This message was preached by
Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace church on the 10th of March 2013. You can download the audio mp3 by clicking here.
Today we are going to look at the 6th thing we need to do individually and corporately to make our vision of 13/30 happen. One of the key things that needs to be addressed in the church today is obedience.
The problem with the average Christian and the church is disobedience. Today I want to address this issue- obedience to the Word of God and surrender to His will. We saw this come through the worship and Sunny’s prayer this morning too.
Obedience is the hinge on which all the commands of the Bible rests.
Matt 21:28 Is about a story of two sons; one who obeys and one who does not. There are two kinds of people – sinners and the religious people. The religious people paid lip service to the Word of God, whereas the tax collector repented and turned around. God wants us to grow in obedience. Today obeying God’s word is confused with legalism. We confuse grace with license to sin.
Legalism is striving to earn God’s love through going good work. You can’t earn his love. Its agape love, not dependent on what we are but because he loves us. Read Romans 5:8 – Graces loves unconditionally.
Where does obedience come in then? It’s about us loving God.
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”
John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.
John 14:23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
It is crystal clear here. Word are easy but actions are harder. This is not legalism but a demonstration that we love Jesus.
Titus 2:11-14 describes what Grace is . For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. “ As we are filled with the grace of God we can live self controlled lives. He gives us the ability to change and not be lazy.
Therefore discipline and grace go hand in hand.
Luther who was so strong on grace said “ We are saved by faith alone but faith that saves is never alone”
Faith and works – the faith that saves works.
1 Jn 2:3-6 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Over and over again in scripture the proof of our belonging to Jesus is a transformed life.
Abraham was an amazing man. There was quick obedience in his life. He moved from Ur to Haraan and then to Cannan. Ur was the cradle of civilization. The equivalent today would be asking you to move from London or New York or Mumbai and go to a small town or village. But Abraham did it. In Genesis 17:10,23 God asks this 90 year old to get circumcised along with his household. Imagine that! Abraham obeyed immediately “on that very day…”
Gen 22:3 God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son. There was no waiting , debating. “Early the next morning “ v.15
James 1:22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Phil 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Jesus is our perfect model. He is not asking us to do something he has not already done. He was obedient to the point of death. Let’s get hold of this attitude of Jesus.
What is God speaking to you this morning? Maybe you have put your faith in Jesus. Maybe you have trusted in him and you need to get baptized.
Maybe it’s a sin, or struggling with loving, submission, giving etc
What motivates our obedience?
Matt 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
When he commands we better obey. Rom 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
How do we do this?
1. When we hear God we ought to obey. Maturity comes through obedience. Luke 11:27-28
Firstly we need to hear the Word of God daily in our Quiet Time. Write out a verse or two in your journal. Re write it in your words and then write down “ I will….” i.e what you will do/put into practice. Do this every time you encounter the Word of God. What will you do with the WORD this morning?
2. Share it with someone
3. Actually obey what you have read.
If you do this for the rest of your Christian life I guarantee you, you will grow to maturity. Once ounce of obedience is far better than a ton of knowledge.
The Church is full of people who are full of knowledge but very little obedience. Remember we are not trying to earn God’s love but demonstrating our love from HIM through our obedience.