Many people who believe in Jesus (Matthew 1:1) and the inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16, 17), treat both like they do a cafeteria line. They pick and choose what they will take and what they will not take.
First, children of God sometimes have selective obedience. These are people who have been taught the need to hear the word of God. (Mark 12:29). They developed faith as a result of hearing the inspired word of God that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son. (Romans 10:17; John 3:16; Acts 8:36, 37). They repented of sins (Acts 17:30, 31; Luke 13:3, 5), confessed their faith in Jesus’ Deity (Acts 8:36, 37) and were buried in water baptism for the remission of sins. (Romans 6:1-5; Acts 8:38, 39; 2:38). Doing the will of the author of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:8, 9), they were justified by His blood (Romans 5:9) shed for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:26-29). Thus were they saved by obeying the gospel of Christ. (Romans 1:16).
When one truly becomes a Christian, that one is then obligated to keep the whole law. (James 2:10). The saved cannot correctly select which laws of God will be obeyed and which laws will not. For example, some saved ones are rightfully taught, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;….” (Hebrews 10:25). Yet, these same people willfully choose not to be present for the God-ordained (1 Corinthians 11:17-34; 16:1, 2; Acts 20:7) assembling, like those of Luke 14:15-24, giving many invalid excuses for their actions. In this one selective action, the one who does not assemble has violated two (2) laws of God, that is, forsaking the assembling and not observing the communion.
Other Christians read Matthew 19:1-9; Romans 7:1-4; 1 Corinthians 71ff, and like passages, and know that marriage is for life, unless one dies or commits adultery. The scriptures teach that these two (2) things are the only reasons God gives for remarriage. However, some choose to leave spouses and remarry. In this they sin and cause at least one other to sin also.
People of God have been taught “to be ready to every good work” (Titus 3:1) and “be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,….” (1 Corinthians 15:58). However, some choose to assemble faithfully, yet select not to visit the fatherless and widows (James 1:27), teach the lost, whether non-Christians (Mark 16:15, 16; John 4:31-38) or unfaithful Christians. (Revelation 2:1-7).
Many other laws are disregarded by God’s people. Some teach the truth, but they do the things they teach others not to do. (Romans 2:1, 21, 22). Such actions dishonor God and causes the name of God to be blasphemed. (Romans 2:23, 24). Christians are supposed to obey all of God’s will, not pick and choose those with which they agree. Brother, sister, do not be selective in obeying Jesus!
Second, there are many believers in Jesus and His inspired word, who have never obeyed His plan of salvation, people who worship Him regularly, but are selective in their attempts to follow the Lord. For example, some believe that only parts of the scriptures are inspired of God. Some translations even have, “Every scripture inspired of God”, and such like. This implies that all scripture is not inspired of God, which is pure foolishness. How would one know which was inspired, and which was not?
Others, in spite of clear and concise statements, such as, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16), select to teach faith only. This is in spite of the conjunction, AND, which joins believeth and baptism, and James 2:14-26, especially, verses 17, 20, 24, and 26. Again, Saul was told to “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:6). God sent Ananias to Saul to tell him what he MUST DO, that is, “arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16). He was not told to say the sinner’s prayer. Neither was he told to believe only to be saved. This believer was told to “wash away thy sins” in baptism. This was not a ceremonious act to show that he had already been forgiven, as some teach. Paul told Agrippa, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” (Acts 26:19). Acts 9:18 says Saul “arose, and was baptized.” Surely, the One who saves, Jesus, knows what one must do to obey Him. That is why 1 Peter 3:20, 21, says, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us….” This is in spite of the teaching of some that water baptism has never saved anyone. Some even deny that baptism is commanded of God. Read Acts 10:48, and take the word of God, who is right. Obey God, rather than being selective to the contrary.
Other examples of people being selective in their obedience to Jesus is in the names they choose to wear as Christians and as a church. Write down the name your church wears, and go to the inspired word of to see if that name is there. If not, reject the same, and seek a church that wears the names you find in the word of God. What do you call yourself? Seek the names found in the word of God. Most churches have become entertainment centers. Some with their musical instruments and talented musicians can even compete with popular bands and entertainers. Invented instruments were used under the Old Testament (Amos 6:5), but the first covenant was replaced by the second. (Hebrews 8:6-13; 2 Corinthians 3). Under the New Testament, there are no examples of the use of mechanical instruments of music. Read Matthew 26:30, “sung”; Acts 16:25, “sang”; Romans 15:9, “sing”; 1 Corinthians 14:15, “sing…sing”; Ephesians 5:19, “singing”; Colossians 3:16, “singing”; Hebrews 2:12, “sing”; and James 5:13, “sing.” If one does exactly what is stated in these verses, and no more, what will one do when worshipping God? Do not be selective in your worship, choosing as some have said, “Because I like the instruments of music.” Remember, we worship God. We do not come together to entertain and please ourselves.
Others know that God has no respect of persons. (Romans 2:11). He tells us not have respect of persons, else we sin and are transgressors of the law of God. (James 2:9; Job 32:21, 22. Psalms 89:7; 111:9). Clear?! One would think so. However, some choose to be set apart and above others, while some set them apart, using titles which God clearly forbids. (Matthew 23:1-12). Some believe because of various things they are above and better than others. This violates James 2:1-4. Have you chosen to select how you will handle these verses?
The Holy Spirit moved Paul to write (2 Peter 1:20, 21), “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man, but to be in silence.” (1 Timothy 2:11, 12). However, man chooses not to follow these words, ordaining women as elders, deacons, preachers, etc. This is selective obedience, which is disobedience to God.
Beloved, God knows what He wants. It is up to us to follow His instruction, not just the parts with which we agree. Herein are but a few examples of selective obedience. Examine what you currently believe and are doing, and do what God says.