Summary: Using an acrostic on the word "obey," this message deals with some things that are involved in obedience to the Lord.
Obedience Is Our Obligation
Text: Acts 5: 29
Intro: Obligations are something that most of us take very seriously. Most people feel that once they’ve committed themselves to something, such as a monthly payment or a promise of another kind, they should do everything in their power to fulfill that commitment. Fulfilling one’s responsibilities is simply a matter of positive personal pride on the part of most people. And so it should be.
We as Christians not only have our secular obligations, but also spiritual obligations. One of those obligations is obedience to Christ. Though we are commanded to live in obedience to Christ, that obedience should be the result of more than just a command to do so. I believe we are doubly obligated to obey Christ because of what He has done for us. If for no other reason, we should serve Him obediently out of gratitude for His mercy and grace demonstrated in salvation. However, gratitude alone will not enable us to obey Christ; only depending on His power daily, by faith, will accomplish that. But obedience is our Christian obligation just the same.
Using an acrostic on the word “obey,” I want to deal with some areas in which we need to commit ourselves to obedience to Christ.
Theme: Our obligation to obey Christ involves being:
John 12: 26b “…if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.”
A. We Need To Be Occupied With Bearing Fruit.
John 15: 8 “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
16a Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…”
NOTE: Not only should we bear fruit for Christ, but our service must also be rightly motivated.
Self-righteous service comes through human effort. True service comes from a relationship with the divine Other deep inside.
Self-righteous service is impressed with the “big deal.” True service finds it almost impossible to distinguish the small from the large service.
Self-righteous service requires external rewards. True service rests contented in hiddenness.
Self-righteous service is highly concerned about results. True service is free of the need to calculate results.
Self-righteous service picks and chooses whom to serve. True service is indiscriminate in its ministry.
Self-righteous service is affected by moods and whims. True service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need.
Self-righteous service is temporary. True service is a lifestyle.
Self-righteous service is without sensitivity. It insists on meeting the need even when to do so would be destructive. True service can withhold the service as freely as perform it.
Self-righteous service fractures community. True service, on the other hand, builds community.
Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, "The Discipline of Service."
B. We Need To Be Occupied With Broadcasting The Gospel Without Fail.
Acts 1: 8b “…and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”
Luke 24: 46 “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things.”
NOTE:  Here is a good definition of a witness:
A witness is someone who by explanation and demonstration gives audible and visible evidence of what he has seen and heard without being deterred by the consequences of his action.
S. Briscoe, Getting Into God, p. 76.
 Folks, we have the greatest news of all time—the news of forgiveness and redemption for all people. What a tragedy; yea, what a crime if we don’t tell others of Christ.
George Sweeting, in his book The No-Guilt Guide for Witnessing, tells of a man by the name of John Currier who in 1949 was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Later he was transferred and paroled to work on a farm near Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1968, Currier’s sentence was terminated, and a letter bearing the good news was sent to him. But John never saw the letter, nor was he told anything about it. Life on that farm was hard and without promise for the future. Yet John kept doing what he was told even after the farmer for whom he worked had died.
Ten years went by. Then a state parole officer learned about Currier’s plight, found him, and told him that his sentence had been terminated. He was a free man.
Sweeting concluded that story by asking, “Would it matter to you if someone sent you an important message—the most important in your life—and year after year the urgent message was never delivered?”
We who have heard the good news and experienced freedom through Christ are responsible to proclaim it to others still enslaved by sin. Are we doing all we can to make sure that people get the message?