Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Obey Because You Are Loved

Working on the next text for my sermon.  "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children" - Eph 5:1

Some wonderful words from Bryan Chappell's commentary on the same -

…God’s imperatives, and our obedience, rest on that loving relationship; they do not form the relationship.  We obey because we are loved; we are not loved because we obey.  The love of our Father precedes and stimulates the obedience of his children.  We are to forgive and live and love as dearly loved children imitating the One who already is our Father, not performing to bribe God to become our Father.

The significance of obedience based on the Father’s love becomes more apparent when we consider where the apostle will soon head with his imperatives.  He will soon address the sins of lust and greed.  How would you turn others from such sin?  Should you warn?  Yes.  Should you command to avoidance?  Yes.  Should you condemn participation?  Yes.  But what first?  First, remind those who love God and are grieving for their failure that they are his dearly loved children.  Say to a struggler, “you are a wonderful child, a precious child of God, dearly loved.  You are precious to him.  Live as one dearly loved.  Be what you are in Christ.”

"We obey because we are loved; we are not loved because we obey."  That's a keeper.