Obeying God: Is it Necessary? Is it Required by His Law, or a Blessing of His Gospel?
Discussion/Devotional THought of the Day:
10 We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life. Ephesians 2:10 (NJB)
9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. 11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, Colossians 1:9-11 (NLT)
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Romans 6:1-2 (NLT)
18 Please echo these words for me: it is no “sacrifice” for parents when God asks them for their children. Neither, for those he calls, is it a sacrifice to follow him. It is, on the contrary, an immense honour, a reason for a great and holy pride, a mark of predilection, a very special affection that God has shown at a particular time, but which has been in his mind from all eternity. (1)
There is a misunderstanding among many Christians about things like obedience and sacrifice and striving to overcome temptation and sin. Some will demand other people the strictest levels of obedience, Others will say that even calling for people to obey is wrong, because we are not saved by our works, and they take that to mean they are not required of those who are saved. That they cannot be required, They would argue that to encourage people to live out their lives, trusting in God’s promises is somehow wrong.
Neither quite gets it,
Obedience doesn’t come about from a requirement, it comes about from love. You don’t willingly sacrifice your life, you don’t set it apart our of obligation, but instead you do it because of knowing God’s love. Obedience is an act of adoration, Sacrificing yourself, as a minister or missionary, or just the time you invest in teaching some junior highers isn’t an obligation, but rather a life lived in response to love. It is the way the Holy Spirit transforms us, causing us to focus on Christ’s love for us, even as He changes and empowers us. The call to obedience is that which should naturally be drawn to, even as they are drawn to confess their sins when they fail. For they know and trust in God’s love, a love that will heal and cleanse, a love that will strengthen and assure. A love which shares with us His desire, that as His children we may work alongside Him.
That is why there is such good fruit that cones from it, that is why serving God, obeying God, following God’s way, working to see His will complete is such a blessing. For we often do not think of such things as sacrifices, such work is not a burden.
It is simply walking with our God, who considers us His beloved!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 300-303). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.