Saturday, August 3, 2013

Obedience: Fruit of Revival

An audio overview of the lesson by Raul Diaz

  Click here for Stream or Download

Subscribe to this Feed 

Below is the script:Obedience: The Fruit of Revival
Memory text:
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the
knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

The reason this verse was chosen is because of the reference to obedience.  Let’s look at the context.  Paul is writing to the Corinthians.  There had been complains that Paul was harsh in his letters, but soft in presence.  Paul says that he’d rather have it that way, because it means that they had heeded the warning in his letter.  The boldness comes when they need reproof.  When there is no need of reproof he can be soft.  However, there are some with whom he has to be bold when he is present: those who rejected his ministry.  These did not discern spiritual things.  They were focusing on what they saw.  All they saw was a man: flesh.  Paul says, “but our war is not after the flesh.”  The real war is in our hearts and minds.  So, the weapons of this war are spiritual.  The weapon of choice then was the sword, which Paul calls elsewhere the Word of God.   What does God’s Word do?  It eradicates every sinful thought.  Our minds are naturally programmed to think sinfully, but when we hear and hearken to God’s Word our minds are reprogrammed to think in Christ-like way.  Our minds are programmed to listen and hearken to Christ.  To listen and to hearken is the Greek, and Hebrew, definition of the word obedience.
We tend to define obedience as performance or behavior.   So, when we see someone following the rules we say they are obedient.  But, nothing is said of what is going on in their hearts.  This is something Ellen G. White wrote about,
“The man who attempts to keep the commandments of God from a sense of obligation merely—because he is required to do so—will never enter into the joy of obedience. He does not obey. When the requirements of God are accounted a burden because they cut across human inclination, we may know that the life is not a Christian life. True obedience is the outworking of a principle within. It springs from the love of righteousness, the love of the law of God. The essence of all righteousness is loyalty to our Redeemer. This will lead us to do right because it is right—because right doing is pleasing to God.” – {COL 97.3}
If it pleases God it is by faith (Hebrews 11: 6).  This implies, if we add these two thoughts together, that right doing, what we would call obedience, is by faith.  One of my favorite authors wrote,
“There are no obedient ones. But there is nevertheless hope for all, because the righteousness of the law is put within and upon all who believe in Christ, so that a man is made a doer of the law by faith. One God justifies all alike through faith. Faith is not a substitute for obedience to the law, but insures the doing of it.”
Remember, Abraham believed and it was counted to him for righteousness.  Abraham became a doer of the law, when he believed the Word of God.  In the book Education p. 25, Ellen White states that the first couple stopped believing Him.  That’s what caused the problem.  Let us read,
So, to convert from transgressors to right doers we need to trust God’s goodness, believe His word, and accept His authority.  The change must come first from our hearts and minds.  Our hearts and mind must yield to God first, then outward performance will follow.  One great author elaborates on this concept of righteousness by faith,
“Justification has to do with the law. The term means making just. In Rom. 2:13 we are told who the just ones are: ‘For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified.’ To be just means to be righteous. Therefore since the just man is the one who does the law, it follows that to justify a man is to make him a doer of the law. Being justified by faith is simply being made a doer of the law by faith.
“It is impossible for any man by nature to be subject to the law of God. He cannot do what the law requires. “How is the man justified, or made righteous?—’Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’ (Rom. 3:24). Remember that to justify means to make one a doer of the law, and then read the passage again: ‘Being made a doer of the law freely, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.’ The redemption that is in Christ Jesus is the worthiness or the purchasing power of Christ. He gives himself to the sinner; his righteousness is given to the one who has sinned, and who believes. That does not mean that Christ’s righteousness, which he did eighteen hundred years ago, is laid up for the sinner, to be simply credited to his account, but it means that his present, active righteousness is given to that man. Christ comes to live in that man who believes, for he dwells in the heart by faith. So the man who was a sinner is transformed into a new man, having the very righteousness of God.
“It will be seen, therefore, that there can be no higher state than that of justification.”
Our lesson gives us examples of men who were obedient. They were obedient in the sense that they heard the Word of God and hearkened to it.   And, also because their performance revealed that they had heard and hearkened.  The words of the quote above were a reality in them.  Their performance proved it.  What will our performance prove?

No comments: