Summary: To walk in obedience means to walk in love.
A. The story is told about a groom, whom during the wedding rehearsal, approached the minister with an unusual offer.
1. “Look, I’ll give you $100 if you’ll change the wedding vows. When you get to the part where I’m to promise to ’love, honor and obey’ and ’forsaking all others, be faithful to her forever,’ I’d appreciate it if you’d just leave that part out.”
2. He passed the minister the cash and walked away satisfied.
3. The wedding day arrived, and they arrived at the part of the ceremony where the vows are exchanged.
4. When it came time for the groom’s vows, the minister looked the young man in the eye and said, “Will you promise to bow yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life, and swear eternally to not even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?”
5. The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, “I Do.”
6. After the ceremony, the groom took the minister aside and said, “I thought we had a deal.”
7. The minister put the $100 into his hand and said, “Sorry, she made me a much better offer.”
B. “Obedience” – mere mention of the word causes many of us to recoil, doesn’t it.
1. We ultimately want to be our own bosses. There’s a part of us that doesn’t want to obey anyone or anything.
2. That’s true for citizens and employees, and adults and children.
3. And it’s also true for children of God.
4. Someone has rightly said, “Every great person first learned how to obey, whom to obey and when to obey.
5. When it comes to pleasing God and walking in the light, obedience is primary.
C. Glenn’s brother, Tom Olbricht, published a new book last year called “Life Together: The Heart of Love and Fellowship in 1 John.” I want to read a few paragraphs to you.
1. In the preface Tom writes, “A jarring incident toward the end of the first century disturbed the churches in Western Asia Minor where John the aged apostle now lived. A number of the members, perhaps some of longer standing, turned their backs on their fellow believers and departed. We don’t know exactly what these people did when they departed. We do know they were dissatisfied. We know that they disdained the brothers and sisters they left behind. Did the dropouts start new churches? We don’t know for sure, but it seems likely. Some may have completely drifted away and pursued other interests.”
2. Tom continues, “Did the defectors claim superiority over the Christians left behind? The secessionists obviously claimed special experiences and insights. They alleged that they were anointed in a special manner unlike those who remained in these “humdrum” churches. They in turn felt called upon to teach others their superior understandings. They also apparently made claims as to sinlessness since John assures those to whom he writes that they can make the same claim. (But with a whole different meaning.) Those who left clearly did not love their brothers and sisters and in this they sinned despite claiming sinlessness.”