Obedience to God
“Be ye doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Grace is not a license to sin. Just like children are to obey their parents, just like Jesus obeyed God, we are to obey our Heavenly Father. Not to become His children, or righteous in His sight–faith in Jesus does that for us, but because we are already His children and the righteousness of God in Him. As His holy, redeemed and righteous children, obedience is how we bring forth the fruit, or harvest, of our righteousness. That’s how we walk in and manifest the holiness we have received from Jesus! That’s how we glorify Him and fulfill His wonderful plan for our lives. (Is. 32:17; Heb. 12;11; Eph. 2:10)
Grace is not a license to sin, but a call to obedience based on love. Motivated by God’s love, grace enables us to “work out our salvation” –that is an obedience made possible by God working in us both to will and do His good pleasure. Grace enables us to be “led by the Spirit” –that is an obedience made possible by the Spirit’s power. Grace enables us to abide in Him and bring forth much fruit–that is an obedience made possible through our union and communion with Jesus.
God-enabled obedience, that’s what grace makes possible, as we draw upon Him. How? By believing He is our ability and He is working in us both to will and do His good pleasure. By believing He is our life and strength. By believing He is overcoming sin and the flesh as the Greater One inside of us. By refusing to come under condemnation, while responding humbly to the Father’s loving and firm correction and discipline.
Correction? Discipline? Yes! Under grace, God does not treat disobedience as a legal matter, requiring judgement and punishment. He does not issue tickets, put us on trial, fine us, or send us to jail for violations. But He will treat it as a family matter, applying loving and firm correction and discipline as needed for our good. That is because He loves us.
Remember, no condemnation does not mean no earthly consequences. Nor does it mean no Fatherly correction and discipline. Instead, one of the functions of grace is that it blesses us with a Father who lovingly corrects us for our good, so that we may partake of His holiness, rather than a Judge, who wields out punishment for sins.
“If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:7-8 NKJV)
Child of God, grace makes obedience possible. It does not make disobedience permissible–just forgiven. Grace is never cheap, but our response to grace can be, if we think it frees us to sin, and from God’s plan that His children walk in the light as children of Light.
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”” (I Peter 1:13-16)