The Big and Nasty Four-Letter Word
We live in a time of moral relativism- the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint. Take for instance the disagreements over what is going on at our borders. I am not going to tell you what I think- I think that if you voted for gay marriage, you have no moral ground to stand on. If you are pro abortion, you have no moral high ground to stand on. IN fact, if you support anything that the Bible calls evil- your morality is based upon your own judgment.
We live in a time when as in the days of judges every man does what is right in his own eyes and calls it good. There are no moral absolutes, everything is relative. How did we get here? We have turned away from the Word of God, from following His ways and precepts to following our heart. In short we are in the days of Amos where there is a famine of the Word of God- in our homes, in our country and even in our churches.
Acts 5:27-32 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
The word that we do not like to hear. The word that has been taken out of the marriage covenant- “Wives obey your husbands” is meant to be a picture of the church and her bridegroom.
The Word that people scoff at- OBEY. And it is the word that brings life.
The prophet Samuel told Saul
1 Samuel 15:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 So Samuel said:“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
Saul had the nerve to boast to Samuel of his obedience, but the Spirit revealed differently and the kingdom was ripped from him.
How often do we boast of our obedience, yet our heart and actions prove differently? We boast of obedience yet we indulge in the flesh, love the world, we are unkind and neglect the holy things of God. These things witness against us.
I had a conversation with someone about obedience and salvation. I do not believe you can be saved and live in disobedience to God and His Word. They told me this was “Lordship Salvation”.
Well, whatever you call it, you have to take the whole Word into account, not just a few scriptures here and there taken out of context.
The Greek definition for obey means- to submit to authority, to be fully persuaded
How can you call yourself a follower of Jesus if you do not do what He says? How can you inherit salvation and enter into a kingdom, whose king you will not obey? You cannot. And you cannot separate Jesus from the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word. John 1:1
Therefore to OBEY Jesus, you must OBEY His Word. ALL of His Word.
You have to read God’s WHOLE Word- a lot of people stop at John 3:16- read on
John 3:36 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
36 And he who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life. But whoever disobeys (is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to) the Son will never see (experience) life, but [instead] the wrath of God abides on him. [God’s displeasure remains on him; His indignation hangs over him continually.]
No matter what you claim, when you disobey the Word of God, the wrath of God abides on you.
The problem with obedience is that people do not know the Word of God. It is a shame how many Christians do not read their Bible on a regular basis. This is God’s written Word to us. It has all the answers for life and godliness.
Now, if you have not been born again, you cannot receive God’s Word. You won’t understand it and it has not value to you. But if you have been born again of the Spirit of God, then you are now responsible to put the Word of God into your heart and obey it.
In the time of Jeremiah, the nation of Israel was experiencing a time of prosperity, but moral decline and apathy toward God’s Word. Jeremiah had to prophesy to a rebellious people that would not listen to him, mocked him, even tried to kill him because he prophesied of coming judgment. The priests and false prophets prophesied blessings, but Jeremiah had to continue to tell God’s rebellious people that unless there was true national repentance, judgment and destruction was coming and could not be stopped. The key word in Jeremiah is “backsliding” used 12 times, and its perpetual theme is God’s inescapable judgment for rebellion and apostasy.
Sound familiar? Today’s church
The linen girdle
Explain the wrap
The priests wrapped these around their loins, it was to be washed and bleached constantly as they ministered the Word of the Lord. It is symbolic of God’s Word
Paul references this priestly wrap in the putting on of our armor:
Ephesians 6:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
What is truth? We find out in John:
John 17:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Sanctify[a] them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
This is how intrinsically a part of us the Word should be.
Jeremiah 7:9-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, 10 and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’? 11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the Lord.
Jeremiah 7:23-24 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed[a] the counsels and the [b]dictates of their evil hearts, and went[c] backward and not forward.
Jeremiah 6:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
To whom shall I (Jeremiah) speak and give warning
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are [a]closed [absolutely deaf to God]
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reprimand and an object of scorn to them;
They have no delight in it.
You have to remember that the Bible was written for the believer, not the non believer. This is written to us who are in Christ. This is written to and for the church.
There will be people that claim that they know Him, claim to follow Him, even wholly believe that they know Him because they are doing His work. But He will reply- “I never knew you” because they never obeyed Him
They key phrase in this is, “You worker iniquity” KJV
NKJV renders is “you whose practice lawlessness” this is a more accurate translation. This word literally has to do with breaking God’s laws.
There are three words translated as “iniquity”, this one used here literally means “a violation of law”
What law? God’s law.
This is referenced in 1 John 3:4-10 sin=lawlessness
But you say, “I am under grace, not law”. Yes, Christ fulfilled the righteous requirements of the civil and ceremonial laws, but there are moral absolutes and these laws are to be abided by, and we can abide by these laws through the Holy Spirit, because of Christ’s sacrificial death.
It is still morally wrong to murder. It is still morally wrong to lie. It is still morally wrong to commit adultery.
It is still morally wrong to have sex outside of the marriage covenant, no matter what the world tells you!
Flee sexual immorality- explain the body is the temple, you rob yourself and the other person of their purity before God
If you continue to practice breaking the law- Jesus does not know you. Period. You cannot live in sin and inherit eternal life.
Remember these things are written TO THE BELIEVER
Listen, I know you have problems, I know some people have marital issues, I know people have addictions, I know there are racial issues in our country and I CARE- but I care more about your eternal salvation.
So what does this mean to you?
- Know the Word of God for yourself- ingest it, live it, breath it
Read the whole Word and counsel of God- do not pick and choose what scripture you like, and which you do not like
God’s Word is His will- not your feelings and emotions about something- stop asking for advice when God’s Word tells you what you need to be doing!
EX: should I tithe?? should I be in a relationship with a non Christian? Should I be getting drunk and partying??
no man can ever turn your heart if you are grounded on the Word
No devil can get you to believe a lie if you are grounded on the Word
You will never be deceived if you know and believe God’s Word
- Stop trying to find comfort outside of obedience
Ps Cary said it best, “Obedience is simple, just not easy. Disobedience is complicated” and it will cost you a lot more than you bargained for.
So many people do not want to obey because it doesn’t always feel good.
I realize we get ourselves into some really tough situations, but only obedience to the Lord will make a RIGHT way out. Trust His way
Just obey- you do not like it, oh well obey anyway. You do like it, obey anyway
- Surround yourself with godly friends who will give you Biblical counsel
This is what I have notice, we don’t like what God says, we don’t like what the preacher says, we don’t like what real friends say- then we will go where we hear what we want to hear
The Bible calls this having “itching ears”- 2 Timothy 4:3-4
- Do you truly love Him?
This idea of love and obedience is woven throughout the whole Bible, from Genesis-Revelation
Ex: doing crunches, just obey. Sometimes I do not like what my husband says, but ultimately I will submit to him because I love him.
Exodus 19:5 “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession”
Deut 11:1 “Love the Lord your God and keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands always”
Luke 11:28 He replied, “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and obey it”
John 14:15 Jesus said to His disciples, “If you really love Me you will keep (obey) my commandments”
John 15:14 “You are my friends if you do what I command”
Roman 2:6-8 “God will repay each person according to what they have done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immorality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.”
1 Peter 1:14 “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance”
1 John 5:2-3 “By this we come to know that we love the children of God: when we love God and obey His commands. For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments”
2 John 1:6 “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands”
Rev 14:12 “this calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep (obey) his commands and remain faithful to Jesus”
If you are living in disobedience- it is not too late. Tonight you can repent and be made right with the Lord.
Give Him your situation, turn your disobedience and no matter how hard it is, obey Him and watch Him turn your life around