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Scripture Reading: Isaiah 64:6-12
Character Building: Reverent Obedience (Part 12)
1. What distinguishes the character of NT Christians from the good, moral person of the world? Ans.: The Christian has been redeemed and is now devoted to Christ in reverent, obedient faith, Acts 10:1-2, 22; 11:14.
a. God’s elect, Col 3:12 (1 Pet 2:9-10).
b. God’s elect…for obedience and sprinkling of Christ’s blood, 1 Pet 1:2.
c. Conforming to the moral likeness of Jesus, Col 3:10; Rom 8:29.
2. Building character into the likeness of Christ depends on whether or not we are willing to be shaped and molded by the hand of God through our faithful obedience to His word, Col 3:16-17.
3. Character without reverent faith and submissive obedience to Christ’s authority is incomplete, built on a foundation of futility and ultimate failure, Matt 28:18; 7:24-27.
I. LET THE WORD OF CHRIST DWELL IN YOU RICHLY, Col 3:16.
A. We must have a Heart that Desires to Do God’s Will, Mk 4:13-20.
-Hold fast the word of God and so bear fruit. Welcome it, 1 Ths 2:13.
B. Those who are Reverent before God Put His Word in their Hearts in order to Obey it in their Lives, Psa 37:30-31; 119:11, 73-80.
1. Only by abiding in His word can His word dwell in us! Jno 8:31-32
2. Our words and meditations, Psa 19:14.
II. WHEN GOD’S WORD RICHLY DWELLS IN OUR HEART… Col 3:16
A. It Reflects Reverence for God, Col 1:9-10; Jno 6:67-68.
B. It is our Means of Attaining Wisdom, Psa 119:96-100.
C. We will be Teaching and Admonishing One Another.
1. With God’s word, 1 Cor 14:26. Not “youth meetings” promoting games, etc.
a. Speaking to one another (Eph 5:19).
b. With grace…to the Lord (Eph 5:19)
III. OUR CHARACTER MUST WILLINGLY SUBMIT TO THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST IN ALL THINGS, Col 3:17.
A. Insist on Positive Authority for Whatever We Do, Mk 11:27-33.
1. Test everything by the Scriptures, cling to good and abstain from every form evil takes, 1 Ths 5:21-22.
2. Some have said: “We do many things without Bible authority” – They have already shown their lack of faith in and understanding of God’s word!
B. Righteous Character Respects Bible Authority. (including how to establish and apply Bible authority)
1. “No pattern” view of New Testament is growing as CENI is being rejected:
“Nor does the New Testament ever tell us to follow some interpretative system of commands, examples and necessary inferences. Those terms and that approach spring from Scottish philosophy and the English common law. That whole system is lacking in biblical support, and, as history makes plain, it is legalistic when used as a standard of righteousness and divisive when made a basis for unity. As commonly applied, this system of interpretation binds what Scripture leaves loose and ignores what Scripture seems to bind.” (Edward Fudge, “About This Issue”, Wineskins, Mar-June, 2010)
2. NT reveals an “interpretive system” (Eph 3:3-4; 2 Tim 2:15):
a. Commands, Matt 28:20 (Heb 5:9).
b. Examples, 1 Cor 11:1; Phil 4:9 (“and the God of peace will be with you).
c. Necessary inference, Rom 1:20 (understanding, without excuse).
d. It is Biblical: All three are used in Acts 15:7-21.
3. Apostolic teaching was/is ordained in all the churches (1 Cor 7:17); 1 Cor 4:17 (Matt 28:20); Gal 1:6-10.
4. Hold fast the pattern of sound words, 2 Tim 1:13 (2 Ths 2:15; 3:4).
C. We Obey Christ from Hearts of Thankfulness, Col 3:17.
1. Not expectation of reward (earning), but dutiful service to God, Lk 17:10.
2. Thankful obedience is a mark of character, Phil 2:12-13.
1. Jehovah is our Father, and we are the work of His hand, Isa 64:8.
2. The character that God forms in us conforms to the image of Christ; renewed in knowledge and fashioned for lives of reverent obedience, Col 3:9-10.
Building Character Series:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11