The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 2 - The Expectation of Obedience
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).
Should born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ expect to obey or disobey God?
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen" (Ephesians 3:20).
The New Testament resounds with the assurance of "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." The Apostle Paul refers to such grace as a "law." Like the law of gravity in the natural realm, it is factual and actual that the Lord Jesus dwells in every believer and "worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Clearly, the rising sun of each new day beckons us to believe that the risen Son will lead us in a day of faith and faithfulness. We should expect to consistently trust and obey God through the power of the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge that sin is possible and sometimes actual in all believers. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). While never inevitable or excusable, sin happens in Christians, sometimes in very serious and ongoing ways. This entices many believers to think that they cannot overcome certain temptations, based on past experience and present feeling. Thereby our spiritual enemies tempt us to expect disobedience as much or more than obedience. We forget or do not know the law that ever works in us, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." This sets us up for failure rather than faithfulness. "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58).
An ugly secret lurks in this forlorn perspective: when we do not expect growing faith and faithfulness, we besmirch God rather than ourselves. By definition, the Christian life must be lived "in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10). If I do not expect to obey, I therefore imply that God is not faithful and the risen Lord Jesus still lies in His tomb. Of course, some might say, "Oh no, the issue is not the Lord that makes me less than hopeful. It's me!" No, it's not. Our Heavenly Father does not call us to fulfill even the slightest act of faith and faithfulness by our own devices. "Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). He rather promises His motivation and enabling as the power of all godliness. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). Thus, any lack of expectation regarding obedience speaks not of how we view ourselves, but how we view Him. "Consider Him... lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:3).
We were born again by grace through faith. We are kept by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; I Peter 1:5). Most believers have strong confidence in such Christ-based assurance. However, we also live the Christian life by grace through faith (Colossians 2:6). We must therefore have the same assurance regarding the life to which God calls us. Is the tomb of the Lord Jesus empty? Is His Heavenly throne occupied? Does His Spirit dwell within us to enable obedience to the Word of God? Yes. Yes. Yes! Our answers, regardless of past experience or present emotion, determine the course of our Christian life and the content of our hope. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" commands our confident expectation of such grace. We are privileged and obligated to walk in the glory that ensues when we anticipate the faithfulness of God that empowers our own faithfulness...
"My expectation is from Him."
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, because His mercy endureth forever."
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