Q: What does the Bible primarily teach?
A: The Bible primarily teaches what man must believe about God and what God requires of man.
Does God actually require anything from us?
Many people say no.
God has already done His part.
He loves us just the way we are.
You cannot earn your salvation.
While each of those are true statements, they are also incomplete statements. God has done His part, but there is a part still left for us. He loves us as we are, but He does not want us to stay that way. We cannot earn our salvation, but we must still act in order to receive the gift.
The Bible teaches what God requires of man. He first requires faith. In fact, we cannot please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). If God does not require anything of us, then why would we need faith in order to please Him?
Hebrews 11 goes on to say we must believe that God is. That means we must believe what the Scriptures teach of God, but more on that next week.
In addition to faith God requires confession. Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart man believes unto God (faith), and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Verse 13 adds, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Belief is more than a mere understanding of facts, and confession is more than saying empty words. God requires mankind to truly believe in Him in such a way that it transforms our lives. When we obtain that level of belief, confession will follow. More than just “asking Jesus into your heart,” confession means that we publicly proclaim Christ in all aspects of our lives; it means our lives should match the life of Christ.
So for the unbelievers, God requires belief and confession. For the believers, God requires obedience. We are to put off the old way of life (Ephesians 4:22-32) because we are being made new from the inside out (2 Corinthians 5:17).
If anyone tells you that God does not require anything of us, they have not read the New Testament. The Bible principally teaches what God requires of us. Next week we will see what we should believe about God according to the Scriptures.