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Thursday, February 23, 2012

What is a Disciple - 7

In John 14:21, 23 – 24, we find the fifth mark of a disciple, obedience.  We have already seen that a disciple is a follower of Christ who is steeped in His Word, has an ever deepening prayer life, and is not only intentionally engaged in community but is also driven by his love for Christ to beg others to be reconciled to God.  All of this can be at some level encapsulated by obedience.

Obedience to Christ is not irrational robot like - it is the reasonable response to the enormity of His sacrifice for us.

Obedience is a hard word for us.  Google it for images (strict search filter only) and you get pictures of dog obedience schools.  We have a sense that there is mindlessness to obedience.  If you look up the word in a common dictionary you will probably chafe at the definition.  But that is the mark of one who follows Christ.  His invitation to the fisherman was an imperative.  Lest one think this is an isolated notion Luke 6:46 answers that decisively.  The clear expectation of Scripture is that as followers of Christ we are to be about obeying Him.

But look again at the source of the obedience in John 14:23, it is love.  The same motivation is echoed by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:14.  When we understand that we have been redeemed by the Creator of the universe from eternal agony, and He accomplished that by choosing first to die for us, and then choosing to draw us to Himself based solely on His grace and not on any merit in us.  When we contemplate the enormity of the humility of that act, in light of the fact that we did not want or deserve it and in fact were sworn enemies (Reread Romans 5), the only rational response is what Paul suggests in Romans 12:1, 2, present ourselves as a living sacrifice.  Obey.

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