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From Doctrine to Duty

The word “therefore” in the Bible often indicates movement from the proclamation of doctrinal truth to the believer’s responsibility to live in light of that truth. The idea is: based on the truth just stated, here is how the Christian must respond.

The apostle Paul uses “therefore” frequently in his letters. He never leaves his readers with mere head knowledge. He explains the practical implications of truth and calls for obedience.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Unfortunately, many Christians today miss the biblical connection between doctrine and duty. They talk a biblical talk, but do not walk a biblical walk.

That’s a serious problem. Can someone be unchanged by conversion? May it never be!

Christ has set us free from our prior bondage to sin, death, and Satan. He has released us from empty ritual and false religion. He has completely saved us from the wrath of God.

If, then, Christ has saved us and raised us up, what should we therefore do? How should we therefore respond?

Genuine salvation changes our affections and actions. When we have been purchased by the perfect blood of Jesus Christ, we desire to serve Him well.

The Christian life is one of work and service—not to earn salvation; but to transition from the service of one master, sin, to our new Master, Christ.

It is a service in which our new, God-given heart rejoices.

It is a service from which we will never retire.