"The Obedient Christian"

Over the past several months we have taken an in depth look at some of the most important foundations of our faith. Today is the last part that every believer must come to understand when it come to our faith and a growing relationship with Christ. I am talking about obedience. Obedience is what the Lord expects as we respond to the Lord. Obedience is so much more than just a list of do’s and don’ts. So, what exactly is Obedience? Turn with me to 1 John chapter 2.
1 John 2:3–4 ESV
3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
Obedience should come from a thankful and loving heart that we have for Christ. In fact, our love for the Lord is the main reason we should have a desire to deny ourselves of the fleshly things of this world, to pick up our cross and follow Christ.
There are 3 Major Areas that I want to Address this Morning.
-First of all, what does it really mean to be obedient?
-Second, what does obedience actually look like. I want you to see some areas of obedience.
-And finally, what are some of the results of obedience?

1. There is a call to be Obedient.

1 Peter 1:14–15 ESV
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
There are several areas into which the Lord calls us to be obedient and so let’s take a look at 3 important areas.
A. First, we are called to Obey God’s Commands. Jesus said that if we love Him we will keep His commandments.
John 14:15 ESV
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
As believers we are not just expected to listen to God’s Word or come to church to hear a good message. James 1:22 tells us that we are to be doers of God’s Word.
B. Second, we are called to Follow Christ. Turn with me to Luke chapter 9. Here we see several things that are required of a person who follows Jesus.
Luke 9:23 ESV
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
As believers we are to deny ourselves, we are to daily take up the cross, and we are also to follow Jesus. When we talk about denying ourselves things of this world, the issue of obedience can easily veer of the road into being legalistic and self-righteous. So, I think it is important to remember that we are to give our hearts to God and seek after godly things.
C. Third, we are called to Submission. Fully submitting to the Lordship of Jesus is never easy, however it is what we are called to do. When we fully submit to God we come to a place of surrender and we become obedient to Christ.
Romans 6:16 ESV
16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
This call to obedience always exposes our shortcomings. It shows us an area or areas that we need to work on. We take every thought captive and think on being Christ like. When we begin to set our hearts and minds on things above we will begin to think more about God. The more we learn about God, the more we love Him and the more we will obey Him.

2. Obedience Marks a True Believer.

1 John 2:3–4 ESV
3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
One of the great things that we learn from our verse here is that when we obey the Word of God is demonstrates that we have come to know the Lord.
-When we turn from sinful things.
-When we choose to forgive others.
-When we love others we show that we have come to know Christ. However, when someone’s life is marked by continued disobedience to the Lord and His word this type of lifestyle indicates that people do not know Christ. A true believer will have a desire to do the will of God and follow Him.
John MacArthur said, “Real faith, saving faith, is all of me (mind, emotions, and will) embracing all of Christ who is our Savior, Advocate, Provider, Sustainer, Counselor, and Lord. Those who have such faith will truly love Christ.”
Let’s take a look at several examples of Obedience.
A. From the Old Testament one of the great hero’s of the faith was Abraham. Our children have been learning about Abraham on Wednesday nights and there were 2 great acts that show us Abraham’s obedience. Turn with me to Hebrews chapter 11.
Hebrews 11:8 ESV
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
Abraham left the comfort of his own home and environment and left to go to an unknown place. We also learn in Genesis 22 that Abraham was willing to take His only Son Isaac and give him as a sacrifice to God and God had commanded him to do. Abraham obeyed God and He provided a ram so that Abraham did not have to kill his son. This was a test to prove Abraham’s obedience to God. Because of Abraham’s obedience God promised to multiply his descendents. Abraham’s descendents would be given all these lands and through his descendents all the nations would be blessed.
B. We also see the Example of Christ’s Obedience.
What was Christ’s primary concern while He was here on earth? Turn with me to John chapter 4.
John 4:34 ESV
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
Even when Christ was facing the cross and death, what was His attitude like?
Luke 22:42 ESV
42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
To what extent was Jesus willing to be obedient? Turn with me to Philippians chapter 2.
Philippians 2:8 ESV
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

3. There is a Promise and Blessings of Obedience.

With the promises and blessing of obedience in mind we come to understand that this will bring to light the typical relationships that each of us face in our daily lives. Just thinking about these relationship today helps us to see that obedience is not always easy. What does God expect when obedience is difficult? We are still to obey. In these relationships, sometimes we fit into the role of the one who is to be obeyed. This could be a parent, a husband or even a boss. It is very helpful then to remind ourselves that we are similarly accountable to God in the way we can wield our authority over others. Let’s take a look at several of the blessings that are promised to us if we obey God’s commandments. Turn with me to John chapter 15.
John 15:10 ESV
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
First of all, we will abide in God’s love. Another blessing is promised to us down in verse 14.
John 15:14 ESV
14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
We will be His friends.
Conclusion: As believers we should desire to obey God.
Psalm 40:8 ESV
8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
We should want to submit ourselves to Christ and serve Him until He calls us home or returns. Paul wrote to the church at Rome to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, acceptable to God. As you think about this verse today what does it mean to you to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God? I want to encourage you today to look for areas where you might be disobedient to the Lord and repent from these things and return to God with an obedient heart and mind.
1 Peter 1:15–16 ESV
15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
(Close in Prayer and have Nate explain Communion)
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