I must be frank in my feeling that a notable heresy has come into being throughout our evangelical Christian circles -- the widely accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need Him as Saviour and that we have the right to postpone our obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to... The truth is that salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred scripture... Apart from obedience, there can be no salvation, for salvation without obedience is a self-contradictory impossibility.
Holy obedience confounds all bodily and fleshly desires and keeps the body mortified to the obedience of the spirit and to the obedience of one's brother and makes a man subject to all themen of this world and not to men alone, but also to all beasts and wild animals, so that they may do with him whatsoever they will, in so far as it may be granted to them from above by theLord.
Just as Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered, we learn obedience by the difficult circumstances we face. When we obey the Word of God that is spoken by the Holy Spirit, we will grow and mature in the times of conflict and suffering. Our knowledge of Scripture is not the key. Obedience is.
I think that what I was talking about was that as a woman growing up in a Mormon tradition in Salt Lake City, Utah, we were taught - and we are still led to believe - that the most important value is obedience. But that obedience in the name of religion or patriotism ultimately takes our souls. So I think it's this larger issue of what is acceptable and what is not; where do we maintain obedience and law and where do we engage in civil disobedience - where we can cross the line physically and metaphorically and say, "No, this is no longer appropriate behavior."
Learn obedience first. Among these Western nations, with such a high spirit of independence, the spirit of obedience is equally strong. We are all of us self-important, which never produces any work. Great enterprise, boundless courage, tremendous energy, and, above all, perfect obedience; these are the only traits that lead to individual and national regeneration. These traits are altogether lacking in us.
Prayer is never an acceptable substitute for obedience. The sovereign Lord accepts no offering from His creatures that is not accompanied by obedience. To pray for revival while ignoring or actually flouting the plain precept laid down in the Scriptures is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble.
My personal life may be crowded with small petty incidents, altogether unnoticeable and mean; but if I obey Jesus Christ in the haphazard circumstances, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God, and when I stand face to face with God I will discover that through my obedience thousands were blessed. When once God's Redemption comes to the point of obedience in a human soul, it always creates. If I obey Jesus Christ, the Redemption of God will rush through me to other lives, because behind the deed of obedience is the Reality of Almighty God.
Extirpate two thoughts within thyself: do not consider thyself worthy of anything great, and do not think that any other man is much lower than thou in worthiness. Learn humble mindedness beforehand, which the Lord commanded in word and showed forth in deed. Hence, do not expect obedience from others, but be ready for obedience thyself.
One thing you can be assured of is that God has already worked out all the details of what your obedience will accomplish - and its all good. we need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life. we should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss. the sooner this truth resonates in your heart, the quicker you can make peace with a command from God that you dont fully understand.
Saying yes to God isn't about perfect performance, but rather perfect surrender to the Lord day by day. Your obedience becomes radical the minute this desire turns into real action. Radical obedience is hearing from God, feeling His nudges, participating in His activity, and experiencing His blessings in a way few people ever do.
Struggling against the legalism of simple obedience, we end by setting up the most dangerous law of all, the law of the world and the law of grace. In our effort to combat legalism we land ourselves in the worst kind of legalism. The only way of overcoming this legalism is by real obedience to Christ when he calls us to follow him; for in Jesus the law is at once fulfilled and cancelled.
Filial obedience is the first and greatest requisite of a state; by this we become good subjects to our emperors, capable of behaving with just subordination to our superiors, and grateful dependents on heaven; by this we become fonder of marriage, in order to be capable of exacting obedience from others in our turn; by this we become good magistrates, for early submission is the truest lesson to those who would learn to rule. By this the whole state may be said to resemble one family.
As patterns of obedience develop, the specific blessings associated with obedience are realized and belief emerges. Desire, hope, and belief are forms of faith, but faith as a principle of power comes from a consistent pattern of obedient behavior and attitudes. Personal righteousness is a choice. Faith is a gift from God, and one possessed of it can receive enormous spiritual power.
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