In the second chapter of the book of Romans Paul talks to the Romans about Judgment, Jews and Gentiles. I will focus on an issue relating to that of the Jews and Gentiles. As you may be aware at the time many Jewish people felt that anyone who was not a Jew was less than them because they, the Jews, were the 'chosen' people of the Lord. This is true, in a sense because the Lord did say that to them in the Old Testament times, but that is a subject of its own though.
In verses 12-15 of this chapter Paul is putting to rest the argument that Jews are already saved by God because they have the law. (The 10 Commandments) From there he goes on to say in Romans 2:13, "For it is not the hears of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who are justified." This is reflected in the book of James. (See James 2:14-17)
Today this is very important, because of the state of the world it can determine whether someone learns about Christ or not. If we just go to meet with the Church on Sunday and do not act on what we have heard nothing is gained. Acting on what we have heard is the hardest thing we will ever do as believers, but I have a saying that I tell myself when things get hard, "If its not tough its not likely to be worth working for." Living a life that is following after the word of God is hard, and it is worth working for, so lets put that saying into action!
Life is like a battle, one thing always leads to the next; one temptation always seems to be followed by another. Its all part of building our character, and how we will react to things that happen to us in the future. If we didn't have struggles and problems in our life we would never grow, never change and would end up stuck in the old ways of living which were full of sin. So which path will you take, the simple one that leads to the old nature, or the one that leads you to serving the Father?
In our own lives we can see the difference between people who act on what they say and people who say stuff and sound good, but when it comes down to crunch time they just give up. Its all a matter of what we stand for; will we act on the word that God has given to us or will we sit back on our couch and get comfy doing our own thing?
For example say there was a man who was publicly seen as a good person and did all the "Christian" things. You know what I mean, the person goes to church and they talk about Christ when they go there. Everyone likes them because they sound good and seem to be strong in faith, or at lest they seem to be at Church anyway. Now the next day he goes into work and does His thing, typing work orders on a computer. One of this work buddies comes in and they starts swearing and taking about things which you wouldn't think this guy would talk about. After having this talk he goes home and calls one of his friends in his cell group and they talk about Christ and stuff like that; again he seems good, but doesn't stand on what the bible teaches when it counts the most.
This bring us to the hearers vs. doers; this guys friend from the cell is a guy who acts on what he hears and reads in the bible. He isn't the most popular fellow, but when he gets out into the world he does what he learns there. On his way from work that day he helped an old lady cross the street. When he got home he treated his wife and children with respect and love. At work that day a guy was talking about something that wasn't appropriate and he said something about it. He also told a unbelieving friend about Christ, even when the guy just laughed him off.
As we can see there is a big difference between these two men. Which would you rather have as a friend? I would much rather hang out with the guy who stood up for what he believed even when things weren't going so well, or when put in a situation that could have led him to do things that Christ wouldn't want us to do. The difference between hearers and doers is simple to see when you get to know someone. If they act on what they say they are doers, if not then they aren't.
So what it really comes down to is, are you a hearer or a doer? Whether you are one or the other could determine what happens in your life and the life of others. So will you take the path that leads to faith and following the word of God? If you want to do that then take action. Read the word and try putting some of the simple things that it teaches into action. Remember its always better to take small steps than none at all. Another thing to remember, "...it is not the hears of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified." (Romans 2:13)
May the Lord bless you and help you grow in your faith.
Your Brother in Christ, Rob