I wish to encourage you to walk in obedience to Jesus Christ
For the most part, obedience to Jesus Christ is not a winning theme to write or teach on. The world is utterly disinterested, and God’s people are often so over-whelmed by their struggle against sin, that they say to themselves ‘here we go again, another bashing’.
Let’s face it, obedience is not always the most appealing thing, and it certainly is not always popular with others. In fact, this author knows the struggle between ‘personal want and obedience’ very well. Unfortunately, we believers won’t be set free from this struggle until we are with the Lord. That being said, we need to constantly remind ourselves that the blessings of obedience are many, and the cost of disobedience is high.
The apostle Paul reminds us that “by the one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s (Christ’s) obedience the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Obedience and disobedience are at the very core of humanity’s relationship with God. Eternal life, a right relationship with God, hinges on obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). The blessing of obedience to Jesus Christ is eternal life; the status quo of disobedience is wrath and eternal separation from God.
While it’s all too easy to say that we love the Lord, with the words just rolling off our tongues effortlessly. The Lord however, looks for evidence of authenticity of that professed love. The apostle John nails what genuine love for God looks like; “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Herein lies the truth of the matter, the overarching theme of our lives, the typical pattern of our living, is one of love expressed through obedience to God and not self-indulgence.
An extraordinary group of Christians lived and fellowshipped at Philippi. Paul had observed of them, and encouraged them when writing to them; “as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). Evidence of God’s activity in their lives was witnessed by others. Made visible through their obedience, they had a powerful testimony to the world of the reality of Jesus Christ. Their humble reverence of the Lord had tangible expression of the life transforming gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Pleasure of Obedience
For the Christian, obedience is not a distasteful experience as if it were a set of rules that must legalistically be observed. Jesus summed it up perfectly when He said; “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28). Obedience is the appropriate response to Christ as Lord. It’s an accurate expression of love for Him because it should flow from an ever increasing desire to please Him. Obedience fuels the assurance of our salvation and intensifies the realisation of our security in Christ.
Today, be encouraged to honour our Lord Jesus Christ by your obedience. And should you stumble, come before the Lord in confession, realising that there is “now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Get up and walk again in obedience for this is love for Christ.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz