Obey the Truth of the Gospel

Obedience. The word conjures up images and thought of behavior and performance for many people. Legalistic pastors and leaders often teach on obedience in an effort to spur people on in their works – trying to make people fall in line and follow rules and regulations; leading many people into guilt, despair, confusion and fear when they fail… wondering how they could ever measure up, “be good enough” or be accepted and approved-of by God.

New Covenant obedience as defined in the scriptures, however, shows us a different kind of obedience. One not founded on the works or self-effort of man, but one based on the perfect work of Jesus Christ. This kind of obedience is backwards to man’s idea, and the thinking of the world. The world says that we must perform to become… we must perform properly to become accepted. However the scriptures tell us that in the New Covenant, we believe that through Christ, we have become accepted already, and we perform because we are New Creations through the Spirit. In reality, our belief is our obedience. We are obedient to the truth. And this is what we will be studying today.

The Real Meaning of Humble Yourself

You’ve probably heard it before that we are supposed to “humble ourselves”. This is a favorite saying of many preachers, especially those who like to use the Bible as a blunt-force object. Whenever they see someone doing something wrong, the go-to phrase for many of them is “You need to humble yourself before a holy God!” – I’ve had this phrase lobbed at me many times, in many different places, yet I was never told what it actually meant. I used to assume that it meant to berate yourself, because after all, the legalistic and condemning preachers just spent an entire sermon telling me all the things that I need to do to get right with God, and how displeasing I am to Him, so that must be a form of humbling, right?

That was my thought process all those years ago, and I have found that many believers today still think along the same lines. Many people are still very confused about the idea of humbling themselves. So that’s why today in this study, we will be examining what it really means to humble ourselves; and by seeing the truth presented in scripture, we will not be in confusion regarding this phrase any longer.

Your Obedience is to Jesus’ Obedience

Have you been struggling to be obedient? In many Christian circles today, the focus is on obedience. Many times people say that obedience is important – and I completely agree… the Bible has much to say on the topic of obedience. Where we tend to differ, is the manner of that obedience. And this manner is defined in the covenant that we are under today as believers in Christ. It is important to understand our covenant today in order to truly understand the type and manner of obedience that is required by the covenant.

Most people automatically assume that when they see the word obedience in the Bible that it is always referring to outward obedience via performance and actions. This was certainly true in the Old Covenant of the Law of Moses. However the Bible describes a different type of obedience for believers today who are under the New Covenant of Grace in Christ. This is what we will be studying today, because it is very difficult to be obedient under the terms of our covenant if we do not know what the terms are.

Be Sure in Christ and Never Fall

A common belief among the church is we should exhort each-other to holy living, which we commonly believe to be to stop committing sinful acts. This has actually caused a lot of confusion, resentment, bitterness and condemnation with many in the church due to the fact that it takes the center focus away from Christ and puts the focus back onto ourselves and our own works. It may surprise you to learn then that God has a completely different diagnosis and prescription for living a strong life in Christ (your holiness is actually already taken care of, as we have studied previously); but as for living a strong and solid life built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the typical way in which the church body handles this is not only detrimental, but actually opposite to what scripture says!

That’s why, today in this study we will be examining from scripture what God says about living a strong life in Christ. How it happens, what can hinder it, and how we should react if we see someone else struggling (or ourselves!) and hint: it is not by pointing out their faults! If you have been wondering what the real Biblical solution is to strength for living, this study will reveal the “secret”.

Jesus Fulfilled the Law in You

I have had many talks with believers over the years, many of whom are at different places in their relationship with Christ. Even so, there is one issue that seems to be brought up again and again… and that is this inner-desire or perceived need to fulfill the Law. These people feel as though the Law somehow remains unmet or unsatisfied and that they are left to fulfill it themselves, and that to not do so, disappoints God or shows Him disrespect.

Another commonly held belief is that by attempting to keep or fulfill the Law, we are showing gratitude toward God for what He has done. However both of these ideas are simply avenues by which the Old Covenant is being reintroduced – placing new wine back into an old wineskin, which Jesus said cannot be done in Mark 2:22. This desire to fulfill the Law ourselves, is erroneous because it fails to recognize the finished work of Jesus Christ for you and in you. This is what we will be studying today.

Christ Jesus: Your Victory Over the World

Nearly every single day, I invariably have at least one encounter with someone struggling in their behavior to some degree. I am not speaking about people of the world here, but about believers. People who genuinely want to “do the right thing.” but find themselves incapable of accomplishing their goal. This should not be surprising, because as we have been studying in the scriptures, it is very clear that we have no ability to perform within ourselves. Our victory does not come from our own self-effort, striving or willpower.

This does not mean that we have to live in defeat. There is a source of strength, there is an avenue of victory over the world – though it may not come the way that you expect. Many believers actually think that victory only comes by buckling down, gritting your teeth and clenching your fist tighter – in other words through “trying harder”, but this is not what the Bible teaches. What we will be studying today is how to have true victory, through Jesus Christ.

Blessings Come When You See Jesus

Imagine for a moment if you will, that God appeared to you in a dream and asked you what He was to give you. What it is that you would ask for? Perhaps more money? Healing? Maybe to find true love? Would you ask to see more of Jesus? Now I am not asking the question in order to bring a sense of guilt on you, so please don’t feel that way. However what we will be reading in scripture today will actually shift your mentality, to see that actually all of the other blessings will come as you see and receive more of Jesus into your life, because He is actually the source of every blessing.

As we study this today, it is my sincere hope for you that this will change your outlook, and even your thinking as you study the Bible in your personal time. That Bible reading will not be a chore, or a tool for behavior modification. But that it will become a joy and a treasure, as you grow closer to the LORD, and live a life of divine blessing through Him.

You Are Holy in Christ

What does it mean to be holy? People have many different ideas about the word… from piousness and being overtly spiritual like the Pharisees, secluding yourself and meditating, or some other combination of self-effort and works. The Biblical definition of holiness is “to be set apart for your intended purpose”. But this definition has been largely misinterpreted and misunderstood, and has become something much more carnal and fleshly.

That’s why today in this study, we will be taking a look at holiness, in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ; and as we see this truth from the scripture, the false burden of trying to be holy will be replaced with receiving the holiness that Jesus has paid for us to have.