Sunday, June 26, 2011

Obey Him

I Cor 7:19 "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandment of God is what matters."

Interesting verse for today. What was this all about? Paul continued to write to the Corinthian church about the importance of marriage. Chapter 7 is really a primer on staying single, getting married and staying married…and apparently this church needed to learn a few things about how to treat the opposite sex.

In the middle of it all is this verse. Paul was talking about the status of life that you were in when you became a believer. Were you married, stay that way. Were you single, he thought it was best if you stayed that way. Were you a slave, stay that way unless the Lord allows you to get out of that situation. Were you uncircumcised? Don't try to get bound by the law now and change that. Why? Because this act that was required through the time of Abraham is not what matters. I am sure that this was a huge revelation to a Jewish church. I mean, this is what set the Jews apart. This showed their devotion to God. And now Paul is saying that this is nothing? Then what is important? Keeping the commandments. Really? That is what is important in a New Testament church? Of course. Obedience shows our hearts. Obedience shows where our devotion is. Obedience shows who is the Master and Controller of our lives.

But I actually think it goes beyond that. Today I have a chance to preach at church. This is unusual. I usually do not do this, but our Pastor is away on a missions trip and I was asked to fill in. I am preaching out of the Book of Amos where it is written three times: "The Lord is His name." What does that have to do with the commandments? Everything because what good are the commandments if there is not something to back them up? What good are the commandments without an authority behind them? The authority is the Lord, Jehovah, the Existing One. I have heard that there is a method of evangelism that instructs people to tell others about the commandments because it is the commandments that are our tutor to tell us that we are sinners. That is true. But I think it kind of misses the point. Why are we sinners? Because we break the commandments? No. Because we violate the character of God. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." We don't fall short of the commandments. We fall short of the glory and character of God. It is God's character that is the basis for the commandments. It is God's character that should be our measuring stick. It is God's character that matters.

So why keep the commandments? Because when we do we are reflecting who God is. He is Lord. He is Jehovah. He is the Existing One. Obey Him.

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