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Confident and Zealous

February 4, 2016

The Christian’s relationship with God is certain. All those who are the children of God have and will forever have fellowship with Him. The Christian’s relationship with God is contingent upon obedience to His commands. Those who are the children of God must live in accord with His Word to enjoy the blessings of relationship with Him. Though apparently contradictory both statements are true.

How does one view his relationship with God to be dependent on righteous living and still have the comfort of the assurance that his relationship with God is eternally secure? A simple family analogy may help. A son has the confidence he is his father’s son loved and secure in his care at home. Through disobedience this same son can lose the delights of that relationship. He may fall under condemnation and punishment. He may suffer for a time the just wrath of his father. He may displease his dad yet face no danger of losing his position in the family. While the Christian’s ternal relationship is secure and his position in Christ is unchanging, the temporal experience of the relationship is directly impacted by his obedience. The refusal to do that which is commanded by God is rebellion and hinders the immediate relationship with God.

The certainty of eternal fellowship with God does not hinder obedience, nor should it promote any kind of lackadaisical attitude about obedience. Resting in the finished work of Jesus is no justification for hard work in the Christian life. Diligent and disciplined obedience is not legalistic. Because Jesus’ work is finished, the faithful Christian labors diligently to live out the work accomplished by Christ. Active obedience is the proper response to a completed salvation.

Energetic obedience is the response modeled by New Testament believers. A faithful Christian works strenuously to please His Father. In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul expresses his commitment to labor exhaustively to be pleasing to God. 1 John 3:22 speaks of us doing those things which are pleasing in His sight. Our confidence is secure and yet our relationship is dependent. Paul prays repeatedly for believers to live in a manner appropriate to their position in Jesus and to please Him in all things. The manner of life which is appropriate is clearly described in the Bible. The things that hinder relationship with God are plainly warned about in the Word. Failing to abide by God’s Word will mean the individual believer is not right with God and he will suffer the loss of the joy of relationship with his Father. Because the Christian is secure in Christ he will go to great lengths to work hard to obey all of Jesus’ commands. Did not Jesus Himself say, “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.”? Rejoice because your position in Christ is secure. Do not let that security diminish personal discipline and daily diligence to live obedient to Jesus’ commands.

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