Passed From Death to Life
Can you live in disobedience to God and never be troubled by it? Can you continue in your sin and never repent of it? Is your heart so calloused that you are not troubled by your disobedience to God? People may say anything they please, but if they know the Lord, then they are going to obey His commandments.
In order to be a child of God, you must believe that Jesus Christ is God. You certainly will gain much more understanding of who He is as you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus; but He is co-equal, co-existent, and eternally existed with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is God! He spoke the worlds into existence. He is the Lord God of the universe. He made the stars and the moon and the sun. He created the oceans, the birds that fly, and the animals that walk the surface of the earth. He created all the chemical elements that work in perfect harmony so that you and I can live and breathe in this world. He is the Creator God! “…by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17).
Without Him, you have no life! He provided eternal life through His own shed blood on the cross as He bled and died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. How absolutely absurd is for someone to say they know and love the Lord and understand that He is God, and yet have not desire to obey Him.
The Bible clearly states earlier in this epistle that God does not want us to sin; but if we sin, we have an advocate. He is our propitiation. He did not say that we were going to live perfect lives, yet one cannot continue in a life of disobedience and give evidence of truly knowing the Lord.
John 15:9-14 says, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love…If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love…These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full…This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you…Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends…Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
If you are truly one of God’s children, you should have a desire to be obedient to your Heavenly Father. You will have times of disobedience to God, but you are going to be troubled enough that you will want to make things right with Him. I am saddened that we have made so little of being a Christian.
Obedience to God’s Word is proof of our love for Him. There are three motives for obedience. We can obey because we have to, because we need to, or because we want to.
A slave obeys because he has to. If he doesn’t obey he will be punished. An employee obeys because he needs to. He may not enjoy his work, but he does enjoy getting his paycheque! He needs to obey because he has a family to feed and clothe. But a Christian is to obey his Heavenly Father because he wants to — for the relationship between him and God is one of love. “If ye love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
Our conduct will give evidence of or conversion. The Bible says in 1 John 2:3-6,
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments…He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
Growing up were were always cautioned about using the word liar. God says that if you do not keep His commandants, yet say that you know Him, you are a liar.
You may ask, “Does this mean I am to live in sinless perfection?” No it does not. The truth of the matter is that if you claim to know Him and continue in willful disobedience to Him, there is no real evidence of your salvation.
A congregation was singing, as a closing hymn, the familiar song, “For You I Am Praying.” The speaker turned to a man on the platform and asked quietly, “For whom are you praying?”
The man was stunned. “Why, I guess I’m not praying for anybody. Why do you ask?”
“Well, I just heard you say, ‘For you I am praying,’ and I thought you meant it,” the preacher replied. “Oh, no,” said the man. “I’m just singing.”
Pious talk! A religion of words! Remember James 1:22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” We must walk what we talk. It is not enough to know the language; we must also live the life. “If we say” — then we ought also to do!
Those who live in Christ look like Christ. They imitate Him in all their behaviour. Have you ever noticed how people who have been married for a long time tend to look alike? They develop some of the same facial expressions, some of the same mannerisms, and even some of the same physical characteristics. People who LIVE with one another begin to BE like one another.
That’s what happens when you abide, or dwell, or live in Christ. You become more Christlike. You begin to take on the characteristics of Jesus. The key is making your home with Jesus. It is dwelling with Him. It is living with the conscious awareness of His presence wherever you go and whatever you’re doing.
As we obey His commands, we give evidence that we are His children. We do not become Christians by obeying His command, but as Christians we should have a desire to live in obedience to our Heavenly Father. That’s conduct manifested.
“Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps” Psalm 85:13