Talk the talk or walk the walk?
We are going to start out by asking a few simple questions to get us all on the same page!
Are you a Christian?
What does that mean – to be a Christian?
- Does believing that He is real make you a Christian?
- Does asking Him into your heart make you a Christian?
- Does accepting Him as your personal savior make you a Christian?
- Does reciting the “sinner’s prayer” make you a Christian?
- Does reciting John 3:16 make you a Christian?
Or are these things just talk?
What do your actions mean?
- Does attending church on Sunday make you a Christian?
- Does giving money in the church offering plate make you a Christian?
- Does singing worship songs make you a Christian?
- Does bringing your bible to church make you a Christian?
- Does going to Sunday school make you a Christian?
- Does getting baptized make you a Christian?
- Does partaking in the Lord’s Supper make you a Christian?
Is this what walk really means?
What if we say, feel, and do, all of these things listed in the above bullet points – but we do them without love?
Do they matter?
Do they mean anything?
Are we still a Christian?
Okay . . .
So where am I going with all of these questions?
To answer this, I am going to give you a fictitious scenario. Something that will unblur the lines by over-exaggerating just a bit using the story of Aladdin and the Lamp – with some twists.
Imagine that you find an old lamp. It has some writing on it but you can’t really make it out because it is so dirty. In an attempt to read it, you use the corner of your shirt to rub off the muck and POOF! All of a sudden, you are standing before a magic Genie!
The Genie tells you that he will grant you a single wish but that there is a caveat . . .
No tricks, just a proviso that you must meet before your wish and heart’s desire will be granted by the Genie.
3 months from today, you must be able to recite from memory,
a couple of small paragraphs that contain commands,
commands you must memorize and do daily from a book on love.
Let’s suppose that your wish is to be unfathomably rich. We are talking so rich that you could pay the United States debt all by yourself and still never worry about money for the rest of your entire life type of rich.
Would there be ANYTHING that would cause you to not memorize and practice these 2 small paragraphs? Is there anything in your life that would cause you to say that you would rather play video games than learn and practice these commands for 3 short months?!?
Of course not!!! The payoff for doing so is HUGE!!!
You would learn them!
You would know them!
You would practice them!
It is all you would talk about – all you would think about – all you would do for that 3 months.
Your talk and your walk would match!
Want a reality check on this? If people will stand in line for hours to save some money on Black Friday, or to buy a lottery ticket, or to get a free ‘ whatch-a-ma-call-it,” how much more so for trillions of dollars?
Let’s apply the above exaggeration – parable – whatever you want to call it, to something Yeshua (Jesus) said when He was asked what the MOST IMPORTANT COMMAND was in the text . . .
Yeshua (Jesus) recited a small paragraph in the text containing commands (there were no verses so His reference would expect that they also included the context as well).
Yeshua (Jesus) then recited a 2nd command that He said is just like it (Again, there were no verses so His reference would expect that they also included the context as well).
He said ALL of the Torah and ALL of the Prophets were DEPENDENT on these 2 commandments (There was no New Testament written when He said this, so He is actually saying, “the ENTIRE BIBLE is DEPENDENT on these 2 commandments”).
Here are the IMPORTANT questions . . . .
Questions that will determine whether you Talk the talk or Walk the walk . . .
- Do you know what these 2 commands are?
- Do you know the whole commands by heart?
- Do your practice the commands daily like we are commanded to do?
- Do you talk about the commands daily like we are commanded to do?
- Do you teach the commands daily like we are commanded to do?
Do you know them?
If you call yourself a Christian and say Jesus is the most important thing in your life,
do your words match your actions?
If Yeshua (Jesus) tells us what the 2 most important commandments in the entire bible are,
shouldn’t you know those commandments by heart?
If Yeshua (Jesus) says that the ENTIRE BIBLE is DEPENDENT on those 2 commandments . . .
understanding them, applying them, living them . . .
Wouldn’t you want to know what they were?
How are you going to understand the other parts of the bible if you don’t?
If He gives us commands and we don’t do them, what is the implication of that?
If He gives us the 2 most important commands and we don’t know them, what is the implication of that?
Is Christian a concept? Is it a talk thing or a walk thing?
You see, Christian was a derogatory word used by unbelievers to describe those that followed the Messiah Yeshua.
The problem with these theories is that the name Christian was at first applied to believers only by nonbelievers. All three uses of Christianos in the New Testament fit this pattern. In Acts 11:26 “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” by nonbelievers. Agrippa used the name Christian for one who believes in Christ in Acts 26:28. And in 1 Peter 4:16 believers were persecuted by nonbelievers because they were Christianos.
Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “5381. Χριστιανός,” in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Sigma-Omega,
What does it mean to FOLLOW – to be a FOLLOWER? ἀκολουθέω akoloutheō
(cleave steadfastly to one). In the Secular Greek from which this term is borrowed, it means
“to go the same way/path, to go somewhere together with someone,
to accompany someone, to follow after someone.”
Matthew 10:38 (CJB)
And anyone who does not take up his execution-stake and follow me is not worthy of me.
To FOLLOW Him is to OBEY His commands . . . .
1 John 2:3-4 (CJB)
The way we can be sure we know him is
if we are obeying his commands.
Anyone who says, “I know him,”
but isn’t obeying his commands
is a liar — the truth is not in him.
The text is very clear here . . .
If we call ourselves Christians, but we don’t obey His commands,
We are LIARS and the truth is NOT in us.
So here are the questions that beg to be asked . . .
- How are you going to follow His commands if you don’t know what they are?
- How are you going to follow the other commands if you don’t know the 2 commandments that He said all the others are dependent on?
Whether you have called yourself a Christian for 20 years or for 20 minutes . . .
This is GUT CHECK time!
Talk the talk or walk the walk?
Let me leave you with another verse in context . . .
1 John 2:5-6 (CJB)
But if someone keeps doing what he says,
then truly love for God has been brought to its goal in him.
This is how we are sure that we are united with him.
A person who claims to be continuing in union with him
ought (owes and is indebted) to conduct his life the way he did.
Those 2 commands?
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9
- Leviticus 19:18
ALL of the Torah and ALL of the Prophets are dependent on these 2 . . .
Being a Christian is dependent on being a follower . . .
Being a follower is dependent obeying His commands . . . .
A Christian follows Him and obeys His commandments . . .
A Christian would want to know the 2 commands He said are MOST IMPORTANT, don’t you think?
Are you a Christian?!?
Do you follow Him with your walk . . . or is it just a bunch of talk?