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Tag: obedience

Matt. 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Lord Jesus, the very Messiah God promised, uttered these words.  In short, He was saying that loving your neighbor as yourself equates to treating people the way you would want to be treated.  Notice, however, that Christ added no qualifications or stipulations to this Royal Law.  He did not say “treat others the way you would want to be treated only if they treat you that way.”  Neither did Christ say that you should expect others to treat you that way.  In fact, Christ said quite the opposite:
Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
Now, this command of loving your neighbor as yourself takes on a whole new meaning.  Now, we are expected to treat people the way we would want to be treated even if they treat us wrongly first. Kingdom citizens do not retaliate in anger or violence; rather, we retaliate in love.
But what else is the Christ telling us in this passage?  He is telling us that if we obey His command of treating people the way we want to be treated, then we have done nothing less than the equivalent of obeying all of the Law of Moses and the Prophets.  Think about the depth of that statement for a moment.  By practicing this one instruction – that is, treating people the way we would want to be treated – we have met the standard of keeping all of the Law of Moses and the Prophets.  What makes this statement even more profound is that it applies to all who submit to the Lord Jesus.  This means that even if I wasn’t raised as one who was Jewish, by obeying this universal command of Christ I have met the equivalent of fulfilling all that God commanded of Israel in the Law and the Prophets.  Tomorrow, we will continue examining this Royal Law in the story of the Good Samaritan.

Today, we read an excerpt from the upcoming book “A Glimpse of the Kingdom”:

“God, however, is not a God that desires to coerce anyone into loving and obeying him.  God wants the heart of a person; or in this case, the heart of a nation.  Think about that principle for a moment – what mother, who carried a child in her womb for nine months, and then fed and provided for the child, would not want the affection of that child?  What father would not want the love and admiration of his children?  What husband would not want to be revered by his wife?  Likewise, God desired to be loved and honored by the nation he chose out of all the other nations in this world.”

Just as God desired the affection and love of Israel, Christ desires the love and affection of the church.  How do we show that love and affection?  Through our obedience.  “If you love me, obey my commands.”  The true church should be striving to unite, not divide.  There is only one bride Christ Jesus is returning for – the unified church.  May the spiritual church endeavor to be one.

faith-1Yesterday, we examined the Biblical definition of the word “belief.”  Today, we will consider the concept of faith.
Heb. 11:Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently search for him.
We are told that if we come to God, there are two things we must believe: a) that God exists; and b) that God rewards those that diligently seek him. If we use the definition of belief which we discussed yesterday, then we are convinced of the existence of God, and it is that conviction that compels us to seek him.  The words “faith” and “belief” in this passage in this verse are variations of the same Greek word – pistis.  This means that our words “faith” and “belief” contain the same concept of being convinced something is true to the point that one is compelled to take action.  It is this display of obedience which is the substance of things hoped for, and this same obedience is the evidence of things not seen:
Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.
Put another way, saints of God are certain of the return of Christ, and obey His commands until the time of His return is fulfilled.  Their confidence in God’s existence is evident in their actions.  These saints are not preoccupied with proving to others that God exists, because that is not what Christ commanded them to do.  Christ commanded them to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, not prove to others that God exists.  For those who do believe, no proof of God’s existence is necessary.  For those who do not believe, no proof of God’s existence will suffice.  Our objective, as saints of God, is to obey God daily by listening and submitting to the Holy Spirit.  This is how we diligently search for the God which we cannot see with our eyes. Our certainty is that God will reward those who are actively engaged in seeking God and his kingdom.

abraham-and-isaac-sacrifice-craftGenesis 15:And Abram believed the Lord, and he counted that to him for righteousness.

What does it mean to believe?  In today’s world, to believe simply means that one is convinced that something is true.  If someone says “I believe in God,” that translates to “I am convinced that God exists.”  Biblical belief, however, has an additional component.  Biblical belief is not only being convinced that something is true, but it is such a conviction that it compels a person to take action.

Romans 10:For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved:
The belief is not simply being convinced that God raised Christ from the dead, it is being convinced to the point that you must take action.  What kind of action would you take? Obedience to the commands and instructions of Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord.
For wives, true belief is not simply being convinced this is true, but being compelled to obey this command.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it,
For husbands, true belief is not simply being convinced this is true, but being compelled to obey this command.

Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil: procure things honest in the sight of all men.  18 If it be possible, as much as in you is, have peace with all men.  19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with goodness.

For all saints, it is not enough to simply read this passage in the Bible and be convinced of its sincerity; saints must also be compelled to obey this command.  It is our obedience to the command that makes it a living truth.  It is through our humble submission that the world will know that the true and living God exists.  For what benefit comes from being convinced of a truth that doesn’t change our conduct:
Luke 6:46 But why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I speak?  Why say that I am convinced that Jesus is Lord if I refuse to submit to His authority as Lord?  In this way, my actions are speaking my true heart:  I am convinced in my mind that I agree with what is written on the pages in the Bible, but in my heart I am not convinced He is Lord.  Biblical belief for saints of God is a conviction that requires an accompanying action.