“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” Matthew 7:24 NIV
Orthopraxy is a system that believes right living provides the context for right thinking. Jesus Messiah lived His life from a Hebraic (Jewish) worldview, which focused on action and doing even more than thinking.This is why He took His disciples on field trips!
The reverse is called orthodoxy. It assumes that if we change a person’s thinking we will change the way he or she lives. (This is a Hellenistic or Greek worldview). Orthodoxy is crucial, and the Scriptures encourage us to think biblically about everything. I believe it was David Barton who said we have done a pretty good job helping people learn but we have not done a very good job helping people think. This is a sobering thought isn’t it?
For many today, Christianity consists of endless Bible studies, sermons, and small groups with little attention paid to how we are supposed to “live this stuff out.” Simply put, most Christians live according to a Greek mindset. Both believe actions are necessary, yet Jesus’ disciples (both then and now) are made by walking in incremental steps of obedience — in adherence to the Jewish (Hebraic) way of growth.
Maybe it’s because I’m so immersed in the Greek paradigm that I spend so much time thinking and studying, rather than assertively living out my faith in action. When I lead my disciple groups I can easily emphasize studying biblical truth at the expense of simply “doing” what we are learning. I talk with many Christians who are involved with countless studies, church services, and weekly worship gatherings, yet rarely consider the “So what?” of it all. What is God asking me to actually do in light of all my learning?
Understood from a Hebraic perspective, obedience is the worship we should render to Him. The Hebrew word for worship is ‘hawa” which means to “bow and touch the ground with our face before the Lord, and then get up and obey Him” (See Genesis 18:2; Psalm 95:6). It’s incomplete to call what we do on Sunday mornings “worship” if we are just singing, listening and giving. True worship is physical, visual, and it demonstrated with the posture of our bodies. We all know that Muslims bow low with their face to the ground in their worship, which is a more accurate expression, if only it were directed to the truth God of Scripture – Yahweh!
After God expressed His displeasure with Israel about their preoccupation with their offerings and celebrations at festivals He said through the prophet Isaiah:
“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;” – Isaiah 1:19 NIV
While at Rolling Hills I counseled countless couples and I can say with absolute certainty that the ones who found success in marriage were those who began to act righteously even before they embraced the right attitude toward their spouses. When they chose to obey, health followed soon after.
We learn best by doing.
Obviously our Lord Jesus Christ lived this truth.Consider His profound words:
“Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” John 7:17
Christ is saying that obedience leads to understanding. Profound!
In the Holy Spirit’s Power: Obey Away!