Little Word—Big Meaning

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Jesus once said, “We must work the works of him that sent me…” (John 9:4). Must refers to that which is necessary, indispensable, required, or obligatory. What are some things we must do (emph. DM in all quotes)?

• We MUST Believe in God: “And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him” (Heb. 11: 6). Belief is the necessary beginning point in anyone’s relationship with God. Those who genuinely believe in God also believe in His Word and in Jesus Christ, His Son. The context of this passage (all of the chapter) indicates that the belief God requires is more than a mere intellectual admission of His existence. Rather, it is one that cannot be defined apart from obedience to His will (cf. Jam. 2:14–26).

• We MUST Be Born Again: “Ye must be born anew” (John 3:7b). Jesus had earlier stated of this second birth, “Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!” (v. 5). Birth of water refers to baptism in water, in which act one is cleansed of his sins by the blood of Christ (Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3–4; Rev. 1:5). Birth of the Spirit refers to the spiritual begettal by the Holy Spirit through His Word. One is “…begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God…” (1 Pet. 1:23). The new birth simply refers to one’s hearing and believing the Gospel, resulting in baptism, as the Lord Himself explained (Mark 16:16). Salvation is not possible apart from this new birth.

• We MUST Worship in Spirit and Truth: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Worship in spirit means that our spirits/hearts/minds must be involved, sincerely engaged. Worship in truth means in harmony with and according to the Truth of God’s Word, particularly the New Testament (the authority of the Old Testament perished with Jesus on the cross [Col. 2:14; Heb. 9:15–17; 10:9–10]). God does not accept whatever men choose to offer Him in worship (Gen. 4:4–5; Heb. 11:4). He accepts only those acts of homage He has authorized; all else is “vain worship” (Mat. 15:9; Col. 3:17).

• We MUST Be Judged by the Son of God: “For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). None shall escape or avoid the Judgment; it is an appointment we shall all keep (Heb. 9:27b). The standard of judgment for all who have lived since the cross will be the New Testament of Christ (John 12:48). Those who are wise will prepare for, rather than ignore this Great Day.

While must is a very small word, it possesses a very big meaning!

[Note: I wrote this article for and it was published in The Lighthouse, weekly bulletin of Northpoint Church of Christ, Denton, TX, April 22, 2012, of which I was editor.]

Attribution: From, owned and administered by Dub McClish.





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