Proverbs 12:26, “The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.”
What makes the righteous more excellent than their/our neighbor is that we (the righteous) “seek, search out, and explore” matters which concerns the things required of us by the Lord — to lead a quiet, peaceable, and victorious life in Him which our neighbor simply blows off as if not worthy of any effort.
Average Christians are not excellent because they say (and do) that “it doesn’t take all that” but God said it does … and “a whole lot more.” What many in Christendom (and the Church) do not realize is that “excellent” is a by-product of “perfect” which is what Jesus commanded His disciples to be … as our Father which is in heaven is Perfect (Matthew 5:48).
In case some may not know or understand what “a whole lot more” represents, let’s take a short walk down the road of what are some of the things required of Jesus’ disciples:
- Repent, and believe the gospel.
- Be determined to deny ourselves, and do so.
- Take up our cross (daily), and literally follow Jesus.
- Take Jesus’ yoke and learn of Him.
- Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins… (Acts 2:38). The Matthew 28:19 baptism is invalid. Be advised. Know God’s Church’s history … first century apostles…. Matthew wrote his book somewhere between 60-68 a.d., at least 30 years after the day of Pentecost. ‘Nough said.
- Be renewed in the spirit of our mind.
- Be transformed by the renewing of our mind.
- Obey those who have the rule over us … they watch for our souls … they give God an account of us…. They are pastors according to God’s own heart given by Him, exclusively and directly.
- Put on the whole armor of God so that we may be able to stand in the evil day, and against the wiles of the devil.
- Through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of our body.
- Mortify our members (i.e., desires, passions, propensities, etc.).
- Esteem others before ourselves.
- Let our love for the brethren abound more and more in knowledge and in ALL judgment.
- Judge ourselves so that we should not be judged.
- Receive the chastening, scourging, rebukes, instructions from the Lord without despisal….
…and the list goes on….
Note: only those who are the children of God (according to scripture) are chastened, scourged, and rebuked by Him. Anyone NOT chastened of the Lord DO NOT belong to Him (Hebrews 12:5-8). Be seriously advised.
This short walk represents a fraction of “a whole lot more” and then some, which are required of Jesus’ disciples to live by, grow in, be excellent in, and strive to master unto perfection in Him. Oh, and remember, Jesus’ yoke is easy (useful, virtuous, good, and manageable), and His burden (task or service) is light (agile, i.e., able to move quickly and easily). (Matthew 11:30). And, His commandments are not grievous, i.e., not burdensome (1 John 5:3).
Jesus’ yoke is the direct contrast to the precepts of the Pharisees who forced the heavy burdens of religiosity upon their followers. The same application of religiosity is employed today through the continued traditions, doctrines, and commandments of men.
Are you more or less excellent than your neighbor? Think about it….
One last thing. Jesus’ excellent disciples are perfect because their/our aim and focus is to be as Jesus our Master, and not to strive to be a substitute for Him at any level or degree (Luke 6:40) …and… to escape eternal judgment through obedience …also… to suffer to live godly in Him; and to become eligible to be accounted worthy to stand AND reign with Him in His kingdom forever!
He/She who hath an ear to hear, let them hear.