Many times we find the word MUST in God’s Word. Many more times that word is certainly implied. Mr. Vine defines this Greek word, dei, as “an impersonal verb, signifying ‘it is necessary’ or ‘one must,’ ‘one ought.’”; Let us note the full thrust of this little word in seven powerful passages of the pages of Holy Writ.
- John 3:14: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so MUST the son of man be lifted up.” If the serpent had not been lifted up in the wilderness the people would have had no cure for the deadly snakebite. In like manner, if God had not allowed His only begotten Son to be lifted up on the cross, we would be without a cure today for the problem that confronts all mankind; that is, sin! Notice John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Christ Jesus is the Savior of the world (Luke 19:10); He is the only Way to salvation (John 14:6); He is the author and finisher of faith (Hebrews 12:2). Christ was/is the only way we could have redemption.
- Acts 4:12: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we MUST be saved.” We are reminded of Peter’s preaching in Acts 2:36-38. Peter affirms that every person who is saved MUST be saved by obedience to the authority of Jesus Christ as Lord. “And having been made perfect, He became unto all them that obey Him the author of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9). He is our High Priest (3:1).
- Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God MUST believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Trust is a Must! We cannot be pleasing to God without that trust, that belief. I recall the words of a hymn that I have sung since childhood: “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Do not forget the definition of this word “MUST,” i.e., “it is necessary…one must…one ought.” Robinson gives this definition: “It is binding on anyone, it behooves one to do, i.e., one must, one ought.”
- Acts 16:30: “And [the Philippian jailor] brought [Paul and Silas] out, and said, Sirs, what MUST I do to be saved?” There is no greater question that any man can ask today. Remember the imperative force and thrust of that little word, MUST. Notice what happens in this context: “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved” (verse 31), “and [he] was baptized, he and all his” (verse 33) “and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house” (verse 34). They had to hear the Word of the Lord and obey the Lord’s Word; likewise, man MUST do so today! There is no other way!
- John 3:7: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye MUST be born again.” This is the Lord’s direct instruction to Nicodemus. In the context of John chapter 3 we note that one cannot enter into the kingdom of God unless one is born again. Earlier in this narrative Christ had stated, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Two more words are worthy of notice: “except” and “cannot”)! The new birth and being born anew, both refer to the one baptism of the New Testament. This MUST is just as imperative today as it was when first commanded by Jesus Christ.
- John 4:24: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him MUST worship Him in spirit and in truth.” We MUST worship God with the right attitude and with the right authority (dare we say, pattern?) – yea, verily! Our worship to God MUST conform to the powerful, precious truth of God! The late, beloved brother Guy N. Woods has well stated: “the three simple, but vitally important aspects of true worship are set out: (1) We must worship God; (2) we must worship God in spirit, i.e., rationally and sincerely; (3) we must worship God in truth, as His word directs (Colossians 3:17; John 17:17).”
- 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we MUST all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to all that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” All mankind will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and all will be judged. Quicker than you can say, “Tiger Woods,” the whole world will be judged by God. The eternal destiny of all mankind will be based upon our obedience or our disobedience to the will of God (Hebrews 9:27; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Matthew 7:21-23; Romans 14:12; et al.).
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