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"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"

(1 John 1:9)
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DOING THE WORK OF GOD

Thousands of people all over the world leave their jobs, homes, and families to dedicate themselves to the "work of God". Are they right? Are they really doing the work of God?

In Catholicism, many abandon all contact with society, to "serve" God cloistered away in a convent or monastery. The same thing happens in Buddhism.

Many young men and women deny their own nature and take a vow of celibacy. They think that in so doing they are pleasing God.

It is similar in Evangelical circles: women are forbidden to cut their hair, people fast for long periods of time, and so on.

The mission of our Lord Jesus was to do the work of God. He consecrated His life to it, and everywhere He went He devoted Himself to using all the potential His father had given Him.

We know that we have to do the work of God, but we must also know how to go about it. This is what we will study in this lesson.

When we observe the example of Christ, we see that doing the work of God begins by submitting ourselves to the Father, and then putting His Word into action. We can be sure of one thing: if we do not do the work of God, it will not be done.

The Lord Jesus set us the example and taught us how to do the work of God. He also showed what it means to do His work, which is the answer to the question people all over the world ask: how we can do the work of God?

My prayer is that from this day on you begin to do the work of God.

In Christ,
Missionary R. R. Soares

 

Many who call themselves Christians do not live good lives. They are very bad examples for the Gospel. How will anyone believe the promise of abundant life in Christ if those who say they live in His grace do not demonstrate this life? Is this life real or not? According to the Scriptures, such life does exist; according to the lives of many, it does not exist.

Whose fault is it? Sometimes it is the person's own fault. He lives carelessly, and refuses to learn what the Word teaches about his position in Christ, or to take hold of his rights as a member of the family of God.

Sometimes the preachers are to blame, because they do not teach the Truth (many only teach theology). The translators of the Holy Scriptures are also partly to blame - although we must admit they did they best they could, and in general, did a good job.

Many times, however, crucial points are a little twisted in their translations, and thus many blessings have been lost. This is the case in John 14:13, which we have studied in our Faith Course. Here we have the following translation: Whatever you ask in my name, I will do. According to this translation, anyone can be convinced that all he has to do is ask for a blessing and it will be granted him. But it is not like that at all: there are many people asking and not receiving anything. This is because Jesus did not use the verb "ask" the way we are used to, but rather with the meaning of ordaining, demanding, commanding.

The story of the blind man Jesus healed in John, chapter nine, was also mistranslated. Verses three and four were translated like this:

Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can
work."

If this translation were correct, then we would have to believe that there are people who are born blind, or crippled, and suffer their whole life to manifest the works of God. If we follow this line of reasoning, we will come to the conclusion that God is not love. How could He allow people to be born with defects, without their sight, hearing, speaking, or other vital functions, just to be healed one day and give glory to Him? Doesn't that sound strange? It's awful! This is not the character of our God.


THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS

When Jesus was here on Earth, He healed everyone. He never approved of suffering, and never said that God wanted anyone to suffer. When He healed the man who was born blind in the text we just read, He did not say that the man was born that way so that God be glorified by his healing.

As we know, the New Testament was written in Greek, which did not have the punctuation marks that we have today. John wrote his gospel in the form of a letter; he did not divide it into chapters and verses. The division of the Bible into chapters is believed to have been made either by Cardinal Hugo, who died in 1263, or by Stephen Langton, who died in 1228. The division into verses was made by Robert Steves in 1551. This is a better translation of this passage: Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned. But that the works of God be fulfilled, we must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work."

Notice that the best manuscripts have "we do", instead of "I do". The Lord Jesus included us in the responsibility of doing the work of God. The night He spoke of was the period of His death (three days).

There is a translation of the Bible based on the French version written by the Benedictine Monks from Maredsous (Belgium) that has a very similar interpretation of this passage.

Millions of people have suffered unnecessarily for years, because they thought their suffering was destined to manifest the works of God some day, and He would be glorified.

