I encourage you to obey for God’s Glory First and Foremost.
To obey Jesus Christ as Lord is central to the Christian faith! Speaking of obedience may not win you popularity, but it is never-the-less central to our entire social structure. Not only humanly speaking, but it is the bullseye of Christian living. God’s glory, our ability to recognise and enjoy God’s blessings, the Church’s testimony, and the world’s response to the gospel is directly affected by how we obey God, or not.
It begins with obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ and it continues with persevering through obedient living. And when times of failure come, and they will, we rise in repentance before our Saviour to continue walking in obedience. Stumbling in sin is only a temporary byway that is to be corrected by God’s forgiving grace.
Make no mistake; “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). If Satan can blind unbeliever’s minds to Christ’s glory in the gospel, he will also succeed in making the idea of obeying this Jesus an obscene and unthinkable thing. Sadly, the day of judgement is coming, “inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). The entire world is going to be called to an account for their response to the gospel, based upon their obedience to it, or not.
While some shrug off any responsibility to obey, God’s Word speaks clearly and loudly on the matter. From the earliest of Bible history, God explains that the blessings of obedience are many, and the cost of disobedience is high. Listen to how the Lord explained it to Adam; “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). Disobedience is expensive; our entire human history gives evidence to this fatal reality.
Listen also to how the Lord explains the importance of this to Israel. “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God… and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28). “Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever” (Deuteronomy 12:28). The very best that we can do for ourselves, our children, and everyone else around us, is to trust and obey the Lord. Why, because blessed “are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28). Observe the connection in Hebrews 13:20-21; “Now may the God of peace… equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
We were created by God to bear His image through submissive living to His will. Salvation recreated us in Christ Jesus, gifting us with everything that is spiritually good, to bring Him pleasure and glory. We then walk by faith to express His character and grace through our obedient living for Christ; for His pleasure, for His glory, as a good testimony to the world, as encouragement to one-another, and for the renown of His name.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz