“Ought” is a word that we use frequently but find difficult to define. “OUGHT” (1) Necessary; Bound, One Must: “Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.” (2) Moral Obligation, Natural Expectation: “Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary” (3) Compulsion of Necessity, Following the Desires of One’s Conscience: “Webster’s Third New International Dictionary”.
Examples of how we might use the word “OUGHT” in 2020: “Since he has been out of college for four years, he really OUGHT to get a job”; or “The movie industry OUGHT to produce movies without cursing, profanity, and foul language so that Bible believing people could watch one or two a year”; or “Teachers OUGHT not to pass students who are not ready for the next grade level”.
The term “Ought” is found more than 120 times in the five major Bible translations that we normally use (NASV, ASV, ESV, NKJV, KJV) and refers to several different facets of our walk with God. We have time and space to cover only a few for now.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also OUGHT to love one another.” (I John 4:9-11). ESV.
God’s love for man was manifested/revealed to all mankind when He sent Christ to the earth to die on the cross and become the propitiation for all our sins. Greater love could not be found! But what could He ask in exchange for this highest of all blessings? Simply LOVE IN RETURN. LOVE FOR THE BRETHREN is Our Duty, Our Obligation, and God’s Expectation. If we are truly who we claim to be, this should be an easy command to follow.
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us; and we OUGHT to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (I John 3:16). KJV.
We only fully know Christ’s love for us by the fact that He left the glories of Heaven to suffer a horrendous death on a cold, bloody cross for our sins. Remembering that sacrifice on a regular basis should help us love our brethren to the point of being willing to give our lives for them.
“Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds is like to That Above. Before our Fathers throne, we pour our ardent prayers. Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, Our comforts and our cares.”
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we OUGHT, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Rom 8:25-26). NKJV
This Scripture is certainly appropriate for our troubled times, but it is phenomenally comforting also. We are probably all struggling a little bit with our prayers. What should I pray for? Who should I pray for? Should I continue praying for the same things? No human on this earth can write a prayer that comes from someone else’s heart. But the Holy Spirit Himself stands ready and willing to help us with our prayers and our weaknesses, making intercession for us before the Father. Thankfully, The Spirit has a much better view of world affairs than we do.}
“I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine can peace afford. I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee! O bless me now, my Savior: I come to Thee!”
THE TONGUE/SELF CONTROL
“But younger widows’ refuse; for when they have waxed wanton against Christ, they desire to marry; having condemnation, because they have rejected their first pledge. And they learn also to be idle, going about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies speaking things which they OUGHT not”. (I Tim 5:11-13). ASV
In giving Timothy instructions on the care for widows in the congregations, Paul asses on an appropriate commandment. The basis for his instructions are general. The more free, leisure time a widow has, the more likely she is to sin with her tongue with idle talk; wandering from house to house acting like gossips and busybodies; saying things which they OUGHT not to say.
NOTE: Men with too much time on their hands OUGHT to use it wisely or they will fall into the same snare.
“Work, for the night is coming, Work through the morning hours; Work while the dew is sparkling, Work ‘mid springing flowers. Work when the day grows brighter, Work in the glowing sun; Work for the night is coming, When man’s work is done.”
“Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they went out for the sake of The Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore, we OUGHT to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the Truth” (III John: 5-8). NASV.
As Christians, we should find ways to encourage, uplift, financially support, and communicate regularly with those preachers we send a check to each month, and any others when we have the opportunity to assist. John says that when we do these things, we become fellow workers with the TRUTH.
“O spread the tidings round, wherever man is found, Wherever human hearts and human woes abound. Let every Christian tongue proclaim the joyful sound: Our Lord is Lord of Lords! O boundless love divine! How shall this tongue of mine to wandering mortals tell the matchless grace divine; That I, in earth’s decline should in His image shine! In Him, the Word of Heaven!”
ODEDIENCE/PLEASING GOD “Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: Justice and Mercy, and Faithfulness. These you OUGHT to have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides; straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matt 23:23-24). ESV.
“And when they had brought them in, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them saying, ‘Did we not strictly command you not to teach in His name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” But Peter and the other apostles answered and said, “We OUGHT to obey God rather than men”. (Acts 5:20). NKJV.
“Finally, then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you OUGHT to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more! For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality”. (I Thess 4:1-3). NASB.
None of God’s commandments can be neglected or negated. Our personal goal every day should be: EXCEL STILL MORE AND MORE. As His people we cannot let the godless, immoral lifestyle of the world drag us down. Let each one of us plant our feet on that HIGHER GROUND
“More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace to others show; More of His saving fullness see, More of His love who died for me”. More about Jesus on His throne, Riches in glory all His own; More of His kingdoms sure increase; More of His coming Prince of Peace”
“But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its elements will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people OUGHT you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the Day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found in peace, spotless, and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation”. (II Peter 3:10-15a). NASB.
When Christ returns to judge the world in righteousness, everything we know as our world will be burned up. There will be two groups of people: (1) The ungodly and unrighteous! AND (2) Those living as God said they OUGHT TO LIVE, Waiting on the Lord. This second group has this promise – “So Shall We Ever Be With The Lord”
“O how sweet ‘twill be to meet the Lord, When He comes in glory by and by; What a song of praise will be outpoured, When He comes in glory by and by. How sweet ‘twill be! How sweet ‘twill be! When He comes again in the love-lit sky. What joy! ‘twill be! What joy! ‘twill be! When He comes in glory by and by.”