OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST
"His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." -- John 2:5
The best measure of a spiritual life is not its ecstasies, but its obedience. Spirituality cannot be measured by "mountain-top" experiences, religious feelings, and spurts of great emotion. Spiritual life must be measured by faithfulness and obedience to Christ. I denounce with every fiber of my renewed soul every thought of gaining or improving God's favor by personal obedience. We are saved by grace alone.
Yet, I denounce with equal fervor every heretical notion of men which suggests that there is such a thing as salvation in Christ without obedience to Christ. If Christ is not my Lord, he is not my Savior. There is no such thing as a believer who is not a follower, a saved sinner who is not a disciple of Christ, or faith without obedience. It is both our responsibility and our privilege to obey our Lord in all things.
THE CAUSE of obedience is the grace of God. If anyone has a heart inclined toward obedience to Christ, that heart is the gift of God's grace. Graceless souls obey religion, but not Christ. Only those who are born of God are obedient to Christ. Lost religionists render a form of obedience, obedience on their terms. Believers yield themselves to the dominion of Christ willingly, without reserve.
THE CHARACTER of obedience is essentially two-fold. First, there must be the preparation of the heart. Our Lord will not accept any service but that which arises from a willing heart. That which is done in the name of Christ, by constraint of law, for fear of punishment or hope of reward, is a mockery of Christ's name. Our Lord requires heart obedience. Second, our obedience must be universal. If we obey our Lord with sincerity, we seek to obey him in all things. It is not the servant's prerogative to choose which of his master's commands he will obey. We, if we love Christ, would obey our Master in all things perfectly. That is our hearts' desire.
THE COST of obedience must be counted. There is no such thing as obedience without a price. Therefore, the Lord Jesus requires that we “count the cost” before we profess faith in him. The cost will often be very high. But the cost must never interfere with our obedience to our Master's will.
THE CONDITION of obedience is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Precisely to the degree that we trust Christ, we will obey Christ. The root and essence of disobedience is unbelief.
THE CONSEQUENCE of obedience is satisfaction. Obedience to Christ has no bearing upon our relationship with Christ, though our relationship with Christ does have a great bearing upon our obedience. However, the believing heart does find great satisfaction by obedience to Christ. I want to so obey Christ that upon my dying bed I can honestly say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." God, give me that kind of obedience, for Christ’s sake.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #868
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 859-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org