King Asa vs President Obama

In the Book of 1 Kings chapter 15, verses 11 and 12, we read: “AND ASA DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD, AS DID DAVID HIS FATHER.  AND HE TOOK AWAY THE SODOMITES OUT OF THE LAND, AND REMOVED ALL THE IDOLS THAT HIS FATHERS HAD MADE.”

Notice the Bible says that King Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord because, among other things, he removed homosexuals from the land of Israel. King Asa uprooted the sin of sodomy from his land.

That can definitely not be said of the current president of the United States of America, who wants his entire country to be awash with homosexuals, LBGTs and all kinds of inverted sexual practitioners. Moreover, and worse, is the fact that he is coercing other nations, including African countries, to institute these “human rights”, as he considers them, within their borders. His Secretary of State, John Kerry recently threatened to withhold aid to the Ugandan government for decreeing stringent anti-gay laws in the country.

In inference, therefore, President Obama wants the whole world to accommodate homosexuals.

At the very outset, let us keep in mind that God deeply loves homosexual people, as He does President Obama. And we, too, ought to go out to them with the highest level of the love of Christ. (Actually, a person who is living in sin is a person who is worthy of all our compassion for, unawares – or probably knowingly – they suffer terribly).

But we cannot ignore the fact that God is at war with sin. That’s a fact. God’s love for mankind is therefore not a ticket to live in sin. God’s love for humankind is actually revealed in His fight against sin.

The “human rights” that Obama is championing are certainly not God’s rights or preferences. In fact, they are the exact reverse. These “rights” originate from sin. They are Satanic, demonic.

President Obama says he is a Christian, and I even read that he attends church. I am left wondering whether he actually reads the Bible! The above scriptures prove that in going to church and in saying that he is a Christian, this particular “king” neither knows what he is doing nor what he is saying. More alarming for him, though, is that one day he will stand before God and account for all the people that he led away from God’s law.

In the final analysis, it would have been so much better for him to not say anything than to say and advocate something which is so clearly against God’s righteousness.

Y’know, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to ask one of my readers in the U.S. to meet up with President Obama and ask him to read 1 Kings 15:11-12. And to mull it over.

7 THE LAW OF THE LORD IS PERFECT, CONVERTING THE SOUL: THE TESTIMONY OF THE LORD IS SURE, MAKING WISE THE SIMPLE.

8 THE STATUTES OF THE LORD ARE RIGHT, REJOICING THE HEART: THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD IS PURE, ENLIGHTENING THE EYES.

9 THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS CLEAN, ENDURING FOR EVER: THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LORD ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS ALTOGETHER.

10 MORE TO BE DESIRED ARE THEY THAN GOLD, YEA, THAN MUCH FINE GOLD: SWEETER ALSO THAN HONEY AND THE HONEYCOMB.

11 MOREOVER BY THEM IS THY SERVANT WARNED: AND IN KEEPING OF THEM THERE IS GREAT REWARD. Psalm 19:7-11

[Below:]

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More Grace…

As the new year dawns upon us, one thing and one thing alone, keeps ringing in my heart: that the church needs to grow in grace. If it were a matter of new year “resolutions”, then I would say, Let this year be a year of more grace for the church.

The church does not need more money, the church does not need more buildings nor (please!) does it need more private jets. What the church needs is more grace.

You could even go to the third heaven as the Apostle Paul did, and come back to earth; but if you do not have grace in your life, you are nothing. I mean you are nothing as far as God is concerned, of course. It is an undeniable fact that if you went to the third heaven and came back to earth you could become many things. You could become famous. You could start your own church or you could even write a book and become a star. But if you do not have grace in your heart, you are nothing. You are of no value to the church, and you are nothing in God’s sight.

One time a great preacher came to our church in Musoma and there was much to-do all over the place as the church bent itself over the edge to minister to this great man of God. Then one day the man woke up and he found the hot water for his bath was not ready yet.

