Monday, April 9, 2012

Invited To Obedience Part 5

     The understanding and affirmation of a Christ-changed heart that “delights in the law of God” does not provide a “method,” or “key” or “secret” for the living of a godly life (Romans 7:22).

     There are no such “magic bullets,” as it were, that slay the potential for sin that will always exist during our earthly sojourn.  There is rather Truth, that is, the living truth of the Person of Christ – “I am… the truth” – and the written truth of the Bible – “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (John 14:6; Psalm 119:130).  God’s desire for born again believers involves living relationship whereby godliness involves the ongoing need for knowing, trusting and communing with Him.  Methods, keys and secrets would lead to ritual rather than reality, and to a cold, sterile attempt to obey commands rather than the joyful fruitbearing of being loved by God, and loving Him in response.  Our Heavenly Father will be satisfied by nothing less, and neither will we.

     Recognizing that such relationship with God is the delight of our hearts does help establish a strong foundation upon which we grow in faith and obedience.  Many believers mistake our challenge with the flesh as indication that we are no less at war with God and His will than we were before we believed.  However, God does not view the matter in this way.  Throughout the New Testament epistles, declarations of an already accomplished work of change in our innermost being call us to expect consistent and increasing faithfulness to God.  To the degree we know and account such truth to be true, we will find ourselves far more prepared to walk in accordance with the truth.  The swan lived as the ugly duckling he formerly was until in the mirrored waters of the lake he discovered he had become more than he thought himself to be.  In similar manner, failure to know and believe the work already performed in our innermost being will keep us from the practical outworking of such grace.  “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

    This truth is blessed encouragement to the weary and frustrated.  “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest” (Matthew 11:28).  It is also, however, great challenge.  “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48).  The gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit and a Christ-changed heart removes every excuse for sin and a life lived without faithful trust and obedience.  Born again believers are super-charged vessels inhabited by “Christ, the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:24).  Thus, no justifiable reason for ungodliness exists, and no justifiable reason for failure to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).

Tomorrow: our enemies’ attempts to hinder our knowledge of the truth that leads to more consistent godliness.

“His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
(II Peter 1:3)

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