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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Studying The Bible To Obey? by Greg Gordon

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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 39795

 Studying The Bible To Obey? by Greg Gordon

One of the clear principles in the word of God is the need to not only hear the word of God being taught but also to put into practice what we hear. This truth is expressed in the first verse of Acts in this way: "Jesus began to do and to teach" (Acts 1:1). Our Lord led by example and never taught anything He was not not obeying. It is a great mistake we can make to study the Bible just to increase our learning. This "knowledge" does seem impressive to others and ourselves but the profit to us spiritually is very low.

Having easy access to the very words of God is a tremendous privilege that this generation and many believers across the world are experiencing. Millions of bibles of all different kinds, colors, sizes, shapes yet we still have brothers and sisters in the world that share a tattered, ripped page of a bible with an entire congregation or village. Sometimes they only have a scribbled handwritten piece of paper with some verses to have for their own.

When we are walking with our Lord in intimacy and communion we will begin to esteem His word very highly. What a privilege we have in our day! May we start to have the same desire for the word that the psalmist had when he said: "The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold" (Psalm 119:72). Only those that count the words of God with such value will be those that obey those same words. Give me that Bible and forget that 100 pound piece of gold the Psalmist is saying! Cars, Houses, bank accounts, fancy clothes, all were considered second rate to this psalmist. He said "give me God's law and I will be happy!" And it is having this desire that will lead us to hearing God's voice and obeying His word. Love for the master will equal love for His words.

You may be gifted with tremendous knowledge and being a great orator of the Scriptures. But what makes the difference is how we give ourselves to the Scripture – to read and obey. We can do this by praying as we read: "Lord, search my heart and examine my mind, let me not deceive myself to be a great teacher esteemed by men, I just want to obey you for I love you so very much. Help me to keep your commands."

"Is the bible a rule-book of commands for us to obey," some might ask? The answer is that the Bible testifies of the God and the person of Jesus Christ who when we find as a precious "Pearl of great price" we will want to follow and obey all of His words. Obedience that comes out of relationship with God therefore is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord. It says to Him that we love Him so much and appreciate His person, His blood and His death on the cross for us. "Lord we appreciate you so much, we are so grateful, we love you so dearly with all our hearts." Such a life will be pleasing to God and God will surely lead that soul to obey His commands.

But a very dangerous place to be found is obeying God's commands to be justify ourselves before God. If we are striving to obey all of the Bible so we can be approved of God and be right before Him we will find ourselves estranged from the Lord and out of communion with Him. Our obedience must first come from a love for the Lord and secondly out of the confidence we are accepted as children by Him.

I experienced this sad truth when meeting a brother who was going through a very hard time in His walk with the Lord. He got to the place where he wrote out all the commands of the New Testament and Jesus on the blank pages between the Old and New Testament. Seems impressive and it looked quite exhaustive when I looked at these carefully written out phrases. But to this brother it was a list of commands that He had to do so God would be pleased with Him. He felt that he was even possibly losing His salvation and relationship with God. I remember the Lord impressed my heart to ask this brother: "Do you love God?" and there was a silence and his head hung low. And then I said to him: "God loves you." and repeated again "God loves you." He broke down in tears.

We can get to the place in our walks with God where we are making such an impressive list before God of what we think we should be doing. Yet when that list becomes to heavy or we start to fail too much to keep it we will feel just like this brother. He could not accept that God loved Him no matter if he was keeping 100 of the commands or 10. What matters is not our perfect obedience but our love for the Lord and walk with Him. Now don't get me wrong here, if we walk with the Lord and love Him we will keep His commands. And the Lord will lead us onto perfection being conformed to His image (Romans 8:29). But the catch is that we will want to! Even when it is tough, because we are doing it out of an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ and by His power. Not just to impress God!

So many are laboring under the heavy load of obeying God thinking that obeying alone equals loving God. Yet only those that have this personal walk with the Lord, will be victorious in their Christian life and walk in obedience because the Lord is guiding them every step of the way. But when we in our pride and self-sufficiency try and keep many of commands of the Bible we will eventually find ourselves in the pit of legalism and self-effort. And one of the only ways to continue in this way is to start to heap on others the laws and commands we are not keeping ourselves.

May the Lord of the Bible help us. Guide us. For the Scriptures testify of Christ and He is our goal. As the Moravians’ of old used to say: “Our Lamb has conquered, let us now follow Him.” May we see Jesus today afresh as a friend, our Master and Lord. And Let us follow Him and all of His commands as He leads us.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/2/14 15:15Profile

Joined: 2009/12/6
Posts: 101

 Re: Studying The Bible To Obey? by Greg Gordon

Brother Greg, thank you for the encouragement.



 2012/2/14 17:19Profile


Greg talks about the man who wept to hear that God loved him. Ah brothers and sisters, there is the key to life. Not a life of cheap grace where we have a license to sin, as our detractors often accuse, but a life rooted and grounded in the Love of God that gives me a desire never to displease Him. And when I do and I beat myself up ( and every genuine Christian I know hates to sin) I come before the Lord and desire for Him to beat me too and He says saomething like " child, I love you, go and sin no more."

And the grace that the genuine child of God finds before the throne is encouraging and edifying and glorious because judgment was expected and grace was found. Now this encounter, encounters, make me want to sin less not more. It makes me want to follow HIm and His words and commands to me even more. There is true freedom and safety in the love of God. It is in these encounters where we come to the end of ourselves and truly learn that all that we have comes from the Lord and Him alone. Our salvation was by grace and our sanctification is by grace. So many fall a foul of beginning in the Spirit and then trying to walk it out in the flesh (Galations) If your only cry is " oh wretched man that I am," then it is time to turn the page and commit it all to the Spirit of God. You were saved by faith and you will be sanctified by faith. Good word bro Greg, this is a learning curve for every Christian.............bro Frank

 2012/2/14 18:16


"May the Lord of the Bible help us. Guide us. For the Scriptures testify of Christ and He is our goal. As the Moravians’ of old used to say: “Our Lamb has conquered, let us now follow Him.” May we see Jesus today afresh as a friend, our Master and Lord. And Let us follow Him and all of His commands as He leads us."

Amen Greg!

 2012/2/14 18:22

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
St. Joseph, Missouri


Thanks for sharing this dear brother.

Robert Wurtz II

 2012/2/14 19:45Profile

Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 536
America's Flyover Country


Good thoughts Greg.

If it had a "like"button like Facebook I would certainly click it!

Thanks for sharing it with us. I appreciate the truth in your post very much!

Blessings to you.

 2012/2/15 0:56Profile

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