Pastor’s notes, June 2018 The Basics of Christianity Part IV-Obedience
So what are basics of Christianity? If you say it is to believe in God, that is a start. But even Satan believes in God. So believing in God is no assurance that a person is a Christian. So far we have covered the first three basics: 1. There is a God. 2. There will be a Judgment (people just love to ignore that one and will they ever be surprised.) and 3. Repentance is a vital piece. (Turning from the old way of sin and to live for Jesus Christ and God’s will is another central aspect of Christianity.)
Now we come to part four. Obedience. Who is supposed to be obedient?
Anyone who calls him or herself a Christian is called to live in obedience to will of God. To repent of one’s sins is great, but it means nothing unless one continues that life of obedience to God. This is not easy. In fact a great many children are being raised without a sense of obedience in general. (Of course the reason of this is both simple and complex. The simple reason is that many adults (whose who find themselves to be parents) want to be friends with their children more than they want their children to be Christian or adult. They don’t want their precious baby to be upset with them. They want their baby to happy. And especially they themselves don’t want to be obedient, they want to be free (That’s American, isn’t it? The land of the free!))
People do not understand obedience. Many think it is inhumane. So let us use an example. You get in a car and start driving. Would you like the other drivers to obey the traffic laws? Or would you be happier to know that the other driver would be upset with you because they had to stop their car at the red light even though they just have to get to Starbucks RIGHT NOW or they just can’t function? Since I don’t like getting rammed into by another vehicle, and I shudder to think of any law abiding pedestrian being run over because a driver was distracted by their I-phone and they just had to finish their game of Candy Crush. (Do you see the not so subtle theme being presented? We are living a world where many adults act that their desires and plans are more important than anything else. These adults are teaching the same attitude and behavior to their offspring. (As Jesus said of the Pharisees in their teaching of others in Matthew 23 verse 15, How terrible it will be for you, legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You travel over sea and land to make one convert. But when they've been converted, they become twice the child of hell you are.)
What is solution to this deterioration of humanity? It is Obedience.
But it is obedience not to an evil task master, or a sycophant, or egotist. It is obedience to our creator, the God who formed us individually, specially crafting us in Genesis chapter 2. This is the one who knows what is best for us and has died for us. So what has happened? People have seen people in power abuse their power. So the general idea creeps in that goes something like this; Obedience is slavery demanded by a person who just wants his or her will to be done by me.
It is true that there are sinful people (Romans 3:23 all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God) and sinful institutions (like slavery). But obedience to God means life, peace, joy and meaning. Obedience to God frees us from our self-imposed prisons and those prisons imposed upon us. It leads to the truth and grace of the God who loves us and wants us to be the truly unique, creative and loving people we were created to be.