10. What is doing one’s duty?
Relevant Words of God:
Man doing his duty is, in actuality, the accomplishment of all that is inherent within man, that is, that which is possible for man. It is then that his duty is fulfilled. The defects of man during man’s service are gradually reduced through progressive experience and the process of his experience of judgment; they do not hinder or affect man’s duty. Those who cease to serve or yield and fall back in fear of the defects that may exist in service are the most cowardly of all men. If man cannot express what he ought to express during service or achieve what is inherently possible for him, and instead fools about and goes through the motions, he has lost the function that a created being should have. This kind of man is considered a mediocre nonentity and useless waste of space; how can one such as this be dignified with the title of a created being? Are they not entities of corruption that shine on the outside but are rotten within? … There is no correlation between the duty of man and whether he is blessed or cursed. Duty is what man ought to fulfill; it is his bounden duty and should not depend on recompense, conditions, or reasons. Only then is that doing his duty. A man who is blessed enjoys goodness upon being made perfect after judgment. A man who is cursed receives punishment when his disposition remains unchanged following chastisement and judgment, that is, he has not been made perfect. As a created being, man ought to fulfill his duty, do what he ought to do, and do what he is able to do, regardless of whether he will be blessed or cursed. This is the very basic condition for man, as one who seeks after God. You should not do your duty only to be blessed, and you should not refuse to act for fear of being cursed. Let Me tell you this one thing: If man is able to do his duty, it means he performs what he ought to do. If man is unable to do his duty, it shows the rebelliousness of man.
from “The Difference Between the Ministry of the Incarnate God and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
6. You should do that which ought to be done by man, and carry out your obligations, and fulfill your responsibilities, and hold to your duty. Since you believe in God, you should make your contribution to God’s work; if you do not, then you are unfit to eat and drink the words of God, and are unfit to live in God’s household.
from “The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
As a creature of God, if you wish to perform the duty of a creature of God and understand the will of God, you must understand the work of God, must understand God’s will for creatures, must understand His plan of management, and must understand all the significance of the work He does. Those who do not understand this are not qualified to be creatures of God! As a creature of God, if you do not understand where you came from, do not understand the history of mankind and all the work done by God, and, furthermore, do not understand how mankind has developed up to today, and do not understand who commands the whole of mankind, then you are incapable of performing your duty.
from “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When work is spoken of, man believes that work is to run to and fro for God, preach in all places, and spend for God. Though this belief is correct, it is too one-sided; what God asks of man is not solely to journey to and fro for God; it is more the ministry and supply within the spirit. … Work refers not to running to and fro for God; it refers to whether the life of man and what man lives out are for God to enjoy. Work refers to man using faithfulness they have to God and the knowledge they have of God to testify to God and minister to man. This is the responsibility of man and what all man should realize. In other words, your entry is your work; you are seeking to enter during the course of your work for God. Experiencing God is not only being able to eat and drink of His word; more importantly, you must be able to testify to God, to serve God, and to minister to and supply man. This is work, and also your entry; this is what every man should accomplish. There are many who only focus on journeying to and fro for God, and preaching in all places, yet overlook their personal experience and neglect their entry into the spiritual life. This is what causes those who serve God to become those who resist God.
