All or Nothing! Part 7 – Living the Christian life is never with half-measures, but absolute!

There are 7 messages in this All or Nothing Series. To access them all, please use the following links.
All or Nothing Part 1
All or Nothing Part 2
All or Nothing Part 3
All or Nothing Part 4
All or Nothing Part 5
All or Nothing Part 6
All or Nothing Part 7

(a) Our judgment or discernment must be absolute, complete, testing (proving) all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21). And likewise, what we teach others must be the result of that “all judgment” (all discernment).

Philippians 1:9-109And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all (pas) judgment; 10That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
judgment” – perception (not only by the senses but by the intellect); discernment (including moral discernment in ethical matters)

It appears that “all judgment” is closely allied to all knowledge (which is essential for discernment). It is also clear that lack of knowledge, associated with a corresponding lack of judgment or discernment, destroys people. God attributes much of this lack of knowledge in His people Israel to the false teachings of the priesthood (= ministers, pastors etc today).
Hosea 4:6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Malachi 2:1-21And now, O ye priests, this commandment [is] for you. 2If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay [it] to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay [it] to heart.
Malachi 2:7-97For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he [is] the messenger of the Lord of hosts. 8But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. 9Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

(b) Israel in Malachi’s day was greedy, demanding, controlling, in all things including matters relating to God. They were to be a priesthood to the nations, teaching them all things which God had taught them.

Exodus 19:5-65Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: 6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
The people of Israel were the first ones to be given the Great Commission, yet through their ignorance of the true things about God and His law, they failed God’s call for them to be able to share that knowledge of God with others.

Instead they robbed God of His right to their worship and robbed other nations of their right to be also able to worship God.
Malachi 3:8-9 8Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9Ye [are] cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, [even] this whole nation.
whole” is another absolute.

The main thrust of Malachi’s message was to the priesthood of his day. However, remember that in the New Testament, all Christians belong to God’s priesthood, in the same way as Israel was to be a priesthood to the nations.
Exodus 19:6bAnd ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
1 Peter 2:5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

We therefore are responsible for the building up of knowledge (= wisdom of God) among the people around us, especially if we have a ministry or calling to serve, such as pastor or missionary. We must approve the things that are excellent such that our advice is sincere and without offense. We need discernment! All judgment (discernment) is an absolute, not “some”, but “all”!

(c) And all judgment (discernment) (Philippians 1:10) leads to sincerity and lack of offense (Philippians 1:10).

Note that we must live at peace with all men {Romans 12:18), and do good to all, especially those who are of the brotherhood of faith [Galatians 6:10]).
sincere – pure; sincere; without blemish (such as without any cracks in pottery) This term is an absolute, a condition of perfection.
And without offense (Philippians 1:10) means not one offense, once again another absolute. Perfection requires no faults, and no offenses means not even one offense. And it is to be applied to all people as noted above in Romans 12:18 and Galatians 6:10, and also the following:
Hebrews 12:14Follow peace with all (pas) [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

And this requirement for such sincerity and lack of offense has to be applied to all things (situations) without complaining (“murmurings and disputings”).
Philippians 2:14-1514Do all things (pas) without murmurings and disputings: 15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

But sometimes (all too often!) we do in fact offend others; that is, we aren’t perfect!
James 3:2For in many things we offend all (hapas – “all things”, from the root word pas – “all”). If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.

Not one of us is perfect. If though we were indeed perfect, we would have our whole body under control, something that Paul laments as impossible while we still have the old man (see Romans 7). However, the fact that we all stumble is no excuse for our failings. We are to strive to bridle the whole body, or, be holy as God is holy! While impossible here on earth, it is still our end-goal to be holy. One day we will indeed be holy as God is holy, though but only when we leave our old man (the flesh) behind.
Philippians 1:6Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 2:1Wherefore laying aside all (pas) malice, and all (pas) guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all (pas) evil speakings,
In satan’s world, you win at the expense of others around you. In God’s world, you win by letting others go ahead of you. And the people of the world can only grow when others are put down. The Christian grows by assisting others to grow. We have no need to lie, cheat and deceive our way to the top. Jesus said that those who desired to rule over all should first serve all others. For the Christian, serving others is our life. The things we are to lay aside in the above verse have nothing to do with serving others, but rather, they are all used to get an advantage over others so that we can win. But God requires that we win by serving others, an alien concept for many but the only way to demonstrate the true holiness of a truly holy God! And by doing so, we show to others the true nature of a holy God who loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for us!

(d) We have to trust that God is able to provide our every need so that we are empowered to do all things that He should call us to do.

Philippians 4:13I can do all things (pas) through Christ which strengtheneth me.
How many things? All things! But I can’t fly – so therefore I can’t do all things! So why does it say I can do all things? It clearly has to do with what we are called to do. God doesn’t call us to fly across the skies in order to share the gospel with others. Otherwise I’m sure He’d provide wings! But if He called us to go into a tricky situation, then He would enable us to achieve that which He called us to do. It has all to do with what God has called us to do – our function as Christians. I can do all things that I am required to do according to God’s will for my life.