He was a black man and he became so livid that if he could have gotten blacker he would have! He spoke many grace-less things. And the hapless young men we had put at his disposal to minister to him ran about like chickens in an effort to placate this preacher’s wrath.

No, the church needs more grace. It does no even need “great men of God”. In fact Jesus said that if you want to become a “great man of God” you should serve the weaker! Who is sufficient for such things? It is only the man or woman who has put aside his human nature.

Today it is like people are reading the Bible upside down, like Gaston in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”. But we must read the Bible straight up.

Grace is the inheritance that God has given to the church. The Apostle Paul puts it this way, For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty…” (Gal. 5:13). He does not say that we have been called “to liberty and…” No. He simply says we have been called to liberty, full stop. The word “liberty” there talks of grace. Grace to serve a God of grace. Grace is the church’s inheritance.

The church today is seeking after so many things. Doctrine after doctrine has been set up to seek after all the wrong things. But it is, as they say, “You are looking in the wrong place!”

There is only one thing we are to seek after: God’s grace for our lives. Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mat. 5:33).

Let us desire to make 2015 a year of grace for the church. Then the world will see and they will admire our lives. Jesus said that it is by walking in love that we would reveal Him to the world: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (Jn. 13:35).

[Below: Today I leave you with one of the songs that have made my holiday season memorable, “Mary Did You Know”]

A Most Welcome Visitor

14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Gal. 6:14-15

For the believer who truly desires to follow after Christ, the revelation of the cross of Jesus Christ is the most welcome guest they could possibly receive in their hearts. Nothing – no physical miracle, no heavenly vision, no celestial visitation – nothing in earth or in heaven could compare to the beauty of the revelation of the cross in our hearts.

The Apostle Paul says that in Christ Jesus (which means that as far we believers are concerned) nothing is needed apart from a new creature. This is a creature that is completely cut off or separated from this world. There is an umbilical cord that connects us to this world. That umbilical cord is our flesh.

The cross of Christ is the the only force that can deal with our most attritive enemy, the flesh. The Apostle Paul said that this revelation was what set him free from the power of the world.

If we are truly intent on following Christ and partaking of His glory, then we ought to joyfully welcome the revelation of the cross into our hearts and into our lives.

Let us consider the two famous scriptures that Paul wrote to the two churches which had backslid from the doctrine that he had initially given to them. Notice that nowhere in the scriptures are we told the doctrine that Paul taught the churches that he pioneered; but in these his two epistles he gives us clearly what it was that he taught them: he says he brought to them the revelation of the cross of Christ.

To the Corinthians he says: “1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:1-2).

And to the Galatians he wrote: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Gal. 3:1)

These two statements make us to understand the gospel that Paul preached to every church that he founded or visited. If this generation is serious with God, we can only desire to understand and to welcome with open arms this revelation.

Let us conclude by considering Paul’s words in Galatians 5:5: “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”

Here it is clear that Paul is saying that we may not be completely righteous at the present time, but we do have one thing: faith. Faith sees into the future. Faith sees the unseeable. And here Paul says all that God has given us for now is faith. And through this faith we await, having in us the hope of being made completely righteous one day; and that hope is there with us through the faith that the Holy Spirit gives to us.

Let us therefore cast aside doubt and run to embrace this revelation. It does not matter how it may have come to us; in whatever way it has come to us, if we have seen and understood it even slightly, let us quickly and wholesomely embrace it, by faith. Walking by faith means we may not understand everything at the present time, but if we have faith we will trust and hope! Through that faith we can embrace the revelation that God brings to our hearts and trust Him to work everything out to complete the transformation that He needs to in our lives.

In practical terms, embracing the cross means accepting to suffer for Christ’s sake; and suffering means walking in love, as Paul makes it so clear in Galatians. It means walking in forgiveness, and in every aspect of the love of God. That is God’s interpretation of love!

