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A Life Of Obedience

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  1. Sin came about through disobedience. (Romans 5:19). Lord Jesus reversed this by obeying God perfectly, representing mankind in righteousness. To keep this brief, we can see that disobedience is the root of sin.

    Obviously the reverse is true. Obedience is essential if we want to live in a way that pleases God. However, the question is continually posed, what do we obey? Is the 10 commandments? Is it whatever of the 613 Levitical commandments that apply to us? (Good luck with working that out.)

    The New Covenant is new because it transcends the law and commandments. Why do we need a new covenant? What was wrong with the old? In fact, nothing. The problem is with us, not the commandments. Everyone fails the first commandment. Who loves their neighbour as they love themselves? And Lord Jesus made it clear (sermon on the Mount) that God sees the heart and is not impressed with outward appearances.

    So how do we deal with this dilemma? One approach is to try really hard to change ourselves. We can strive to live according to the 10 commandments. And we will fail. Is God unfair? Has He saddled us with impossible demands? No, God is not unfair, and yes, God's commands are impossible for us to keep. The problem is not what we might think. We do not obey God for one very simple reason. We do not want to.

    Disobedience flows from rebellion and pride, the nature of Satan. Adam took this on when he disobeyed in Eden. Every person ever born is the same. God's antidote is drastic. He kills the disobedient nature through the death of Christ on the cross. He raises us up to new life through the resurrection of Christ. This is what He foretold through Ezekiel, 36:26.

    God is a Person and wants a personal relationship with those He created. He spoke to Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, the prophets, the kings and priests. Those who obeyed, He blessed. King Saul discovered the cost of disobedience. Let no one imagine that God only speaks through words on a stone!

    "Arise, cross the Jordan" is not found in the Law. On its own, the law is inadequate, even in the OT. This does not mean that we can live a life of sin, far from it. So how do we live? It is not as difficult as it may seem.

    God told Ezekiel that He would put His Spirit in the new heart that He (God) would impart to His people. God would cause people to walk in His ways. If we can grasp this, it changes everything. The responsibility for living in a way that pleases God is no longer ours. Lord Jesus Himself will be the causing factor in our lives. He already lived the life that satisfied God. He overcame every temptation that we could ever face. He lives in the believer in the person of His Holy Spirit. He both commands us and also enables us to obey.

    Most new Christians embark on a self improvement program. There is avast amount of help available. Books, commentaries, a Bible for every demographic, preaching and teaching via youtube and the weekly dose from the pulpit. Yet the church, at least in the Western world, is in decline. Obviously something is wrong with this approach.

    What is missing is the personal relationship with Christ. I've been greatly helped by others, but it is the start of the day, when I spend time with Lord Jesus, that is the key to spiritual growth. Many know about Jesus. Not so many actually know Him as a real person. You can go to the movies and watch a film star, you can visit the fan club web site and follow all the news about that person. You will find out something about that person but you will not know them. If you become a personal friend of that person, then yes, you can get to know them.

    Lord Jesus seeks friends. That may seem hard to comprehend, but it is true. He is the "Friend of sinners". He befriends us - will we become His friend in response? And now we come back to the original premise. Lord Jesus said that we are His friends if we do as He commands (John 15:14). Are we willing to give up our own, independent self-will? We cannot serve two masters. Either Jesus is Lord or we are. Having tried it both ways, I can assure you that Lord Jesus is infinitely wiser, more loving, more forgiving and caring than we are - even when it comes to our own lives. Let Him lead you and take care of you. You will never regret it.

    About Author

    Aussie Pete
    Born again about 50 years ago. Now 70. Called to be a teacher of God's Word. That means being a pastor as well. I've worked since the age of 15. I retired at 64. I'm divorced.

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