Lucas D. Elliott
Department of Communications, Liberty University
January 16, 2020
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines responsibility as: “the state or fact of having duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.” (Merriam-Webster, 2020). The key part of this definition is “duty to deal with something”. Responsibility is an important thing. It is something everyone must accept day to day. If you have a child, you have the responsibility to care for it. When you are paid to do a job, it is your responsibility to work hard and do what you are asked.
Here’s something that you may have never thought about before: what is your responsibility as a Christian? Do we have a responsibility from God? God is our Lord almighty; we owe everything to him. As the owner of everything, God is in charge. Today let’s go over our God-given Responsibilities as Christians. The five key responsibilities are as follows:
1. Love and honor God
2. Listen for and obey his orders
3. Love one another
4. Take care of ourselves
5. Spread the gospel and extend God’s kingdom.
God gives us duties. When drivers take the keys to a car, they have the responsibility to drive safely. Likewise, when we become Christians, we are given the key to the pearly gates: Eternal life. With that gift come roles we should fulfill. Our first responsibility is to love God. In Matthew 22:34-40 it reads:
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” (Matt. 22:34-40, NIV).
Jesus states that the greatest commandment is to love our Lord God. There is nothing else more important. God loves us more than we could love anyone, he asks us to love him back with all our hearts.
This brings us to our second responsibility as Christians: to follow God’s commandments. You can see how this is related to our previous responsibility. Jesus said that loving God with all our hearts is the “greatest commandment.”. In this passage Jesus was not trying to undermine the importance of the ten commandments, he was simply stating that the former (loving God), will lead to the latter (following his commandments). You see, if you love God with all your heart mind and soul, you will want to please him! God hates sin, and each time we resist temptations, we bring him joy. Following the ten commandments is a clear responsibility that cannot be ignored. Deuteronomy 13:4 says: “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.” (Deut. 13:4, NIV). As a side note, the ten commandments are not all of sin, more on that can be found in the article “What is Sin?” also posted on this site.
So, in review two of our five responsibilities are:
1. To Love God.
2. to follow God’s commandments.
Now we are at our third responsibility as Christians: to love each other. Once again this responsibility relates to the first; if we love God who created and loves mankind, we should love all mankind too. We should love each other through God, sharing the good news of Christ without judging. 1st Peter 1:22b reads:
“love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Pet. 1:22, NIV).
That doesn’t just mean say “I love you” to random people on the street, that might negatively represent Christianity. No, love is more than that. Love is noticing a problem and fixing it without hope of gain. Love is being there for someone, even when they are being annoying. It’s caring. It’s caring without judging..
It is hard for Christian to not judge others. There is a thin line between pointing out someone’s sin and judging them for it. I would like to make it clear that, while we are not to judge each other, we are called, and prepared, to judge any action or want as to whether it pertains to God’s will. Whether it be ours or another’s. Let me give you an example:
Let’s say someone is attempting to rob a bank. We should judge the action as wrong. one of the ten commandments is to not steal, so this case certainly does not pertain to God’s will. We should not ignore the wrongdoing and act as if it never happened. However, we should not judge the criminal him or herself. While we are called to tell he or she that what they are doing is wrong, we should still love on them and share God’s gospel, encouraging them to do the right thing. It is not our place to Judge people for their actions. Matthew 7:1 reads:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (Matt. 7:1, NIV).
God will judge everyone in heaven perfectly.
A fourth responsibility as a Christian is to take care of ourselves. Now, this does not mean that God does not look after us and care for us. It simply means that while we should submit to God, we should also respect ourselves who God created. In other words: brush your teeth, shower when you’re dirty, and look both ways before you cross the road. Don’t be careless with your life. First Corinthians 6:19-20 reads:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (Corinth. 6:19-20, NIV).
Romans 12:1 reads:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Rom. 12:1, NIV).
Now let’s look at what our fifth responsibility is as a Christian, that is, to spread the gospel and extend God’s kingdom. God’s gospel is the most amazing gift ever given to anyone, ever! The fact that Jesus paid the price for our wrongdoings is amazing! By simply believing in Christ Jesus as who he truly was, we are saved from death. Romans 6:23 reads:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23, NIV).
A big responsibility we have is to share this wonderful gift with others. It is an infinite gift, meant for everyone to enjoy. In Mark 16:15 Jesus says: “Go into all the worlds and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15, NIV).
In review, these are our five responsibilities as Christians:
1. Love and honor God
2. Listen for God and obey his orders.
3. Love one another.
4. Take care of ourselves.
5. Spread the gospel and extend God’s kingdom.
As Christians God has given us responsibilities, or duties, that we must follow. Just like how when you work a job, you have the responsibility to do your work, when you become a Christian, you are accepting a different type of job. It is a job to serve God. Now I ask that you do not take this job lightly, for it is the most important job that you will ever have.
Responsibility. 2011. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved Jan 6th, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/responsibility