Posted by: forfreedomalone | 18/08/2016

Trust and Obey.

There was a boy, playing under tree with his cars. He was sitting quite happily, on the grass, when his father came out of the house and shouted to him “Johnny, put those cars down and fall on your face”. The child did as he was bid.
 
“Now, crawl slowly towards me”, yelled his father.
The boy complied.
 
After a few moments the next instruction came bellowing across the lawn, “Get up, run home and stay indoors”.
The child rose to his feet and ran as fast as he could in the direction of the house.
 
This story was told to me many years ago and has always remained one of my favourites.
 
We are told, today, that we are presented with a choice between Grace and Law. That Grace is a NT option and Law the OT one. This is not so and nowhere in the Bible does God give us that choice.
We are told that obedience is a thing of the past. Nowhere does the Bible say this.
We are told that the Hebrews lived under a system where they tried to earn their righteousness. This is not so.
We are told that Grace is the Gospel and this is not so either.
 
 
Grace is part of the Gospel; the good news of God’s Kingdom; but it is not the gospel per sae.
The Hebrews of Moses day did not think they were earning righteousness by keeping the commandments, judgements or ordinances, they kept God’s teachings from an attitude of gratitude and trust. It was when that attitude changed that they became disobedient.
Jesus told us that anyone who taught that the Torah could be ignored would be least in the Kingdom of Heaven.(Matt. 5:19)
Noah was saved by grace, Abraham was made righteous by faith and both were expected to obey the commands of God.
 
There is no dichotomy between faith and obedience, between grace and ‘law’. They are entirely at peace with one another, IF the heart of the hearer is in faith.
 
In the story above, the child was entirely obedient to his father. He did exactly what he was told with no questions asked and no argument.
Why?
 
He was obedient to his father’s instructions in the moment they were issued, because he had been trained to know his father’s rules, obey them and to trust his father.
When we decide that we are no longer ‘under’ our father’s ‘rules’ we rebel against his instructions when they are issued. We don’t know his voice, because we have decided how it should sound rather than knowing its sound.
When we believe that doing anything which God has commanded is tantamount to ‘works righteousness’, we become unteachable and arrogant.
 
The child knew that when his father issued instructions it was for a very good reason and he trusted his father completely. So, the ‘rule’ was, ‘obey without question’ and the ‘works’ were to do what he was told. His ‘works’ brought him life; because what the story does not tell us, until the last minute, is, there was a Black Mamba hanging from the branch above where the child was playing.
Argument, rebellion, rationalisation, or delay could have cost the boy his life. Total trust and obedience saved it.
 
Trust alone was not enough, He had to obey to be saved.
Loving his father and knowing his father loved him, were not enough, he had to obey his father’s ‘rules’.
In fact, the love between them was made manifest in his obedience.
 
There is more legalism in the ‘church’ today than perhaps there has ever been, but it is not in the attitude of following rules to please God, it is in flouting rules to show how free one is.
True freedom does not display itself in rebellion, it displays itself in laying down one’s ‘rights and freedoms’ to prefer another. It is sacrificing oneself for another. This is what agape means.
 
We are totally free to do as we please in every way, but if we truely trust and love God we will lay down our way, our opinions and our freedoms to do things his way. This will take a knowledge of his way and obedience to it. This is what love does.
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