Tag Archives: Obedience

The Call of Isaiah and Worship

In the year that King Uzziah died (742 BC), Isaiah received a call from God to be a prophet. He saw a vision of the LORD sitting on His throne surrounded by seraphim proclaiming His holiness and glory. Confronted by such power and majesty, Isaiah cried aloud,

“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6.1-4).

Seeing the LORD changed Isaiah’s life forever. He realized his own sinfulness and also that of the people among whom he lived. Because he recognized his own sinfulness he was able to deal with their sins as well. David, earlier made aware of the gravity of his sins when confronted by Nathan the prophet, pled with God,

“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!…Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Having acknowledged his sin, like Isaiah, he promised God,

“Then I will teach the transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will return to Thee” (Psalm 51.2, 7, 13).

Isaiah heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” He responded, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah was ready to accept God’s commission to go to God’s people with His message of conviction and deliverance.

This incident is more than the record of Isaiah’s calling; it also reveals the essence and result of true worship:

  • By faith we see God
  • Understanding God’s holiness enables us to recognize our own unworthiness
  • God cleanses us
  • God empowers us and assigns us a task
  • We accept God’s task and go out to serve

Because God is worthy of our worship, He is also worthy of our obedience.

– Cecil May, Jr.
Faulkner University

“Obeying the Gospel”

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1.16).

Both Paul (Romans 10.16) and Peter (1 Peter 4.17) use the expression “obey the gospel.” The primary idea in obedience is submission. We must submit to Christ as sin-offering to be saved by Him. Obedience to Christ as teacher and king is not enough. We must obey, submit, to Him as sin-offering.

But how can we “obey the gospel” unless in our obedience we are responding to Christ as sin-offering? How can we “obey the gospel” unless our obedience relates directly to the gospel? Why didn’t Paul and Peter simply demand obedience to Christ as one in authority? Because they understood that Christ saves by means of His death on our behalf, not simply by His authority, but by His propitiation.

When, therefore, does belief, repentance, and baptism constitute “obeying the gospel”? The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15.3-4). The conditions of belief, repentance, and baptism constitute “obeying the gospel” only when they are responses to and express reliance upon the crucified Christ. To obey in those respects simply because we have been commanded to is to ignore the cross and render it void.

Faith in Christ is faith or trust in Him as the sacrifice for our sins. Merely believing in Him as God’s Son with no thought of the cross is not enough. Likewise, repentance with no thought of His crucifixion or baptism except as a response to His death for our sins, are not enough.

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6.3-4).

In “obeying the gospel” we should know that we are responding to the blood of Christ and not merely recognizing the right of Christ to demand our obedience.

– Bill

 

Ancient Wisdom

Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. And Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt…He spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. All men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom. 1 Kings 4.29-34

Much of Solomon’s wisdom has been preserved in the book of Proverbs. Solomon’s wisdom came from God, so really they are God’s proverbs. Every subject common to our human experience is addressed in the proverbs. The most important issue on our lives concerns our relationship with God. Hear the words of the ancient sage as he instructs us how to be approved of God:

I.     Fear Him (“Fear” means to reverence or respect)

1.7            The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.

8.13          The fear of the LORD is to hate evil.

10.27        The fear of the LORD prolongeth days.

14.26        In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence.

14.27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life.

II. Trust Him

3.5-6  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

16.20  He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good; and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

28.25-26 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife, but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall prosper. He that trusteth in his heart is a fool, but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

29.25  The fear of man bringeth a snare, but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

III. Obey Him

3.1,2,4   …forget not my law, but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee…So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

13.13   Whoso dispiseth the word shall be destroyed, but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

19.16   He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

39.18   Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

IV. Live Righteously

5.21   For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He pondereth all his doings.

16.2   All the ways of man are clean in his own eyes, but the LORD weigheth the motives.

16.7   When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

16.9   A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the LORD directeth his steps.

15.9   The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD, but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

–Bill