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Online Articles

There IS a Connection!

Men are prone to make a difference between the importance of loving and serving God, and that of acting properly toward man and duty. In much the same way that the Pharisees of the first century "split hairs" between the temple and the gold of the temple, the altar, and the gift on the altar, etc. (Matthew 23:16-23), we tend to stress "Godward" actions over "man-ward" actions …and, often, even "Godward" INTENTIONS over "Godward" ACTIONS. Instead of realizing that there is an inseparable connection between "faith and works", "love and obedience", etc., we look for divine approval at the point of the mental consent (faith), BEFORE (and sometimes WITHOUT) the corresponding act (obedience) which grows out of it; we expect that the mere INTENTION to do God's will stands for the obligation to actually COMPLY with it.

There is no such confusion or hair-splitting from God's point of view! He has made it clear that He will only accept a life that contains both the intention and the response. In Luke 6:46, He says, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?" He does not say that this is to show MAN that he accepts Jesus as Lord; it is God's own conclusion. Thus, saying that Jesus is Lord is not enough! Only in responding to His Lordship by obeying Him can we truly recognize Him as Lord. Or, "loving" God apart from strict compliance with His demands is not acceptable. As He says in 1 John 5:3, "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments."

In the same way, when it comes to our duty toward our fellow men, we cannot separate such obligation from serving God. Loving man is an expression of loving God! (1 John 4:11-12, 20)

Just so, when it comes to "serving" God and man, there is a connection. In Matthew 25:31-46, Christ equates helping needy men with serving Him ("Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.") When servants serve their fleshly masters, they serve Christ (Colossians 3:22-24); Wives are to submit to their husbands, "as unto the Lord." (Eph. 5:22) Friend, there is absolutely no way we can love or serve God in a way He will accept without showing it in our actions toward our fellow men — THERE IS A CONNECTION!