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Blessed Are You If You Do Them

Posted by Matt Postiff October 17, 2017 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Sanctification  Bible Texts 

For all the talk these days about how God wants us to be happy, I find it interesting that the word happy is not to be found in the NT translation of the ESV. It occurs twice in the NT of the NKJ, both translated from the word more commonly rendered blessed. The old KJV is a bit more liberal in its use of happy, but it only uses it 6 times in the NT, all from the Greek for blessed.

Rather than desiring us to be happy, God desires us to be holy. But when we are holy, then we are truly happy. And the way of holiness is the way of obedience: first obedience to the faith in Jesus Christ, and then obedience in what He instructs us. According to Matthew 28:20, learning to obey what Jesus teaches is a key element in the Great Commission.

We read of the connection between doing and blessing in John 13:15-17:

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (NKJV)

Knowing is one thing; doing is another. You might know a lot of Scripture, but you will not have the kind of blessing Jesus is talking about here unless you do what you know.

It is not just this portion of God's word that says so. Check out these additional passages:

If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. (John 7:17 NKJV)

It may be instructive to look at a very literal rendering: "If anyone wills the will of Him to do..." That is to say, the precondition of understanding the source of Jesus' authority is that the person has to make a decision that he wishes to carry out the will of God. You have to make a real decision to "want" the will of God, and then to go about doing it.

But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Luke 11:28 NKJV)

Don't just hear. Hear and keep!

But He answered and said to them, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it." (Luke 8:21 NKJV)
The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9 NKJV)

Here is an explicit connection between God's peace and obeying what we read in the text of Scripture, particularly from Paul's letter. Verse 8 contains some specific instructions regarding how we use our minds. If we dwell on things that are right and true and lovely, we will be far more happy than if we don't.

But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:25 NKJV)
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: (Matt. 7:24 NKJV)
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and [who] keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. (Rev. 1:3 NKJV)
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1 NKJV)

As I studied this topic more, I realized there are quite a few verses that touch on the idea.

This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. (Titus 3:8 NKJV)
Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matthew 7:21 NKJV)
Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." (Revelation 22:7 NKJV)
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:14 NKJV)
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. (John 14:21 NKJV)

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