Christianity is a Verb (Part 3)
by Robert Driskell 2/28/2011 / Christian Living
The Necessity of Obedience
When Jesus first called his disciples, they immediately dropped what they were doing and followed him. They did not claim that they believed what He was saying but then turn back to the jobs they were doing. They responded with obedient action. They obeyed Him.
Jesus says that an evidence of the authenticity our relationship with Him is that we want to obey Him:
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (John 14:15 NASB cf. John 14:24; 1 John 2:8, 3:22-24, 5:2-3)
This obedience is not a forced obedience that responds grudgingly out of a sense of duty; something we feel we are required to do. It is not some spiritual duty we imagine we are required to fulfill. Rather, it flows from a heart that so loves Jesus as to make following Him and pleasing Him something that we do naturally. It is not a dutyit is a privilege. Not something we dread, but something we anticipate with joy. This comes from a heart that has been changed by the love of God, filled with His love, and seeking to share that love with others.
The Bible tells us that, in order to be saved, we must have faith in God. The basic meaning of the word 'faith' is built upon an element of obedience. Concerning the basic meaning of the Greek word for 'faith', one online site puts it this way:
the meaning intended is in the sense of faithfulness, or loyalty as owed to one in whom one is embedded for service (in this case, the body of Christ)..."Faith" is not a feeling, but our pledge to trust, and be reliable servants to, our patron (God), who has provided us with tangible gifts (Christ) and proof thereby of His own reliability...Modern sentiments that call Jesus our "friend" and suppose that we ought to talk to God as to our best buddy are, in this context, clearly misplaced. (http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatfaith.html Accessed 2/18/2011)
Jesus' commandments are not like the tasks laid upon us by man. Along with the commands, Jesus supplies the ability to carry them out through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB)
Following Jesus gives us peace, joy, and the knowledge that we are doing God's will. Only then are we fulfilling the purpose for which we were created.
To be continued...
Seeking to introduce people to Jesus Christ and to help them become "transformed by the renewing of their mind."