WORD OF THE DAY…

June 11, 2013

Reflections on Obedience by God’s Grace

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace . . . that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 6:14; 8:4)

Before we leave this vital subject of obedience, let’s reflect upon how it is related to God’s grace. Various key passages that we have examined previously can help us accomplish this goal.

Romans 6:14 is such a passage. Herein, we are told how to get out from under the domination of sin. “For sin shall not have dominion over you.” Anyone who is ruled by sin is living in disobedience. Sin and disobedience are virtually synonymous. Grace is the path of deliverance from disobedience. “For you are not under law but under grace.” Sin is transgression of the law of God. The law can call us to the holy standards of God, but the law cannot help us to obey those perfect standards. “For the law made nothing perfect” (Hebrews 7:19). Grace is God’s resource for us to find forgiveness of sin (thus rescuing us from the dominating penalty of sin): “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Grace is also God’s strength for living daily in victory over sin (thereby rescuing us from dominating influence of sin): “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).

Romans 8:4 is another passage that indicates the connection between obedience and grace. The opening words address a primary reason why Christ died on the cross: “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us.” It is God’s desire that the holy demands of the law be increasingly lived out in our lives. This would amount to a life of obedience. The law itself could never produce this. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). What God’s law could not do (because of man’s inability to live up to it), God did through His Son. Now, by means of all that Christ has provided for us, obedience is available to us. Who is it that experiences this available obedience? Those who “do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Christians who face each day by the flesh only access the carnal resources of natural man. On the other hand, those who address the daily issues of life in dependence upon the Spirit draw upon the grace resources of a supernatural God.

Holy and gracious Father, I praise Your name that grace is the path to obedience. In light of my inadequacy, no other approach could ever be sufficient. Once again, I renounce my flesh and look to the work of Your Spirit, fulfilling Your righteous requirements in my life, Amen.

WORD..

God Glorified by Working Obedience in Us

Now may the God of peace . . . make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Let’s make one more visit to these tremendous words in Hebrews 13:20-21. When the Lord works in us unto obedience (“what is well pleasing in His sight”), He Himself is the one who appropriately receives the glory (“to whom be glory forever and ever”).

Throughout eternity, God is to be glorified and magnified by all. “I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’ And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever! ” (Revelation 5:11-13).

Here in the midst of time and space, God is also to be glorified in and through our lives. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). That which the Lord wants us to do for His glory is clearly revealed in His commands. In the New Testament, our Lord commands His new covenant servants in many areas. He calls us to genuine love, godly service, earnest prayer, and habitual hospitality: “Let love be without hypocrisy . . . serving the Lord . . . continuing steadfastly in prayer . . . given to hospitality” (Romans 12:9, 11, 12, 13). He instructs us to be truthful, hard-working, kind, and forgiving, “each one speak truth with his neighbor . . . let him labor, working with his hands what is good . . . be kind to one another . . . forgiving one another” (Ephesians 4:25, 28, 32).

These commands are the things that are “well pleasing in His sight.” These are also the things that He wants to bring forth by His work in us: “working in you what is well pleasing in His sight.” When we seek the Lord to do such work in and through us, He is certainly the one who should get all the glory and honor.

Glorious God of peace, may You be glorified in my life by making me complete in every good work to do Your will, working in me what is well pleasing in Your sight through Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Selling your products on www.ebay.com is a good way of making money online. You need to visit the site and familiarise yourself with it and how it works.
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