Tag Archives: Obedience

That is Not an Excuse – It is a Warning

July 16, 2014

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There is a verse in Romans 3 we all know:

… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… – Romans 3:23

But that is not even a complete sentence. We know it is telling us that all people have sinned, regardless of who we are. We can see that the Jews had it in their head that they were righteous enough just by being Jews. Paul shows us in Romans 3 that there is much more to it.

If we are not careful we are going to drift away from God, just like the Jews did.

It was predicted in the Psalms this would happen (as quoted by Paul in Romans 3:10-18.) In fact, they were so far gone they completely missed that the Messiah came and went.

Since we are all the same in God’s eyes, we all share the same potential to drift away if we do not practice the righteousness of God. The danger is thinking we are okay, when in fact we have drifted away because our faith is not the obedient kind like Paul describes in Romans 1:5 and Romans 16:26.

When Paul said we are all sinners, he was not giving us an excuse – he was giving us a warning. This was not permission to shrug and and say, “Oh well.”  Many are calling themselves Christians because they completed some steps, but they continued on in their worldly ways.

It is time to stop making excuses.

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Scoffing At the Truth

March 18, 2014

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The Sermon of John the Baptist - 1566 - Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)

The Sermon of John the Baptist – 1566 – Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)

I know I am heaven bound because I _____.

We are not stretching the truth too much if we say that most Christians can confidently finish that sentence. It is human nature to hear what one wants to hear and call it a day. By that I mean that many have heard just enough to believe they are saved and then quit pursuing salvation.

Sometimes they even scoff at the need to study farther.

John the Baptist gave us a great example in Luke 3:8. The Jews generally did not feel the need to repent because they were children of Abraham. This is a key reason for John’s mission to prepare the way for Christ. He needed to begin breaking through that human nature and get people thinking rightly about their salvation. They scoffed at the idea that there was more.

This is still a problem right now.

Many hear bits and pieces of the truth and quit listening. We are a people that want everything fast and easy. Our easy access to information encourages this by allowing us to find answers on demand rather than encouraging study.

Ignoring some of what God teaches us in his word makes us as much a scofflaw as parking in a handicap spot using someone else’s tags. We might be showing the sign, but we haven’t met the qualifications.

John, Jesus, the Apostles, Paul – they all taught us to obey everything God commanded.

  • It is to only way show God we love him
  • It is the only way to demonstrate our faith
  • It is the only way to help others find Christ

I know I am heaven bound because I _____.

Whenever we have the opportunity to finish that sentence, it is good to be confident of the answer. It is better to know that confidence is based on the full word of God.

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How to Get Adopted by Jesus

February 18, 2014

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jesusteachingJesus looked directly at you!

Sitting in a crowd of fellow followers you notice he makes eye contact with every person. Then he announces:

“Here are my mother and my brothers!” – Mark 3:34

Jesus wants to adopt each and every soul to his family. To get in, there is a simple requirement:

For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother. – Mark 3:35

Doing the will of God takes a lifetime of dedication.

But then, so does keeping any family strong.

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How to Get Ready For the Party

February 3, 2014

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An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 22:11-14 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England.

An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 22:11-14 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England.

It has become fashionable across Christianity to deemphasize strict obedience to the God’s word. Many emphasize just the aspects that they like and skip over the rest. Those who try to follow and teach what the Bible teaches are often called “legalists.” Ironically, the “gospel of love” they teach omits that part where Jesus said to keep his commandments if you really love him. (John 14:15) Admittedly, it is not hard to understand why this position sells so easily.

First, I respond to that position by saying that being obedient is not the same as being a legalist.

Second, I respond to the position by saying we should look at what Jesus taught. The Parable of the Wedding Feast is a great place to study this. (Matthew 22:1-14)

We’ll pick up the illustration where the invitation has been opened to all who would come and the king arrives. (Matthew 22:11) He takes a look at everyone who has “accepted” the invitation, but finds one who is unprepared to be there. The guest is asked to account for this infraction and he is stunned to silence. (Matthew 22:12)

Why was he silent?

  • He knew he had insulted the occasion
  • He knew he had no excuse
  • He couldn’t say he never had a chance

Sadly, many that have convinced themselves that it is ok to “come as they are” will find themselves in the same situation as this guest. In the same way that the expectation is for the guest to have known better, so it is for us at the judgment. Those not properly attired in obedience will be cast out.

What are some ways we can be better prepared for when the King returns?

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