from “Work and Entry (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What God has entrusted to us is our duty. It is what God has handed over to us, predestined by God, predetermined by God, and is entrusted to us by God’s rule. In simple terms, it is the task God has handed to you and it is for you to complete. So how do we rely on our conscience to complete it? How do we do it well in accordance with our conscience? (Give it our best effort.) Give it our best effort—this is one expression of being conscionable. What else? Put your heart into it and fulfill your responsibility; do not be perfunctory in your work. God has put painstaking efforts into us and has expectations of us. Since He has preordained that we fulfill this responsibility and duty, we should not let Him down, disappoint Him, or hurt Him. We should do it well and give God a perfect, satisfactory response. As for what we cannot accomplish, we should rely on God while learning and seeking by ourselves. We should fulfill our duty every day that God lets us live. For every day we are alive, and for every day we are in place, we should accomplish what God has entrusted to us as our primary mission, as a major thing and as the first thing in life. Though we do not seek perfection, we must do it in good conscience. We should feel like we do not owe our conscience anything, allow Satan no accusations, satisfy God, and leave no regrets. When you live to be forty or fifty, or seventy or eighty years old, look back at the things you did when you were young and ignorant; you will be able to see that[a] even though you were young, you had put all your heart and effort into everything you did, and you always did it in good conscience, without letting God down, disappointing God or hurting God, and while always accepting God’s examination and inspection in your heart. When the time comes for you to give an account of the work you have finished, and once you have handed in your answer sheet, God will see it and say, “Even though your work is not very adequate, and is just average, you did your best, and did not neglect your duty.” Is this an example of doing things in good conscience or isn’t it?
from “The Five Conditions People Have Before They Enter the Right Track of Believing in God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Man’s Fellowship:
And what is meant by performing one’s duty? God entrusts everyone with something and has requirements on everyone. From the day you were born, God assigned you with the gifts and skills that you would put into action after coming into God’s family. This is an entrustment, and it is your duty. If you do not seek the truth and do not care for God’s will, if you have not made an effort, then this lifetime of yours has failed. You have failed at being a person, you have not completed your duty or that with which God entrusted you, and this incarnation of yours has been in vain. If this lifetime has not served any purpose, have you not come in vain? Has your life not been in vain?
from the fellowship from the above
People have many duties. It could be said that whatever people should do, put into practice, pursue and possess is their duty. And even more so, people’s duty is what God entrusts them with and what people should complete.
from “Practicing the Truth and the Duties One Should Do” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life
Some people will say: “Performing your duties is assuming the responsibilities you ought to assume and fulfilling the obligations you ought to fulfill in church life, such as spreading the gospel and receiving brothers and sisters, these are duties to be performed.” Do you think this statement is correct? It’s very superficial, it doesn’t really touch upon the substance of the issue. So then, what does it actually mean to perform your duties? To put it precisely, to perform your duties is to experience God’s word and enter into the reality of the truth. To perform your duties is to live before God through practicing the truth. He who properly performs his own duties before God is someone who conforms to the will of God. He is someone who lives within the word of God, he is someone who lives before God. If after believing in God for many years, someone is still not able to regularly perform their duties, then is this person actually living before God? At the very least, if they are not performing their duties, then that means that they are not practicing the truth, nor are they practicing the word of God, so they are not a seeker of the truth. Anyone who does not perform their duties does not have life experience, so they certainly have not entered life either. Are people who do not perform their duties able to possess the reality of life? Absolutely not! So, it is clear what performing your duties actually is. It is eating and drinking the word of God and practicing and experiencing the word of God, it is practicing the truth and entering into reality, and it is living before God. This is totally true. … You could say that all of the duties we perform are our responsibilities and obligations within the word of God, that they are all responsibilities we assume for ourselves through eating and drinking God’s word and experiencing God’s word. For example, when I go through an experience of the words I have read, I then fellowship about it, testifying to God with however much knowledge I have of Him. I testify however much grace God has given me, so that our brothers and sisters can all enjoy it, allowing them to receive service, the supply of life, and support. This is bearing testimony to God, this is exalting God, this is performing one’s duties. In addition to this, everyone has their own responsibilities that they ought to assume within the church. Some people serve as leaders, some people preach sermons, some people serve as workers, some people spread the gospel, and some people provide hospitality. These are all responsibilities that people are bound by duty to perform. You could say that the responsibilities or duties a person should take on are also predetermined and arranged by God. In the words of nonbelievers, it is the will of Heaven or the law of Heaven. You cannot go against it. Everyone has their mission from the time they are born, or, as nonbelievers like to say, their destiny, but we say that everyone has their mission. The responsibilities that each of us ought to assume within the church are entrusted by God. It is our mission. If you do not perform your duties properly and you cannot complete your mission, then that would be a monstrous sin. Who are those people that never perform their duties within the church? You could call them betrayers of God. They eat and drink God’s word and enjoy God’s grace, yet they betray God. There are many people who see God’s blessings within the duties they perform. They see God’s presence and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and ultimately they feel that the more they perform their duties the more they will be blessed by God, that the more they perform their duties the more they will receive the work of the Holy Spirit, that the more they perform their duties the more they could see their own life grow continuously. So what do these facts illustrate? That if someone is able to faithfully perform their duties within the house of God, if they are able to perform their duties despite all setbacks, then this means that this person has a conscience and has sense, and that this person shall receive God’s blessing.