[Below: In the heat of the mid-day sun in Dar es Salaam, it is not unusual to find everybody in a city bus, including the driver, asleep at the traffic lights]

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The Case For Humility

19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Rom. 3:19-28

The Apostle Paul said, “I am what I am by the grace of God” (1 Cor. 15:10).

Hmmm. Much food for thought there.

The truly remarkable thing about Paul is that from the moment he understood the righteousness of God, he walked in that righteousness to the end. He was able to completely cast off his own righteousness.

Many of us might not be aware of it, but walking in the righteousness of God is the steepest gradient we will ever confront in our spiritual “safari”. This is because the righteousness of God is the basis of our salvation; but the human nature within us wants to institute its own false righteousness. We like to think we are good. That is nothing but human pride.

Without a doubt, the greatest contradiction in God’s Kingdom is a proud Christian. This is someone who does not understand the basis of his salvation. We could also say he does not understand the basics of salvation. He does not understand the littlest rudiment of the gospel. As such, he is a babe in Christ.

Sadly, there are many preachers, pastors, prophets, apostles and other men of God who are proud, by which definition they are babes in Christ. (If you haven’t seen a proud “servant of God”, you must have just walked in from the moon. They are packed in the ministry! And while we are still at it, did you notice how the word “ministry” sometimes rhymes in with “nursery”? And that’s seriously speaking.)

A proud Christian is someone who does not understand the rot he is or was until Jesus came to wash him clean. The Bible says clearly, “All have sinned”. There is no way, even by the longest stretch of the imagination, that man could conceive of himself as sinless. But still God takes the trouble to show us that we are (Rom. 3:9-18).

That leaves God, and God alone, righteous. As impossible as it is to conceive of ourselves without sin, it is equally impossible to visualize God as having sin.

There are some things that our spirits understand which our human mind does not.

The basis of our salvation is therefore Christ. In Him is God’s righteousness revealed. Jesus came and died on the cross so that God’s righteousness may be imputed to us. The word “imputed” means “credited”. Therefore, God’s righteousness is credited to us when we believe on Jesus. By His death on the cross, Jesus offered up a sacrifice that sufficed fully for God to be able to impute His righteousness to us.

That is why the Apostle Paul concludes that a man is justified before God by faith without the works of the law.

Works are good and they are certainly demanded of us. But you cannot put the cart before the horse. Works not built on the foundation of the righteousness of God are like rags of cloth in God’s eyes.

In verse 27 the apostle asks, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith” (v. 27).

Faith decrees or acknowledges that we are what God’s Word says we are – rotten – and that there is none righteous, except God Himself. By His own love for us He decided to impute His own righteousness to us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, that we might become righteous, just as He is righteous.

Those are three incredibly important facts tied in together. And our position in that equation is not an enviable one.

Where is our boasting, then? Where is the place for human pride? None whatsoever. The minute we allow ourselves to think of anything of us outside the realm of God’s righteousness, we automatically go back to our old state – rotten.

God’s righteousness and our own righteousness. The presence of one throws out the other.

Dare we then think of ourselves as anything? Not unless, of course, we are bewitched. We could laugh at the word “bewitched” there were it not for the unsavoury truth that our bewitcher is the carnal nature which we carry within us. One careless moment and we get entangled in its snare.

This is the nature that needs to be crucified. And this is where the word “maturity” comes in.

That is why every Christian needs to grow, to mature. We need to go beyond a rudimentary understanding of the cross. We need to understand the cross’s ability to mature us in Christ. Our understanding of the basics of our salvation is tied in with our spiritual maturity. The more you grow spiritually, the more you understand God’s righteousness as opposed to ‘your’ righteousness.

That is why the truly mature Christian is also the truly humble Christian.

[Below: Are we daily crucifying the flesh and racing on towards maturity … and an understanding of the righteousness of God?]

