20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20 New Living Translation
In Christ’s Great Commission, we are called to teach those who are in faith with Him to obey all He commanded until He returns. One critical problem we face today are believers who are easily distracted and love to chase after new teachings or new revelations instead of getting grounded in the gospel and act in obedience to it. They always want to hear something fresh and exciting from the Sunday pulpit but not endeavouring to obey the truth in their everyday life’s situations.
Hearing without obedience stuns spiritual growth.
Obedience is not at odds with God’s grace. We need to realise that it is God’s grace that empowers us to obey and do everything that brings glory to Him.
Without obedience, we cannot grow up or mature as God intended—but remained as spiritual babies who crave entertainment and amusement. Again, we must see obedience in the light of our friendship and relationship with Jesus, and not a set of rules to follow. Simply put, obedience is the family trait of all who belongs to the household of faith.
Obedience is thinking and acting according to the revelation of the gospel. It is becoming who we already are in Christ. Obedience is a grace gift of the Holy Spirit and a Christ-like expression of the faith we have in Him. If we struggle to obey, it is because we are not walking by faith but walking by sight.
Walking by sight is going back to a lifestyle of performance and self-effort. It is us trusting our sense and judgement of what pleases God, and not actually walking by the faith (that has been given to us) that pleases God.
Going back to the Great Commission, we are not told just to teach people but to teach them to obey what Christ says. Christ commanded two essential things, that is, we are to love God as He loves and love each other as he loves us. And we are to go into the world to teach and demonstrate how to live by these two commandments.
The Apostle John tells us when God’s love is reigning in us, obeying Him is not burdensome (1 John 5:24) but a blessing. It is in obeying that we are living our truest expression as sons and daughters of God.
Application: What is the Holy Spirit saying to me from today’s scripture reading? What is it saying about God and me and helping me in my Christian walk?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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