Obedience Unto Death
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ; to you who have been born again of
the Spirit of God, please don't regard this writing as just another teaching,
glossing over the high points in your haste to get on with things of importance.
I implore you to take time out and study the precepts continuously until
it has become ingrained in your thinking pattern. In this way, you who
are an heir of salvation will be able to cash in your eternal promissory
We will probably need to adapt the way we live our lives.
He who has ears, let him hear.
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort
of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil
ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of
one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife
or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than
themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on
the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal
with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form
of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion
as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the
death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given
him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee
should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and
things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore,
my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now
much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Who do you think is the most important person in the world today?
Picture that person in your mind's eye. Ponder on this: what would you
think of him (or her) who would willingly give up all his power in such
a way as to fulfil God's purpose in the world?
Not Satan's purpose, but God's.
Even to be killed.
Are you the most important in your own mind's eye?
Would you (or I) be prepared to kill self (your will) in favour of His,
who has given us life for the purpose of choosing LIFE?
Because that is why we are alive and considering this subject at this time.
Be assured that we are living in Satan's kingdom today.
If we consider that God's laws are being openly flouted by national governments,
that there is a pervasive international wave of evil intentions towards
mankind, that governments are no longer the voices of the people, but the
exploiters of the people.
However, there is a righteous Government, an everlasting one that we can
choose to be a citizen of. Moreover, the King of the Government of heaven
has a handbook of the laws of that Kingdom, has supplied a Covenant Representative
for man so that we can obtain citizenship, as well as a guide who will
show the path to be taken to reach there.
Never the less, we each have to really want that heavenly citizenship and
be willing to practice its ordinance of the great commandment beforehand
so that we become eligible to redeem that promissory note on that day.
If you were to read the letters of the apostle Paul to the churches - from
Rome to Thessalonica, some of which were written as a result of reports
reaching him, you shall notice two themes.
Firstly, to correct or rebuke worldliness in the churches and secondly,
Spiritual guidance as to the correct path to follow. Not one of them recommended
that we follow worldly ways.
In Paul's day Satan used Jews to place stumbling blocks in the way of those
weak in the faith. Today the false prophets wear different clothes, but
the path to the Celestial City is the same.
Many Christians are taught and believe that they can carry on in the same
worldly way and merely ask God to strengthen them spiritually and they
will be strengthened.
The following passage of Scripture (taken out of context) is often used
as an example:
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part
thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be
clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and
gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in
me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not
away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto
me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted
However, at this time David was the most powerful king in the Bible, possibly
in the world of that era and had just been told that he was an adulterer
and a murderer by proxy, and as a result was on his face before God in
The truth of the matter, which Paul repeats time and again to Christians
is that we have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
Here are a few examples:
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,
I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them
which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting
away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall
the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit
be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be
holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken
off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and
with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not
against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but
the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I
might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and
thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared
not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell,
severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness:
otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved,
we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with
our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not
be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being
burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality
might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame
thing is God, who also hath given unto us the
earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident,
knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the
Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say,
and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the
Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted
of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that
every one may receive the things done in his body, according
to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore
the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto
God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
(2 Corinthians 5:1-11)
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing
from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors
until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children,
were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of
the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under
the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive
the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the
Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou
art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through
Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which
by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather
are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements,
whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months,
and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you
labour in vain.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty
for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the
law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed
that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in
the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh
lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these
are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that
ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now
the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders,
drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before,
as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified
the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let
us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking
one another, envying one another.
But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing
in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own
burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth
in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever
a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,
(by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made
us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That
in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in
his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift
of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in
time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that
which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that
time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,
and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without
God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off
are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
A teaching given three times for emphasis to the carnal church in Corinth:
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's
work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon,
he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall
suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye
not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth
in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for
the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
(1 Corinthians 3:13-17)
What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for
two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord
is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without
the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which
is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are
bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit,
which are God's.
(1 Corinthians 6:16-20)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship
hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light
with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath
he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of
God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said,
I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be
ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and
I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons
and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
We must all:
Turn away from willing sin.
Turn away from worldly ways.
Turn to obedience unto life.
1 The provision of our Loving Heavenly Father:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath
blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated
us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according
to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace,
wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption
through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of
his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good
pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of
the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ,
both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In
whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according
to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own
will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in
Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of
truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye
were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our
inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto
the praise of his glory. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith
in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks
for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom
and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding
being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and
what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what
is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,
according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ,
when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand
in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and
might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world,
but also in that which is to come:
- And you hath he quickened, who were dead
in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the
course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom
also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh,
fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature
the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for
his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath
quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised
us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places
in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches
of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
- (Ephesians 2:1-7)