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Understanding God’s Righteousness Produces Humility

(1 Samuel chapter 30)

Some people think that David became king of Israel because he could play the harp. No, sir. The reason David became king of Israel is because he had a certain kind of heart which we all need to have if we are to be kings and priests in the Kingdom of God.

The background to this story is that the Amalekites had come and attacked David’s town of Siklag, burning it to the ground and taking all the people (mainly women and children) while David and his men were away. But God gave David and his men direction, courage and strength and they followed after the Amalekites to rescue their people. But the Amalekites had had a 3-day start and this meant that David and his men had to move fast – too fast, in fact, that some men fainted by the way. When they arrived at a stream called Besor, two hundred men were unable to cross over, and David and some four hundred of his men who were able to move on had to leave these here, no doubt guarding any excess luggage.

David and his men caught up with the Amalekites and the Lord gave them a sounding victory over them. It appears the Amalekites were a very large number because the Bible says that “16 …. behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth… And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.” 1 Sam. 30:16-17

Thus David rescued all his people and he recovered everything the Amalekites had stolen. But the Amalekites had also raided other cities and they therefore had an enormous amount of booty. All of this David and his men recovered also from them.

When David came back to the men whom he had left at the brook Besor, the Bible says that these men “went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them.” (v. 21)

David saluted them. I love that. He said, “Howdy, guys! How have you been?” I can see the warm smile on his face at finding his men safe, well and no doubt refreshed.

But, unfortunately, there were amongst the men who had gone with David to war “wicked men and men of Belial” (meaning men of Satan), who were against the 200 who had remained behind being given any of the spoils “save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart.”

I cannot even begin to contemplate the utter helplessness and futility that the men to whom these words were directed felt. Those words must have been like knives cutting into their intestines. And it would have been doubly so, coming from their comrades-in-arms.

I thank God for men like David.

Now, if you are in church and you have such an attitude towards your fellow brethren as these men had, then the Bible straightaway calls you a wicked person and a son (or daughter) of the devil. That’s quite a rotten heart, anyway.

And while I am at it, may I point out that too many Christians today are trying to escape responsibility by playing the judgement card. If you say something they feel they are not comfortable with, they say, “Don’t be judgemental!” or “Don’t condemn!”

If someone is judging or condemning me, that’s their problem with God. On my part, it would be of far greater profit to me if I were to take their ‘judgement’ as a challenge.

But let us get back to David. When David heard these wicked men’s words, you would think that since they had played such a big part in the rescue mission David would hearken to them or try to hold some sort of council meeting with them.

But David promptly shot down the idea. But, even more importantly, it is the fashion in which he ‘killed’ that idea that is of interest to us here. “Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand.” (v. 23)

David did not say, “OK, guys, I know you’ve worked your knuckles off…”, no! In no way would David allow himself, nor those with him, to lose sight of the One who had given them the victory. He gave all the credit for the success of the mission to God.

There and then David declared that the spoils would be divided equally among those who had gone to battle and those who had remained behind.

And, the Bible says, “ it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.” (v.25)

If you can’t say “Amen!” to that you aren’t far from the grave.

When we get to know the righteousness of God, we arrive at the foundation of fulfilling God’s law in our lives. In the first place we are so humbled we consider ourselves as nothing. Secondly, we put God on the pedestal of our lives and since we are no longer there (we are dead to ourselves) we consider all that we have accomplished as not accomplished by us, but by Him.

Lastly, of course, we acknowledge that we are no different from those who have done lesser than we, or even those who have done nothing. I believe this is the greatest challenge facing many of the “self-made” Christians we see today. I personally won’t go as far as calling anyone “wicked men and men of Belial” here, but the Bible does so, and those words are certainly a shot across the bows of anyone who harbors pride and self-righteousness in their hearts.

When we are walking in the righteousness of God, we humbly acknowledge that He who accomplishes things in us is the same who fails to accomplish them in others. Human logic is thrown out the window here; you cannot say, “Oh, because I did this I deserve that!” Sometimes the reward will go to the one who did nothing. For God’s ways – and judgements – are unsearchable.

