Erica’s guest host this week, Jen Ervig, talks about the importance of obedience in the Christian faith. God’s commands are a clear indication of a person’s relationship with Him, and btw, it’s not just about following rules, but about trusting God and submitting to His will. Let’s dig into this more.
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Guest Host: Jennifer Ervig
Okay, my Bible loving busy people. I’m Jen and we are on episode four of exploring If we have what it takes to be Christians. So we know through our chutzpah-filled Peter that getting to know Jesus intimately gives us access to his divine power, equipping us with everything we could possibly need to be effective Christ followers. But how do we know we’re actually getting to know him? Obedience proves the relationship. When you obey him, it’s obvious you know him. No one can deny it. We have been called to his own glory and excellence through our obedience to Him, and when we obey him, every time we say our next best yes to him in any given moment, he grants us his precious and great promises so that we can be like him.
Someone once had this to say it’s true that a renewed mind is the difference between godliness and worldliness, but only as we make those moment by moment choices to direct our steps according to that renewed thinking. Renewed thinking is good, but is not a guarantee of righteous behavior. We must continually jettison self-effort and continually rely on the power of the spirit to enable us to carry out the directives that emanate from a renewed mind. When we get to know him, we obey him. When we obey him, our mind is renewed. When our mind is renewed, we have power (chutzpah) in promises. Second, Peter says, his divine power gives us all we need as we become best friends with him, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature. Let’s pause there. So that is a single Greek preposition, Hina, which marks purpose, aim, or goal. Whenever you encounter a phrase like in order that so that for this reason, so then therefore in similar wording, always take a minute and ask yourself questions like, for what reason? or so what for? Second Peter says, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature.
He grants us his promises when we get to know him and obey him through the power available to us because we answered his call. The same power again, we said this several times this week that raised Christ from the dead. This is all so that through the promises we can be like him and partake in his divine nature, breaking free from the corruption of the world and no longer being tossed back and forth by the waves, through the renewing of our minds. Through obedience and continued intimate knowledge of him becoming best friends, we reach the point of renewing our minds. This renewal helps us escape the corrupt world and sinful desires or in other words, thought processes, sinful thought processes. It keeps us from being tossed back and forth by the waves of corrupt teaching. This is the litmus test. This is how we know we know him. James 1:22 in the ESV, that’s the English Standard Version says,
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
Do you know what Jesus is telling us? Obey God, obey Jesus. Don’t simply get to know him. Do what he says. Otherwise, you’ll fool yourselves and actually forget all you know of him. Thoughts influence behavior. Behavior influences thoughts, new thoughts are life changers. Changed thoughts don’t work unless you act on them. Obey. Then when you obey, the new thoughts solidify and become stronger. They get teeth, they get chutzpah. So now, should you ever wonder if you really know him, know this, the answer is in obedience because obedience proves trust, and trust comes through intimacy.
Obedience is proof of your relationship with God. Obedience is the practical application of love for and trust in God. Obedience proves a relationship. The Christian Broadcasting Network said it like this:
Obedience is the practical acceptance of the authority and will of God. It includes both submitting to him and then expressing that submission in actions, words and thoughts. To be obedient is to be in agreement with God. To be in agreement with God is to be in a position of power in Christ.
Is that power to live for Christ. What we’ve been looking for this week? It sure is. Let’s visit a couple of great obedience verses and then wrap up with the beauty of Ephesians 5 in the NIV.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and all your ways submit to him and he’ll make your path straight.
That’s Proverbs 3:5-6.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will act.
Psalms 37:5. Now read Ephesians 5 with me.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Get to know him. Become best friends. Prove your friendship with obedience. See you tomorrow!
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