The disciples asked the Master: "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (v.2) That question didn't make any sense. How could the man have sinned before he was born? The Lord Jesus answered: "Neither this man nor his parents sinned" (v.3a). He never said anything about the real cause of his affliction, perhaps because the Scriptures very clearly stated that the reason for all evil was Adam's sin. Jesus did take advantage of the situation, though, to give us a great revelation: for the work of God to be manifested, we must do the work of Him who sent us.

Jesus, the man, had to do the work of God. If He did not do it, it simply would not be done. For years the blind man had suffered, as had countless others, because no one had done the work of God. The same thing is happening today: millions of people are suffering because no one is doing the work of God. You can be a member of the best church and still suffer for years on end. Do the work of God in your life. Rebuke all evil, and order all sickness and suffering to leave.

We must do the work of Him who sent us while it is still daytime. That is why Jesus gave us the following mission.

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."Mark 16:15-18

This is what happened when the first brethren set out to do the work of God: And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. Mark 16:20

Wake up, brothers and sisters! We have already been sent. We have a mission. Let us begin doing it, from this moment on.


WHAT DOING THE WORK OF GOD MEANS

We are the ones that do the work of God. But what does it really mean to do the work of God?

When people asked Him what doing the work of God was, Jesus was very clear:

And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
John 6:25-29

They came to Jesus because they did not want to have the trouble of working to earn their living. They had seen Jesus transform five barley loaves and two fishes - a little boy's snack - into food for almost five thousand men, without counting women and children. This was going to be easy, they thought. Every time they had a necessity, Jesus would promptly do a miracle.

Jesus told them they should toil for the food that remained unto eternal life, which He could give them. They understood that there was something they had to do. They went straight to the point, and asked Him what they had to do to work the works of God. Jesus told them that there were no works of God to be done, only the work of God, which is to believe in the one He sent.


TODAY, SAME QUESTION - SAME ANSWER

The question they asked Jesus can be heard everywhere you go today, and the answer is the same: Believe in the one He sent. What does it mean to believe in the one He sent? Many people assure you that they believe in the one He sent, and if you ask them who God sent, they will promptly answer, "Jesus".

They are right, to a certain extent. But the fact is that God did not send Jesus; He sent His Word. His Word became flesh, and brought Jesus into the world. There is no question that Jesus and the Word of God are the same person. But we must understand the difference. Many say they believe in Jesus, but do not live according to the Word. They are deceived. If you truly believe in Jesus, then you will practice the Word of God.

What are you going to do from now on? If you do not do the work of God, it will not be done. What do you say? Will you do the work of God?

If you are sick or have some problem, stop asking everyone to pray and help you get something from God. Make up your mind to do His work right now. Become an obedient child, one who practices the Word.

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1. Is the abundant life promised by Jesus real or not?

2. Why can the failure of many people be blaned on the translations of the Scriptures?

3. What is a better translation for “ask” in John 14:13?

4. Was the man in John 9 born blind so that one day he could be healed for God to receive the glory?

5. What is the explanation for mistakes in translation, such as the one found in John 9?

6. What version of the Bible is the closest to our interpretation of John 9?

7. Did it make any sense when the disciples asked Jesus if the man or his parents had sinned for him to be born blind?

8. When He answered their question, did Jesus mention the cause of his suffering?

9. What is the cause of all suffering?

10. In that episode, who had to do the work of God?

11. Why have blind people and so many others suffered for so many years?

12. Why should we do the work of God?

13. Where is this mission recorded?

14. What did Jesus answer the people who asked Him how to do the work of God?

15. What does it mean to believe in the one God sent?
 
 
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1) Yes.

2) Because some parts have not been translated correctly

3) Ordain, demand, command.

4) No.

5) The New Testament was written in Greek, and they did not have the
      punctuation mark we have today.

6) The French translation of the Benedictine monks of Maredsous (Belgium).

7) No.

8) No.

9) The sin of Adam.

10) Jesus

11) Because few people have done the work of God

12) Because we have been given this mission

13) Mark 16:15-18.

14) This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He (God) sent
        (John 6:29b).

15) Believe in the Word of God.

 
 
 
 
 
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