The Apostle Paul says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Rom. 11:33

[Below: Each one has a part to play in church; none is more important than the other.]

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Faith Produces Humility

When God first saves us, He does an incredible work in our lives, a deep change. His calling upon our lives comes with many blessings, many gifts – and God is so rich! But these changes and blessings are not the primary thing that has happened to us at that particular time. The Bible tells us exactly what happens at the moment of salvation.

The most important thing that happens at the moment of our salvation, the Bible says, is that God is imputing His righteousness upon us. Not our righteousness, but His. This “imputing of righteousness” is something that God does Himself; it is the single thing where He absolutely does not require us to do anything in order to receive it. In fact, if we do anything to try and receive this righteousness it nullifies God’s righteousness in our lives. The righteousness that we receive by faith is a gift from God; it is something that cannot come from man nor from any good we do.

Even the faith to believe comes from God. It is a gift. You cannot say you had the faith to believe in Jesus; no, it was God who gave you that faith. This is an incredible revelation, and we ought to be always thankful.

This is the revelation that Abraham received and it was by grasping this revelation that he pleased God so much that God made and fulfilled all those promises to him. Amongst other things Abraham is also the father of them that believe. We already established these things in an earlier post, but there is no harm in repeating them here.

My teaching today is how this revelation humbles the man who comes into its realization. Once again, we will use the example of Abraham.

The Bible says in Genesis 13:7-9: “And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.

Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”

Many of us take the words that Abraham spoke here for granted. Many of us even know them by heart. But I assure you, these are spiritual words. They are not the words of a man who has run out of options. Abraham had all the rights to that land, but he surrendered them. The words he spoke are words that come from a man who realizes that he owns nothing, though all be his. He acknowledges that all he has is given to him by God.

Abraham, understanding the righteousness that comes by faith, and not by works, was so humble he could surrender his legal rights to Lot. Lot does not come out as a very appreciative person but that did not faze Abraham in the least.

Abraham made it abundantly clear to Lot that he was willing to bend whichever way Lot wanted him to bend.

God goes very far with a man such as Abraham, and He certainly did. Today, many thousands of years after, Abraham is still bearing seed in the Spirit.

One of the things that stymies me is a proud Christian. I wonder, Where did he get that from? Believe me, I have seen many proud men within the Body of Christ; but the even sadder fact is that most of these are preachers of the gospel. One African preacher I know of – long dead now, unfortunately – would demand to be sent an airplane ticket, first class, before he could commit himself to go preach anywhere. He was much in demand during the charismatic era.

The world probably wouldn’t be enough to write in the list of ‘pride sins’ committed by Christians. They range from things that would make your ears to literally “tingle” to the tiniest thought that we carry in our hearts. They include the many small –and big! – turf wars that we wage over, literally, nothing.

But pride in a Christian’s life is a result of considering the faith one has as though it were by works, and not by grace. He feels he deserves whatever he is fighting for. He cannot surrender because he feels that somehow he has worked for it, and that he has earned it. That kind of attitude is un-Christian. We as born-again believers can earn nothing, we have nothing, we know nothing, we are nothing.

Abraham surrendered because he understood what the Apostle Paul comes to explain long after:

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:6-8)

This understanding of the righteousness that comes by faith was what made God to call Abraham His friend. God is a friend of those who walk in the revelation of His Word, for they learn to humble themselves.

 

[Below, Dar es Salaam: “MUNGU IBARIKI KAZI YA MIKONO YANGU” – GOD BLESS THE LABOR OF MY HANDS.]

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Obeying God Pt.2

The arrival of Eve must have been a rude awakening for Adam. Through her he came to know the sin in his heart. Adam must have been shocked to learn what was in his heart. No wonder he ran off and hid himself from the presence of God!

