Monday, February 11, 2008

A Disciple of Christ will (and can) obey

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (toward God), - Philippians 2:12
Paul exhorts the Christians in Philippi to continue to work out (not work for) their salvation with fear and trembling toward God. Out of a deep reverence for God, they are to continue to grow in sanctification (work out your salvation) through the inward working and power of the Holy Spirit active in our lives.

What grabbed me is the direct link that Paul makes between obedience and salvation, “as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Obedience is important and will always be an indication of our spiritual condition.

This is an incredible encouragement that this group of Christians were living obedient lives. They weren’t just talking the talk – they were walking the walk – going all the way! What a testimony of God’s grace and the power of the cross. This text underscores both the importance and real possibility of obedience. Paul made real disciples of the Christians in Philippi. They were “obeying all Christ had commanded”. Why is this encouraging? Because, if they can do it – so can we. They prove the power of Christ in us, the freedom we have from sin, and the reality of the full gospel message.

Remember the Great Commission:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20
A disciple of Christ will obey all Christ has commanded. Someone who decides not to obey Christ is deciding not to be a follower of Christ. Paul was labeling the Christians in Philippi as disciples when he declared that they always obeyed. Are we disciples of Christ. Can this be said of us?

No comments: