Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Test of Obedience

Temple Baptist Church - 4-2-2014
1 John 2:3-6
A. 1 John is a blessed little book that does several things:
1. It encourages and sets the parameters for fellowship with both the Lord and each other.
2. It shows the right way to recognize, confess, and find cleansing from our sin.
3. It gives certain tests that will bring either assurance of salvation or conviction and the need of salvation.
B. Along with salvation comes a change in nature that brings about a change in life. God gives life to those who belong to Him. No change equals no life in Christ! Too many people have prayed the prayer but never got the heart right. Salvation is a heart matter, not a mouth matter.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
C. The Book of James describes salvation as accompanied by good works.
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (I am not talking about sinlessness for we will fail the Lord and do so intentionally at times but I am talking about a desire for holiness and obedience that is a part of our spiritual makeup.)
D. In the previous chapter, we found the possibility of not being in fellowship with the Lord and, therefore, not in fellowship with the brethren. I mention this because there is a battle with our sinful flesh that goes on for as long as we live in this flesh and the possibility of losing that battle at times. I want to look at that familiar passage again found in Romans 7:
Romans 7:12-25 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (13) Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. (14) For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (15) For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (16) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (17) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (19) For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
E. Saved people may have failures and thank the Lord for 1 John 1:9 but they have a desire to be obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ! Obedience is not only the desire of the Christian but also brings about blessings from the Lord.
1. The commandments of God bring about the blessing of assurance of salvation. Vs. 3-5.
a. We need to ask God to examine us - Psalms 26:1-2 Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. (2) Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
b. We need to practice self-examination - 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
2. The commandments of God are not grievous to the child of God.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
a. God’s commandments keep us from the defilement of sin.
b. God’s commandments keep us from the destruction of self.
3. Keeping the commandments of God show the love of the saint for Him.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
2 John 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
4. Obedience to the commandments of God show proper submission to Him.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
5. Obedience to the commandments of God gets our prayers answered.
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
6. Obedience to the commandments of God brings about spiritual maturity.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. (2) For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

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