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Summary: Christians are called to live a lifestyle of Obedience with Christ

Understanding Obedience

1 John 3:21-24, James 1:22-27

May 17, 2009

Morning Service


Imagine, if you will, that you work for a company whose president found it necessary to travel out of the country and spend an extended period of time abroad. So he says to you and the other trusted employees, "Look, I’m going to leave. And while I’m gone, I want you to pay close attention to the business. You manage things while I’m away. I will write you regularly. When I do, I will instruct you in what you should do from now until I return from this trip." Everyone agrees.

He leaves and stays gone for a couple of years. During that time he writes often, communicating his desires and concerns. Finally he returns. He walks up to the front door of the company and immediately discovers everything is in a mess--weeds flourishing in the flower beds, windows broken across the front of the building, the gal at the front desk dozing, loud music roaring from several offices, two or three people engaged in horseplay in the back room. Instead of making a profit, the business has suffered a great loss. Without hesitation he calls everyone together and with a frown asks, "What happened? Didn’t you get my letters?"

You say, "Oh, yeah, sure. We got all your letters. We’ve even bound them in a book. And some of us have memorized them. In fact, we have ’letter study’ every Sunday. You know, those were really great letters." I think the president would then ask, "But what did you do about my instructions?" And, no doubt the employees would respond, "Do? Well, nothing. But we read every one!"

This may sound silly but this is the way that many Christians try to follow Jesus. They may hear the Truth but do nothing about it. American culture has created a passive form of Christianity that is totally unbiblical. We are meant to make active attempts to live out the message of God’s Truth

Passive Christianity is morally wrong – Bruce Barton

Obedience is one of those issues that we seem to struggle with. We tend to think that obedience is for animals or children. We often think like this because we forget the simple fact that we are not in control. Obedience is an act of surrendering your eill to the will of the Master. An essential trait to living as a disciple of Jesus.

The issue of obedience is one that you deal with every day. Each day you make the decision to obey the traffic laws and drive the speed limit. You make the decision to obey the guidelines set by your employer. You decide to obey your conscience. You decide to obey the divine direction that God gives you.

Each time that you live with an obedient heart you add to the foundation of your life. Each time that you decide to disobey you tear away and piece of that foundation. Every day you are either building your foudation or you are tearing it apart.

21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:21-24

It is clear that the blessing of God flows to those who obey Him. Disobedience is one of the things we least like to talk about because deep down we know we are guilty. At some point we know that we are disobedient.

"Those who believe in the Holy Scriptures are bound to observe its teachings. Those who do not are to be bound by its consequences." William Bradford

Obedience is part of knowing Christ

The secret of true obedience is the clear and close personal relationship to God. All our attempts after full obedience will be failures until we get access to his abiding fellowship. It is God’s holy presence consciously abiding with us that keeps us from disobeying Him. I must consciously include the Lord in every thought, activity, and conversation until the habit is established.

-- Andrew Murray

Obedience is the completion of our relationship with Christ. When you obey Christ, comes and dwells within your life. The obedience to Jesus allows Him the opportunity to take up residence in your life. The more you obey, the greater place He can have in life. When you disobey it gives Jesus less and less place.

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