from “The Relationship Between Doing One’s Duty and Being Saved” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (V)
So then, what duties should each person perform? The duty that each person ought to perform is the truth that that person ought to practice, and the truth that you ought to practice is the duty that you ought to perform, the obligation that you ought to fulfill. If you practice the truth that you are aware of and ought to practice, then you will have properly fulfilled your duty. If you do not practice the truth, then you are not fulfilling your duty. You are messing around, you are fooling God, and you are just phoning it in to God. So, the performance of your duties must necessarily be coupled with the truth, it must be closely connected to the truth. You must put into practice all the truths you understand and live out the reality of the truth. To live out the reality of the truth is a representation of man’s true image. When God created man, it was based on this image, so if you live out the image of the truth you will satisfy God. God will be pleased when He looks upon you, He will bless you, He will give you eternal life, He will let you live forever. But if you don’t live out the image of the truth, then you are not worthy of being called a man, and when God looks upon you, He will think you have no spiritual aura, and that you have none of the breath of life that God has bestowed upon you. He will command that such waste be eliminated. So, performing duties is itself practicing the truth. If you do not practice the truth while performing your duties, then you aren’t really performing your duties. You’re just messing around, fooling God, and phoning it in to God. You are just following procedure. So, if you believe in God, you ought to experience and practice the truth that God has bestowed upon humanity, and ultimately you ought to live out the reality of God’s word. This is performing your duties. … If the truth is not involved while you perform your duties, then it is false, it is phoning it in, it is false and deceiving; you are just going through the formalities, you are just following procedure. To truly perform your duties, you must practice the truth while performing them, this is the only way to perform your duties up to standard, this is the only way to truly be a man. With whatever piece of work you are doing, it involves practicing the truth, and when you are practicing the truth you are fulfilling your responsibilities. This is your obligation and your duty, so you must perform well. This is what we mean by practicing the truth. So what is the true relationship between performing your duties and practicing the truth? They are two different ways of interpreting the same thing. From the outside, it looks like a duty being performed, but in essence, it is the truth being practiced. So, if you do not understand the truth when you perform your duties, will you be able to properly carry out your work? You will not. First of all, you will not have a clear understanding of what it means to perform your duties, or how to properly perform your duties. You will not have a clear understanding of these things. Secondly, a day will come when you do have a clear understanding but you will still fail to properly perform your duties, they will still be full of mistakes. At this time, you will discover that your humanity is flawed, that you make a lot of mistakes in the things that you do, that you are full of corruption. At this time you will start to seek the truth in order to get rid of this corruption, and once you do get rid of it, you will start to effectively perform your duties. Once you get rid of your corruption and become aware of the truth, at this time you will perform your duties rightly and properly, not just in name, but also in reality. If you possess the truth while you perform your duty, if not a single bit of corruption is expressed while you perform it, then due results will be achieved in your performance. You will also have practiced the truth up to standard. This is absolutely true. So, whenever you are performing your duties, how you seek the truth is very crucial. If you do not seek the truth, then it is guaranteed that the performance of your duties will not be up to standard.
from “Only If One Practices the Truth in Doing One’s Duty Will One Gain God’s Blessing” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (V)
a. The original text omits “you will be able to see that.”