Friday, July 13, 2007

The Obedience of Faith - Part One

I’m struck by the antinomian malaise that hangs over our churches today. We’re told of a grace that is strong to forgive, but rarely are we instructed in how to obey. Grace is not grace if it does not empower us to obedience. The greatest reformers and Puritans understood that the power of the gospel was the power of God to transform the life of a rebellious and disobedient sinner into a life of peaceful submission and obedience to God’s will.

What do you think, would this exposition on The Ten Commandments preach today? Thomas Watson was my introduction to the Puritans. He will not disappoint. I recommend him to everyone.

What are the great arguments or incentives to obedience?

(1) Obedience makes us precious to God, his favorites. ‘If ye will obey my voice, ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people;’ you shall be my portion, my jewels, the apple of mine eye. Exod xix 5. ‘I will give kingdoms for your ransom.’ Isa xliii 3.

(2) There is nothing lost by obedience. To obey God’s will is the way to have our will.

[1] Would we have a blessing in our estates? Let us obey God. ‘If thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord, to do all his commandments, blessed shalt thou be in the field: blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.’ Deut xxviii 1, 3, 5. To obey is the best way to thrive in our estates.

[2] Would we have a blessing in our souls? Let us obey God. ‘Obey, and I will be your God.’ Jer vii 23. My Spirit shall be your guide, sanctifier, and comforter. Christ ‘became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey him.’ Heb v 9. While we please God, we please ourselves; while we give him the duty, he gives us the dowry. We are apt to say, as Amaziah, ‘What shall we do for the hundred talents?’ 2 Chron xxv 9. You lose nothing by obeying. The obedient son has the inheritance settled on him. Obey, and you shall have a kingdom. ‘It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ Luke xii 32.

Thomas Watson (c. 1620-1686), The Ten Commandments, (Banner of Truth, 1965, originally published in 1692) 4-5.

Father, we are depressed and we do not know why. Teach us to believe and obey your promises, that we might have abundant life.

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