The Place of Obedience

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The Bible is full to calls for obedience. Jesus said in the Great commission that disciples are those who are baptized and taught to obey him (Matt 28:19).

The sermon on the mount ends with an admonition to be obedient to Jesus’ teaching,

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” – Matthew 7:24

Many other examples could be given but the point is the same. God expects us to obey Him.

Many simply say when God commands it, we obey it. Some things are that simple. But is everything that simple? Where do we draw the lines and how do we determine where to draw the lines between things God said for them and things God intends for us?

Someone once said that reading the Bible is like reading someone else’s mail. You first have to understand the people it was addressed and why it was written to them in particular. Then you can begin to work through the implications for today.

For instance, in 1 Timothy 2:9 women are instructed to not have braided hair or wear jewelry. Can we be obedient to God and ignore that instruction? If you look around our churches it would seem the answer is, yes…you can wear jewelry and not sin even though the Bible condemns it.

Then there are things people say are required that are never commanded but come from silence. Commands created where God gave no command that, in some circles, must be obeyed to be a faithful Christian. Needless to say, things have gotten complicated!

All of this to say…what is the place of obedience in the life of the Christian? How do we make the kinds of determinations we make? What does obedience have to do with salvation? Let’s tease these apart and see what we can learn and discuss in the month of March as we launch March’s theme – The Place of Obedience!

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