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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Christian Obedience JULY 13


God be thanked, you, who once were slaves of sin, . . . have become slaves of righteousness. Rom. 6:17, 18, N.E.B.

At the heart of being a Christian there lies a seriousness about life. We are summoned to a different kind of life. Commitment to Christ, being born again of the Holy Spirit, always creates in us the desire to obey God and keep His commandments. This is the evidence that Christ lives in us. Disobedience to God denies the existence of this new life.

Unfortunately, too many professed Christians find the word obedience not only disturbing but unacceptable. If salvation is by grace and by faith alone, they ask, why emphasize and insist upon obedience? Men tend to reject what they consider as divine pressure. Obedience smacks of the lack of freedom, they believe. People want an easy, relaxed type of living. A disciplined life of obedience to a whole set of commandments and laws seems quite undesirable where love, joy, and peace reign.

This is an age that lacks discipline and hardness, so necessary for good soldiers of Jesus Christ. People have become morally arid spiritually soft in so many ways. Almost everything about the present life tends to undermine the moral fiber. It is so easy to allow a touch of this moral sickness to pervade our lives.

Do you think it is of any use to call yourself a Christian and yet not be a Christian in heart and conduct? Have you an enemy? Then this very day forgive him. Have you wronged another? Then this very day make restitution. Have you said things that are not true? Then this very day repent and tell the truth. Are you living two lives, of which one is self-deceiving hypocrisy? Then tear off the mask. Before Christ entreat Him to make you true. Are you stained through and through with impurity? Then come to Him as did the leper and cry, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." Christ will reply, "I will, be thou clean." So shall you experience salvation from sin, the strength of His presence unto righteousness. So shall you find approval of God and the certainty of His acceptance, "Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."

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