Title: Ephesians; 1:3 - every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, part 10.
Another word about the increased frequency of faith after salvation.
For faith to mature, the believer has to set about obeying God. Half-steps will not do here.
The believer who is about altering Christianity to fit his personal fancy, in essence taking some commitment but not entirely, will be a spiritual baby while he continues in this way. All of us should outright fear remaining spiritual babies our whole earthly existence.
The spiritual baby will not have a life of peace and joy. Peace and joy are only found with righteousness.
ROM 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The context of the above passage is living in a way that doesn’t cause our brothers to stumble, which in essence means sacrificing certain things that are legitimate for us to partake of in other circumstances. Such a behavior is the epitome of obedience.
The epitome of obedience is to sacrifice something that is legitimate for you to do. It is the law of love.
1CO 8:9 But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
1CO 8:10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?
1CO 8:11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died.
1CO 8:12 And thus, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
1CO 8:13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.
God has given man laws. The great body of these laws were found in the Mosaic Law. When Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law, everything that represented a type of Christ was set aside forever. However, the ethics and morals of the Law were not. How could they be? Goodness and righteousness are eternal. Love for God and neighbor, justice, sacrifice, humility, kindness, giving, etc., etc., are laws guiding the behavior of mankind which is in accordance with God’s goodness. The only thing that has changed in this age from the OT is the status of the believer. We have been given the power to think and walk in the ethics and morals of God to the degree that Christ did because we are made new creatures in Him.
Since the beginning man has been trying to attain joy and peace without obeying God. Cain was the first to try it. Peace settles the soul. Joy transcends the noise and clatter of this world. Neither of them are attained without righteousness and with righteousness, they are a guarantee.
We are as hopeless in living in righteousness as we were in being saved. God must do the leg work and He must provide the law to follow. Our end is to obey in faith.
A law is a rule regulating the human soul, a rule for the actions of the human being, a rule that orders our behavior or conduct toward others and the precise duties that make for a unified people. Laws command, forbid, and allow.
Why do we need regulating and boundaries on our actions? Fallen men are not angels. All believers are regenerated at salvation, but they do not automatically do everything right, nor to they automatically know what is right.
Laws must be easily understandable.
In our day, the laws in our country are complex and impossible to understand. This is done on purpose so that the Executive Branch, the enforcer of the laws, can enforce them in various ways. Today’s laws are not only complex but vague. The vagueness of the law allows the executor to vary its enforcement to his liking, to suit his hold on power.
Good laws must be easily understandable, and they are. Those under the law must be able to look at the law and easily understand what it commands, forbids, or allows.
God’s laws for us are very easy to understand. We only complicate them when we are trying to fit them into a lifestyle that is in violation of God’s will.
The reason we obey is as important as obedience. What is the best reason to obey God?
PSA 81:15 “Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him;”
ROM 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
Obedience results in righteousness, which in turn results in peace and joy.
1PE 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
1PE 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.
Obedience purifies the soul for love.
We are born-again of an imperishable seed, eternal life, which is lived only by the guidelines of the word of God.
So, what is the best reason to obey God? Obeying God is for the believer like breathing. The best reason is that I must obey to live.