Summary: There is a new problem within the modern day New Testament church that is growing. That is – many Christians are now under the impression that obedience is no longer needed. Whether or not people obey God’s commandments doesn’t seem to be as important as
COVENANT OF OBEDIENCE
Most (if not all) of us find it only natural to want to do whatever it is that God wants us to do. We may have learned this nature while growing up. We wanted to obey our parents because we loved them and we knew they loved us. Perhaps we even obeyed them rather than being punished.
Whatever our reasons – we tried to be obedient children, but we often failed at it. It is very similar in our daily lives as Christians. We try but we often fail.
It used to be that if you admitted that you failed in your walk with Christ that people would talk about you, even judge you, and eventually would condemn you if you failed often enough.
Do you remember those days of condemnation and gossip? Hopefully we have learned a little something about forgiveness and grace, since those days…
Nowadays there seems to be more teaching and understanding about God’s Grace, and for that I am thankful. I thought that maybe we need to step back and get a little perspective on the importance of living a life of obedience…as Believers, that is…
The Old Testament and the thinking of the “old covenant” are really similar terms. Likewise the New Testament is thought of as the “new covenant”.
Allow me to give you a little of the “old covenant”:
If you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a holy nation.
Obey the voice of the Lord, and do His commandments. Deuteronomy 30:8
There are many other passages I could give you but what we see is that God’s favor/approval was completely dependant on whether or not the people obeyed His commandments. The laws of God were difficult to live by and mankind failed miserably.
All of these laws made the “old covenant” a difficult path of holiness that few could walk on without stumbling.
But God also wants us to be on a path of forgiveness.
After the “old covenant” came the “new covenant.” This relationship with the Lord is what we have come to know and love by means of Jesus dieing on the cross for our sins. His mercy and His grace are free for the taking to us and we don’t have to earn any of God’s love. Jesus paid the price on our behalf. Amen! Amen!
Unfortunately, there is a new problem within the modern day New Testament church that is growing (especially here in the United States).
That is – many Christians are now under the impression that obedience is no longer needed.
Whether or not people obey God’s commandments doesn’t seem to be as important as it once was (to lots of people).
The common saying seems to be:
“Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”
Although this may be true, it should not be our cop-out for obeying the statutes of God’s Holy Word. Amen?
Contrary to popular belief, God has not changed His mind about OBEDIENCE. Man is finding himself abusing God’s free grace to the point of mockery to the Word of God. It must stop. We are offending the Spirit of the Lord.
Text: Ezekiel 36:25 – 27
If there is one thing we need to know tonight – it is the place that OBEDIENCE takes in the “new covenant”.
OBEDIENCE IS ESSENTIAL
OBEDIENCE began in the Garden of Eden with Adam.
“the Lord God commanded the man” not to eat of the forbidden fruit. Genesis 2:6
From that moment on, man tried time and again but only failed.
But now “the new covenant” was not given to man as a license to sin, but rather it was brought so that man would be able to obey God.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19
If I were to ask everyone here if they thought they could ever do all that God expected of them, most (if not all) would say that it was not likely. In other words we would doubt whether or not that could ever happen. This would be our typical response.
We may even pray and ask God to help us, but few of us would believe for God to keep us from committing sin. I would suggest this is actually our problem…
Let me say this again…OBEDIENCE IS ESSENTIAL
One step further… OBEDIENCE IS POSSIBLE
The thought that man does not believe that he can be delivered from committing sin goes against the foundations of God’s relationship with man.
When we come to the point that we will say that obeying God is too difficult virtually takes us all of the way back to the “old covenant” as it was in the Garden of Eden with Adam.