Sep 21, 2014 |I Know

Flipping Obedience

09.21.14 | I Know

Flipping Obedience

Noel Heikkinen

God knows that we are all sinners, wicked, and lawless, but He also gave us the treatment for that, which is obedience in Jesus Christ.

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The opposite of lawlessness is obedience.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)

Lawlessness is synonymous with wickedness.

You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. (1 John 3:5)

No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:6-10)

Being God’s children means to abide in Him.

“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’ (Isaiah 14:12-14)

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:4-8)

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:3-6)

The standard for a follower of Jesus is high.

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. (1 John 2:28)

In the experience of the believer, this encounter with Jesus Christ occurs at death; in the calendars of men, in time, it is yet an unknown point in the future when the Eternal One shall step again into time and reassert himself, manifest himself openly, in the affairs of men. That event may occur today, it may occur this week, it may be next year, it may be fifty or a hundred years from now, who knows? It may be while most of us are yet alive, it may be before this service is over. But at any rate, this meeting with Christ, from the standpoint of every believer in Jesus Christ is no further away from any of us than the day our death – and it may be even closer than that!

– Ray Stedman

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)

We do not hope in anyone or anything else. We hope in Jesus alone.