Summary: In Part 4 of this series we examine IF situations that pertains to our being obedient to God.
IF Part 4
This the fourth message in my series on the importance of paying attention to the word “IF” when we read it in the Bible. Although a small word, as we’ve seen in the first three messages, for a person who says he or she is washed in the blood of Jesus, who says he or she is a child of God, and who says that the Bible is God speaking to us today, the word IF shines a very bright light on whether or not a person truly believes what God has said in His Word. In the first three messages, I referred to this as having fellowship with God and not a relationship with Him. New Light, I made this distinction, and I will do so in every message of the series, because it’s very important for us to understand that who we are – God’s sons and daughters – is not a guarantee that we will be in agreement with Him. “Who we are” is relationship. What we do in that relationship – the degree to which we agree or disagree with our Father – determines our fellowship. And it’s in the fellowship where the blessings that are promised to us in the Bible come to pass in our lives. And this leads me to the message this morning.
This morning we are going to be looking at IF situations that pertains to our obedience to God. We will be examining the importance that God places on our obeying Him in the face of IF situations. Sometimes I don’t believe that we truly understand how critical it is to always say “Yes” to God. I don’t believe we understand that when it comes to the how we respond to God, and I mean primarily through what He has spoken in the Bible, that if we are going to be in fellowship with Him, then obedience – yielding to Him in all things – is our only choice. Obeying God is THE guiding principle that runs throughout scripture and we see this very early in the first book of the Bible. But before we go there, I want you see how important obedience is, especially when we are faced with IF situations. Turn to Matthew chapter 26. I want you to see something that Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, IF is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will’….. He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, IF this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.’” (Matthew 26:39, 42) When the time came for Jesus to be crucified, Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. As He prayed He asked His Father “IF” it were possible for Him not to go through what He was about to experience. Jesus knew what He was about to endure and His heart was heavy. Twice He asked His Father IF there was another way but He ended His request with “Your will be done.” I want you to see that in Jesus heart being obedient to His Father was more important than anything else! I will come back to this point later but for now let’s look at what was recorded in Genesis 3.
You know this story. The serpent enters the Garden of Eden and over a period of time convinces Eve to eat of the tree that God had forbidden for her and Adam to eat of. She eats and then she gives the fruit to Adam and he eats. The moment Adam bit into the fruit is the moment the human race lost its eternal life. Again, we know the story. God confronts Adam, then Eve and then circles back to Adam. In Genesis 3:17 we find out what it was that made God so angry and it’s something that makes all parents angry with their children. Verse seventeen says, “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’; ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.’” God says to Adam, “You knew what I said. You knew I told you not to eat the fruit from that tree. But you ignored Me. You didn’t listen. Instead, you sided with your wife against Me – you obeyed what she said rather than My face-to face instructions to you.” Do you see this? New Light, we are here today in this world needing a Savior because Adam failed to obey God – plain and simple! I want you to see in the second chapter of Genesis what God told Adam so that you understand why this was so important.