiritually, being spiritually minded.

Because God and Jesus Christ have done so much for us we can have the following conviction:

:38 For I am persuaded, that
        neither death,
        nor life,
        nor angels,
        nor principalities,
        nor powers,
        nor things present,
        nor things to come,
:39   Nor height,
        nor depth,
        nor any other creature,
    shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
        which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is a figure of speech that God uses here: anaphora. It is the repeating of the word 'nor' before each item in this list. It causes a pause so that you must consider each item individually. Every single one of these things cannot separate us from the love of God. No matter what is going on He is always there, ready, willing, and able.

Therefore, since Romans 9-11 is a parenthetical phrase we can continue the thought in Romans 12 and we have a clear to-do:

Romans 12
:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
    that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
        which is
your reasonable service.
:2 And be not conformed to this world:
    but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
        that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Since nothing can separate us from the love of God, by God's mercy, we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is our reasonable (Greek word logikos where we get logical from) service. And be not conformed to this world, don't get sucked in to its diversions and pleasures but when you renew your mind, put God's Word in there and hold it there and measure every thought against it, then you will be transformed: metamorphoo  in the Greek where we get our English word metamorphosis. That (for the purpose of) you may prove (test, examine, validate) what is that good, and acceptable (also translated well-pleasing) and perfect (teleios - completed, brought and end), will of God.

The next teaching will cover more on my To-Do List from Romans, but what have we learned so far?  The focus is not on us but Jesus Christ and that he redeemed us from the law. We no longer have to 'do' the law. Then what is our responsibility to do?

  • Be spiritually minded, renew our minds to God's Word, diligently line every thought up with God's Word, put the Word on in our minds and guard it.
  • Be persuaded that there is not one single thing that can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Mortify the deeds of the body.
  • Present ourselves a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.
  • Renew your mind, do not be conformed to this world.
  • Validate what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

To God be the glory.