Monday, August 30, 2010

How God's Love Motivates Obedience

You know the question: if God loves us, and He will continue to love us no matter what we do or don't do then why should I bother about obedience? Answer: Christian obedience flows from resting in the love of Jesus. At least this is what I believe the Apostle Paul taught.

In Paul's wonderful prayer for the Ephesian believers to know more of Christ's love (Eph. 3:14-19), he says that they are "rooted and grounded in love." I take this to mean that Christ's love for His people is the very foundation of their Christian life. Christ’s love is the base on which everything is built in the Christian life. Everything else follows from knowing we are loved by Jesus.

Let me give you one example from the OT. Do you remember in Exodus 20 when God gives the 10 Commandments to His people-- a call for His people to obey Him and live holy lives before Him? I want you to notice the foundation of God’s call to obey Him. It is Exodus 20:2 “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other God’s before me.”

That little introduction is vital, and we tend to miss it and move right into what we are to do. But in that introduction God is laying the foundation for us to obey Him. In essence He is saying, “Remember how I have shown you that I love you. Trust in me and trust in my love and you will begin to walk in obedience.”

A lot of us get this backwards. We think that if we are obedient and holy today then God will love us (or love us more). This is not what Paul says. He says that we should be obedient and holy because we are loved by Jesus. It is knowing that we are accepted and loved by our Savior that truly frees us to begin to really live for Him.

I will put forth some specific examples in my next post.

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