Still, he did not know half the story…. The extent of the rot in his heart is conveyed in the “defense” he brought up before God: “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree…” (3:12). It is called passing the buck. Evil trying to cover up evil!

Within minutes, the first man had “openly” sinned twice. It was quite an experience!

I am sure God gave Adam an opportunity to “carry the Cross”, as it were – to humble himself and repent. But he, being “earthy”, could not. We, on the other hand, have been born of the second Adam who is “from heaven”, and should find absolutely no problem confessing and repenting of our sins and our bad heart attitudes.

Like Adam, we too would probably never have known the extent of the “sin” in our hearts had we not met the specific people or situations that God allows into our lives. God uses them to reveal the condition of our hearts, after which He gives us the choice to do away with that sin. Unlike Adam, however, we have the power to do exactly as God requires us to. The Bible says: There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven” (1 Cor. 15:44-47). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the “power of God” which enables us to obey God!

When I married my wife and things began going wrong in our marriage I could have decided that I could not live with that kind of woman, that “she was not God’s choice for me”. I could have divorced her and married another. I was free to choose any road I wanted to take. But, somehow by the grace of God, I saw the pride in my heart and decided to humble myself and accept that my heart needed healing.

If you think you are a “good” person, it is probably because you are spiritually naïve. After serving God and “carrying the cross” for many years in his life, the Apostle Paul probably thought he was standing at the gates of perfection – until someone slapped him physically in the mouth –Acts 23:1. ( Someone once slapped me in the face and I know the potency of such an experience, although I forgave him a long time ago).

It is interesting how much we throw scripture about without stopping to think the power those words ought to have in our own lives. But Paul never once put down the Cross, and its power in his life is revealed in the fact that when confronted he was able to humble himself and ask for forgiveness. Such a man could tell the Corinthians, rightly, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”

God wants us to realize how much we need Him. We desperately need Jesus, and Him crucified – and resurrected – in our lives! We must be truly patterned after the second Adam, Jesus Christ, by walking in the revelation of the Cross. Only then can we know true obedience. Only then can we please God.

Obeying God Pt.1

(I have made this post into a two-part series for ease of reading.)

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Heb. 5:7-9).

The keyword here is “obedience”. It is truly humbling that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would be taught to obey God! But Jesus came to earth specifically to do that: to obey God as an ordinary human being so that we, too, might obey Him.

When God created Adam He created him “humanly” perfect, but Adam was not a spiritually perfect being. (Had been spiritually perfect he would not have sinned in the first place). The Bible says he was “of the earth, earthy” (1 Cor. 15:47), so that makes it clear that Adam was not spiritual.

In fact, Adam had a very serious spiritual problem, and God wanted to fix it.

The other day I was watching a movie where one of the characters was warned not to mix in a certain chemical during an experiment, and guess what – the minute he found himself all alone, the guy wanted to try out the chemical that he had been specifically told not to use! Needless to say, the results were catastrophic.

This man desired to do something which he knew was wrong. That is mankind’s basic problem. That was what God wanted to reveal to Adam: that he was a rebel by nature. And God wanted to deal with that.

We should never wonder what kind of human being Adam was. He was just like you and me. Only, the opportunity had not presented itself for him to know the real nature of his heart. Then along came Eve – only one additional person – and everything began to go horribly wrong. What followed after, as more and more ‘Adams’ and ‘Eves’ came up, was an endless cycle of one evil generation tumbling after another evil generation, and today we are probably the worst generation of them all.

Naturally, we are tempted to wonder why God would not make Adam spiritually perfect right from the start. No way! The Bible clearly states that God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:23). God wanted Adam to be like Him in free will, which is the highest privilege God could have given him. In other words, God must have told Adam, “Man, I want you to be free as we are. You are free to choose the kind of life you want to live.”

He gave him a choice in becoming perfectly righteous as God Himself is. It had to be a choice. God always gives us the freedom to choose. That is the nature of God. (No one, therefore, will have any excuse on that Day).