“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23)
This sharp rebuke by Jesus to the legalists of His day should also be taken seriously by us today. Although we are saved by grace alone, there are many things we ought to do, not as a matter of credit toward salvation, but as gratitude for our salvation. Surely judgment, mercy, and faithfulness are high on such a list.
Other “oughts” of the born-again Christian life would include the following incomplete listing:
- Prayer: “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
- Obedience to God as Priority: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
- Working and Sharing: “So labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
- Gracious in Speech: “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).
- Walking with God: “As ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:1).
- Heeding God’s Word: “We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (Hebrews 2:1).
- Sanctified Behavior: “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11).