“DO ALL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS”
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” “Whatsoever” includes anything and everything. “Do” has to do with things in which we engage, activity. “Word or deed” is what we say and our actions. “All” is inclusive of everything. “In the name of” has to do with authority, at the direction of. “The Lord Jesus” tells us by whose authority or at whose directions we are to say or do things. Thus, anything and everything we say or do should be in harmony with the laws and principles of Jesus. We must have Bible authority for and in all things. We must not be like Israel, where “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25). How I “think” or “feel” or “I have a good idea” has nothing to do with right or wrong. What does God say?
1 Peter 4:11 reads, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God;….” “Any” includes every one. “Man” is inclusive of male and female. “Speak” has to do with our language (Colossians 4:6) and/or teaching. “As the oracles of God” simply put, is the word of God. Thus, when one, whether male or female says anything, it should be in harmony with what the scriptures say. What I say may please others. Does it please God? Where does the word say this?
The word of God gives us a picture of Jesus from pre-creation to heaven. For example, Jesus existed prior to creation. (1 John 1:2; Colossians 1:15-17). God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1ff). John included Jesus in the creation of the heaven and earth, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1, 2). After creating all things, Jesus was born of the virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:8-20), becoming God incarnate, God in the flesh. (1 Timothy 3:16; John 1:14). The Christ lived some thirty-three years upon the earth. (Luke 3:23, age 30; plus his three years’ work). Matthew thru John describes His work, even telling us about His wrongful conviction (Matthew 26:59ff), and His death by cruel crucifixion. (Matthew 27:33ff; John 19:30). He was buried in the tomb of the rich man, Joseph of Arimathaea. (John 19:38-42). He was raised from the dead on the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1ff; Mark 16:1ff; Luke 24:1ff; John 20:1ff), a declaration that He is the Son of God. (Romans 1:4). The Lord’s ascension is recorded in Acts 1:9-11. Satan could put Jesus in the grave, but he could not hold Him there. (Genesis 3:15). Neither can Satan hold us there. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 5:28, 29). His second coming is recorded in Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. His final coming, judgment, and heaven and hell are declared in Matthew 24 and 25. 24:36-51 admonishes us to be ready. 25:1-13 speak of His judgment on the 10 virgins; Verses 14-30 tell of His judgment of the 5-2-1 talent people (use what you have effectively); and Verses 31-46 describe His judgment of all nations. He is our Savior now, but He will be our Judge on that day.
The Holy Spirit told Paul to preach the word. (1 Corinthians 2; 2 Timothy 4:2). Paul was unashamed to preach that saving word, the gospel. (Romans 1:16). He defined such preaching as the declaration that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day according to the scriptures:….” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Jesus was born to “save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). As “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23), He was qualified and able to do so. (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:7).
It is interesting to notice that God out of all that He has said about Jesus, and the instructions to preach and teach these things about Him, has never taught us to observe “special holy days” with regard to either of them. Each thing stated about Jesus is extremely important, and without even one, all would be helplessly and hopelessly lost. God nowhere authorizes any of His followers to celebrate “special holy days” regarding His Son’s eternal nature. Neither has God called us to set aside a day to remember Jesus as Creator of all things. We do not have instruction to set aside a “special holy day” surrounding His virgin birth. There is no indication that God wants us to observe a day to remember His life. God has told us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:11, 12), and to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1, 2) daily. (Luke 9:23). The death and burial of Jesus are linked to salvation when one is buried in water. (Romans 6:3-7). The resurrection of Jesus early upon the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1ff) is tied to a number of events. For example, The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus (Matthew 26:26-28), and was to be taken as a memorial (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25) in the kingdom, the church. (Matthew 26:29; 16:13-19). This was done by the church at Troas on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7). Churches were told to give according to their prosperity on the day of Jesus’ resurrection, the first day of the week. (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2). Though banished to the lonely “isle that is called Patmos” (Revelation 1:9), John did not forget that day, saying, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,….” (Revelation 1:10). Neither the second-coming, the final day of judgment nor heaven and hell were to be set aside for “special holy day” observance.
God desires all to obey Him (2 Peter 3:9) and be faithful to Him in living and teaching daily. However, He has designated but one day for special and specific worship, the first day of the week. He has instructed us, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25). This is a good work, and Christians are “to be ready to every good work.” (Titus 3:1). God has also said, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17).
John penned these words, “For I testify to every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18, 19; Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6). Some, like the “brethren” of “the churches of Galatia” (Galatians 1:2), “observe days, and months, and times, and years” (Galatians 4:10), which are not authorized. The statement, “I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Verse 11), applies to some today. Do you “turn…again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage?” (Verse 9). “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Verse 16).
Many have come to think of Easter and Christmas as the only important days to attend a church service. One preacher told the writer that he only served communion on Easter because more people would be there on that day than any other Sunday. Perhaps this is due to the emphasis he and other religious leaders place upon these two days. They ignore how “oft” (1 Corinthians 11:26) the first century church observed the communion, weekly. (1 Corinthians 10:16; Acts 20:7). Question: How often does the first day of the week come? Answer: The same number of times 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 does, weekly. Do these same preachers take up collections yearly, bi-annually, quarterly, monthly, or weekly?
We should preach and teach Jesus daily, thinking about and discussing things about Jesus, taking advantage of every opportunity to do so. However, let us not go beyond what is written. It was said that one preacher made it a practice to tell someone about Jesus every day. On one occasion, he had put on his pajamas, and was ready to go to bed. He realized that he had not spoken to anyone about Jesus that day. He went to the street and waited on someone to come by. When one did, he engaged that person in a discussion about Jesus. The penman does not remember who the preacher was, whether his discussions were based upon truth or not. However, every Christian should seek to emulate his actions, making sure we follow Colossians 3:17 and 1 Peter 4:11.