Central to Scripture’s teachings is the understanding that our relationship with God is based on grace: “For it is by grace you have been saved…not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).. Paul again addressed boasting when he wrote that he would “never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). We stand before God, not because we have been good, but because the cross of Christ has brought about needed justification and reconciliation. This teaching, though, is often grossly misunderstood and misapplied. Scripture does not teach that obedience is optional. Jude boldly challenges what is often referred to as licentiousness—using grace as a license to sin—when he wrote about an “ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 1:4). The cross of Christ is not a license to get away from God, so we can do our own thing. The cross of Christ is a license to get close to God, so we can follow him and obey him, because God’s ways are good. Authentic followers of Christ come to Christ, because they are fed up with the corruption in this world and in their own lives, and they ache to be free from it. Freedom is not freedom to sin, because we love sin, but freedom from sin, because we hate sin. Grace, in Scripture, is not only described as the gift of God’s forgiveness, but Scripture tells us that “the grace of God has appeared…and teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Titus 2:11-12).
Spiritual Fitness Check
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Signs You're Living It Out
Can identify progress in obedience over the last three months
Can offer specific examples of ‘loss’ or ‘cost’ due to obeying God at the expense of opportunity or relationship
Can name points of struggle or temptation that are currently being addressed by taking them to God for strength to overcome
Recognizes the Spirit’s conviction and guidance and actively applies this guidance to one’s life
Spiritual Fitness Check
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This bible study gives a holistic look through Scripture at the Obey God outcome. Engage thought provoking questions for individual reflection and then discuss them in your Life Group or Spiritual Running Partner relationships.
There are a few areas of life ripe for abuse. They are areas often cheated of truthfulness.
Something about these areas beckons dishonesty. Paying taxes. Selling goods. Reporting accomplishments. And one more…Loving God.... Read More
We’re tired of plastic religiosity. We are after the real thing and if the real thing is genuinely available we’ll drink deeply. This application exercise is a soul-satisfying experience if you want more of the real thing.... Read More
Last words are often profound; they're essential rather than peripheral. As we consider Christ's last words, we encounter the essential metaphor of the vine & the branches (John 15). How do we respond in obedience to... Read More
Secrets of the Vine is a short book based on themes from John chapter 15. Dr. Wilkinson explores the compelling image of the vine & the branches: grapes need pruning in order to bear fruit more abundantly, and so do Christians.
Last words are often profound; they're essential rather than peripheral. As we consider Christ's last words, we encounter the essential metaphor of the vine & the branches (John 15). How do we respond in obedience to this and other profound teachings of Jesus?
Talk about how you respond to authority in general, and how that compares to how you respond (positively or negatively) to the idea of obeying God. How is your obedience linked to trust? Why do you think God asks us to obey Him? Identify 2-3 things that God is saying to you (or has already said to all... Read More
In your personal Bible reading this week, (in addition to looking for other things, of course), specifically note any commandments you come across. Make a list of these things. Spend time thinking about if you naturally feel inclined to obey those, or what your resistance to them is. (Add some examples... Read More