Religion Is All about How We Live, and the Religious Way to Live Is to Do Good

As for the fact that religion is about how we live and that the [religious] way to live is to do good, everyone who reads the Word sees this and acknowledges it on reading it. We find the following in the Word:

Whoever breaks the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of the heavens, but whoever does and teaches [these commandments] will be called great in the kingdom of the heavens. I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of the heavens. (Matthew 5:19, 20)

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire; therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:19, 20)

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of the heavens, but those who do the will of my Father who is in the heavens. (Matthew 7:21)

On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, haven’t we prophesied in your name and done many great things in your name?” But then I will declare to them, “I do not know you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22, 23)

Everyone who hears my words and does them I will liken to a wise man who built his house on the rock; but everyone who hears my words and does not do them will be likened to a foolish man who built his house on the sand. (Matthew 7:24, 26)

Jesus said, “A sower went out to sow. Some seed fell on a hard-packed path, some on stony ground, some among thorns, and some into good ground. The people who received seed in good ground are those who hear and understand the Word, and as a result bear fruit and become productive, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold.” When he had said these things, Jesus cried out and said, “Those who have ears to hear must hear this.” (Matthew 13:3–9, 23)

The Son of Humanity is going to come in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay all people according to their deeds. (Matthew 16:27)

The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation that bears its fruits. (Matthew 21:43)

When the Son of Humanity comes in his glory, then he will sit on the throne of his glory and will say to the sheep on his right, “Come, you who are blessed, and possess as your inheritance the kingdom prepared for you since the founding of the world; because I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “When did we see you like this?” But the king will answer and say, “I tell you truly, as much as you did this to one of the least of my people, you did it to me.” And the king will say similar things to the goats on the left, but since they had not done things like these, he will say, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:31–46)

Bear fruit that is consistent with repentance. The axe is already lying against the root of the trees. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Luke 3:8, 9)

Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say? Everyone who comes to me and hears what I am saying and does it is like someone building a house who laid its foundation on the rock; but anyone who hears and does nothing is like someone building a house on the ground without a foundation.” (Luke 6:46–49)

Jesus said, “My mother and my brothers are these who hear the Word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:21)

Then you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, “Lord, open the door for us!” But he will say in reply, “I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:25–27)

This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, but people loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. All who do evil hate the light, because their deeds would be exposed; but those who do the truth come to the light so that their deeds may be clearly seen, because their deeds were done in God. (John 3:19–21)

Those who have done what is good will go forth into [the resurrection of life, but those who have done what is evil will go forth into] the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:29)

We know that God does not hear sinners; but he does hear people who worship God and do his will. (John 9:31).

from Life/Faith, Section 2

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