Non-Christians seem to hang up on the “Thou shalt nots” in the Bible. As Christians, we need to focus on the Dos.
Throughout the gospel, Jesus consistently uses imperatives to tell us how we should lead our lives and what we should do:
FORGIVE EVERYBODY OF ALL THEIR OFFENSES AGAINST YOU.
Forgive, and be forgiven.
YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.
ABIDE IN ME, AND LET ME ABIDE IN YOU.
LET PEOPLE SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS.
Do not hide your light under a basket.
END DISPUTES QUICKLY.
WHATEVER CAUSES YOU TO SIN, GET RID OF IT.
DO NOT SWEAR OATHS AT ALL.
DO NOT RETURN OFFENSE FOR OFFENSE.
Turn the other cheek.
GIVE WHAT PEOPLE ASK OF YOU, AND GIVE MORE THAN IS REQUIRED.
Go the extra mile.
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES AND THOSE WHO WORK AGAINST YOU.
GIVE TO THE POOR TO PLEASE GOD, NOT TO GAIN APPROVAL FROM OTHER PEOPLE.
PRAY PRIVATELY AND SIMPLY, NOT TO IMPRESS OTHER PEOPLE.
MAKE YOUR PRAYERS BE LIKE THE LORD'S PRAYER.
WHEN YOU FAST, DO IT SECRETLY, NOT FOR SHOW.
STORE UP YOUR TREASURES IN HEAVEN, NOT ON EARTH.
DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR MATERIAL NEEDS.
DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE.
MAKE GOD YOUR HIGHEST PRIORITY, AND HE WILL TAKE CARE OFALL YOUR NEEDS.
DO NOT JUDGE OTHER PEOPLE.
Judge not, lest ye be judged.
DO NOT GIVE HOLY THINGS TO DOGS OR CAST YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE.
ASK GOD FOR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO HAVE.
Seek, and ye shall find.
FEED THE HUNGRY, CLOTHE THE NAKED, SHELTER THE HOMELESS, COMFORT THOSE IN DISTRESS.
FOLLOW THE NARROW PATH TO LIFE.
Enter by the narrow gate.
BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS.
EXERCISE POWER OVER UNCLEAN SPIRITS.
LOVE LITTLE CHILDREN, DO NOT DESPISE THEM.
DO NOT TAKE THE TITLES 'MASTER' OR 'FATHER' FOR YOURSELF.
DO NOT OPPOSE OTHER BELIEVERS IN CHRIST WHO ARE NOT IN YOUR GROUP.
HAVE TOTAL FAITH IN GOD FOR EVERYTHING.
BE LIKE THE GOOD SAMARITAN.
Go, and do likewise.
LOVE OTHER PEOPLE AS I HAVE LOVED YOU
EAT BREAD AND DRINK WINE IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.
WASH ONE ANOTHER'S FEET.
GO AND TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM.
KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.
BE PREPARED FOR YOUR MASTER TO RETURN.
Grammatically speaking, imperatives are commands. Active Faith is summed up by the words of Jesus in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.”
They seem like simple words. “Just do what I told you to do.” But how do we do what He has told us?
Again, based on a command of Jesus in Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray that ye fall not into temptation: the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Watch (γρηγορέω-grégoreó-be vigilant). To be vigilant is to maintain alertness. We should pay attention to
what is going on around us, be aware of our surroundings. Mostly, we should self-inspect our motives and intentions to be sure they are pure. 2 Peter 3:1-2 puts it this way:
"This is now, beloved, the second letter that I have written to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior."Sincere, in this instance (εἰλικρινής- eilikrinés-lit. judged by sunlight), refers to holding an item up to a brighter source of light to judge for defects. We should be alert to judge our actions by the bright light of the Son.
If we judge ourselves, we will find that we must actively pursue holiness. We must strive for that goal.