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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Christian Obedience JULY 19


For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3.

Some professed Christians believe that all we need is love, that the Decalogue can be dispensed with. This text asserts that love inspires obedience, which is man's proper response to the law of God. The redeeming love of God that forgives our sins also fulfills in us the righteousness of the law (Rom. 8:3, 4). Without love, the commandments are beyond our power to obey. Class assignments to children are grievous when they are beyond their mental capacity. Government taxes are destructive when they are beyond the power of people to pay.

What the law could not do, the love of God empowers man to do. The love of God is not a theory for the mind to ponder. It is a vital motivating force. Filled with love for God and man, the keeping of the commandments becomes easy. Man delights in the law of God. The inner force of love is now equal to the external demands of the law.

In recent years important undersea expeditions have been undertaken at hitherto unknown depths. There man is conditioned to swim freely at depths that before would have crushed him. Men have now learned to balance and equalize the inner power of the body with the external pressure of the sea. The pressure of the water is no burden to the swimmer.

So it is with the power of God's love and the requirements of God's law. Without the inner power of the Spirit, the demands of the law are an impossibility. It could only condemn and oppress the sinner. Because of God's power in the life, man now keeps God's commandments. The Christian finds the whole of his mind and life so filled with Christ's presence that obedience follows naturally and spontaneously. If we feel that the requirements of God's Word are a grievous burden, their the indication is that our inner life with God needs attention, restoration, and empowering by the Holy Spirit.

Loving obedience is the realization of our true relationship to God. As the earth moves on its divinely appointed axis, so man needs a Center, Jesus Christ. Love to God keeps man on center. He moves from hate to love, from disobedience to obedience, from death to life.

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