Colossians 1:11Strengthened with all (pas) might, according to his glorious power, unto all (pas) patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
See Philippians 4:13 above. To do all things I need all power (=might), but look at the consequences – that I may have all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness! Our greatest need as Christians may not be to do with achieving the victory over the enemy, but instead may be gaining patience and longsuffering with joyfulness in our own lives. How often do we lose the battle because we want the victory now, instead of first seeking to be strengthened with all might according to God’s glorious power?

Or perhaps we do have the victory now but are not recognising it as such. We can be guilty of misinterpreting victory as loss simply because we cannot see it from God’s point of view. If we are in battle for God, then we cannot lose unless we choose to lose (often by not accepting the cost of battle). Victory in battle is already assured by God’s promise, so be strengthened with all might according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.

(e) Put aside all unholy behaviours; instead put on love (charity) – that which binds all things together to form a perfect whole (“the bond of perfection”).

Colossians 3:8But now ye also put off all these (pas); anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
This is an obvious requirement, that we be holy as God is holy, and avoid those things which a holy God would avoid. Put aside all those things of the world that can only ensnare us.
1 John 2:15-1715Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all (pas) that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (another absolute).

Colossians 3:14And above all (pas) these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Instead, put on love, an attribute that defines us as God’s children, as Christians. Love is that character trait that binds all our other activities into a perfect whole – see 1 Corinthians 13. Fly the flag to show who you belong to. Be proud of your evidence of being a Christian. Let your light so shine before men that they will see your good works (done in love!) and give all glory to your Father in heaven.
James 1:21Wherefore lay apart all (pas) filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

(f) Test (prove) all things, in particular those things that claim to be of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:21Prove all things (pas); hold fast that which is good.
prove – to test; examine; prove; scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not); used of metals. Thus we must test all things according to the Scriptural standard.

Do not accept anything as a truth unless you are assured of it by God’s truth (as defined by Scripture). Be more noble as the Bereans were in that they searched the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul said was indeed so (Acts 17:11). Be prepared to change your point of view on something if necessary. Don’t think for a moment that everything you believe to be true now is always going to be 100% accurate. We can all make mistakes. And even if a highly respected preacher or teacher says something, don’t automatically assume it to be true, although it might well be so. Test (prove) all things!
2 Timothy 2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

(g) All the writings of the Bible are God-breathed (“by inspiration of God”) and are all profitable for us.

Not only do they teach us our doctrine; they can also provide salvation for our souls.

2 Timothy 3:16-1716All (pas) scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all (pas) good works.
All the Bible is for our benefit, even the parts that we hardly know. So why not search those areas that you don’t know very well – who knows the riches you might find! And don’t dismiss parts that you don’t understand nor those that might reveal a weakness in your personal doctrine.

Far too many “doctrines” today are man-made, only supportable by taking passages out of context or ignoring the overall consistency of the Bible. If you believe something to be a truth of the Word, yet find a verse or passage that is inconsistent with what you believe, then there’s a lie somewhere. If the doctrine taught by the Scriptural passage is consistent with the rest of the Bible, yet in conflict with your own views, then you will have to test your own beliefs carefully. The Bible never teaches a lie; thus it must be consistent in all aspects.
Only by testing (proving) all things may we be complete, thoroughly equipped for all that God calls us to do (every good work).

While unholy living may destroy our souls, the Scriptures are able to save our souls.
James 1:21Wherefore lay apart all (pas) filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Instead do the will of God, through the teaching of the Word; only this can save our souls. Only the Word of God can touch our lives through the cross of Jesus.

Without the preaching of the Word we cannot hear the Word, and the hearing of the Word brings faith.
Romans 10:17So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith is not a gift of God, but instead a response to the promises of God. God has promised us salvation by His grace; our response (faith) is required to trust God that His promises are true ….
Ephesians 2:8-98For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
….. and that He will save to the uttermost all those who trust in Him.
Hebrews 7:25Wherefore he (Jesus Christ) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Note that “uttermost” is another absolute of the Bible (as is “ever”)!


Over and over we get full-on answers on how to live. There’s no leeway, no compromise in these answers on how to live our Christian lives. There should be not one thing that we complain about or dispute. We must be blameless (= no accusations can be made against us) and harmless (= we cannot do anything that will deliberately harm others around us). We also have to be without fault, similar to being blameless; people around us should not be able to use any fault of ours to belittle our perfect and holy God, nor our belief in Him.

There are 7 messages in this All or Nothing Series. To access them all, please use the following links.

All or Nothing Part 1

All or Nothing Part 2

All or Nothing Part 3

All or Nothing Part 4

All or Nothing Part 5

All or Nothing Part 6

All or Nothing Part 7

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