Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: For the believer, obedience to Christ is NOT a choice because we are commanded by Christ to be obedient!

Date Written: November 11, 2006

Date Preached: November 12, 2006

Where Preached: OZHBC (AM)

Sermon Series: Living a Life of Service

Sermon Title: The Service of Submissive Obedience

Sermon Text: John 14:21; 15:10-24; Matt 22:37-40


As believers we are called by God to be submissive and obedient to His will. And for many of us that statement or that commandment is confusing and difficult for us to understand… simply because we do not understand the ‘what’ when it comes to submission and obedience to God.

First, I want everyone here this morning to know that God does not encourage us to be obedient… God DEMANDS obedience of His children. It is a direct commandment of God that we be obedient to His commandments.

But for many believers… the commandments of God is not something they can lay their hands on… it is something nebulous or hard to grasp… well if you are one of these people today, I am so glad that you are here… because when you leave this church this morning you will no longer be able to say that you do not understand what God’s commandments are… or what you are called to be obedient to…

This morning I want us to look at John 14:21 and see that is reveals to all believers that the only way we can reveal our love to God is to be obedient to His commands… so this morning I want to share with you the 3 commands that Christ set forth that we MUST obey… and if you are obedient in these 3 areas… you will be obedient in ALL areas of your Christian walk.

But understand obedience to Christ is submission to Him. So many believers FAIL to realize what true obedience to God requires… it requires TOTAL submission in our hearts and minds…

Total submission to God is revealed in Mary when the angel of God appeared to her and told her what was going to happen. Christin Ditchfield, in a recent issue of Focus on The Family magazine, writes that basically Mary took the news in stride.

“[Mary] didn’t demand a sign or some sort of proof or additional confirmation. She voiced no complaint at the total disruption of her life. She knew now that things would not turn out the way she had planned at all.” However, “…in her [Mary’s] heart there was no resistance, no rebellion. Just a sweet, simple submission-surrender to the will of God.”

SOURCE: Christin Ditchfield, Focus on the Family Magazine.

[Illustration found on sermoncentral.com]

We find Mary in total submission to God and we find in her life she was happy and content in God’s plan for her. So often we believe that we simply cannot be happy if we submit to God’s call on our lives… and without submission, obedience cannot happen!

It is because we simply cannot be obedient without a submissive spirit. There was a great missionary pioneer named Hudson Taylor who once said, "The real secret of an unsatisfied life lies too often in an unsurrendered will." Lack of submission on our part will bring lack of fulfillment in our walk in Christ.

Mary Lewis once said, “…Halfhearted obedience satisfies neither us, nor God….” -- Mary Lewis

[Illustration found on sermoncentral.com]

This is one reason we have so many unfulfilled and malcontented Christians in our world today… they want the peace and joy that comes with salvation, but they refuse to submit and surrender their hearts as God requires… They want all the privileges without any of the responsibility!

There are some of us who are willing to be obedient but we put God off for a while and debate whether or not we want to do what God is calling us to do… but let me share with you, as I have shared before from this pulpit… half-hearted obedience is NOT obedience at all…

In fact the great theologian Thomas a Kampis said this about hesitance in our obedience to God. He said, “Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience…”

[Illustration found on sermoncentral.com]

Our total submission to Christ is reflected in our immediate obedience to His call on our lives. There are a lot of believers today who pray to be used by God is some great way… to go on the mission field or something like that…and that is not really what God means when He demands total submission in our life!

Let me explain by sharing a story told by Mark Twain…

There was once a wealthy businessman, who was well known for being ruthless and unethical. He told Mark Twain that before he died, he wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He said that when he got there he wanted to climb to the top of Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments, and there read the Ten Commandments aloud at the top.

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