Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Motives for Obedience in the Christian Life

This morning I was rereading the chapter on Sanctification in Wayne Grudem's excellent book Systematic Theology.  At the end of the chapter, he gives a helpful and encouraging list of motives that the Bible gives for obedience in the Christian life.   I find the following ten to be particularly encouraging:

1)  To please God and express our love for Him
John 14:15--"If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

2)  To keep a clear conscience before God
1 Peter 3:16--"Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."

3)  The desire to be a vessel for noble use

4)  The desire to see unbelievers come to Christ through observing our lives
1 Peter 3:1-2--"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct."

5) The desire to receive present blessing from God on our lives and ministries
1 Peter 3:9-12--"Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.


6) The desire to avoid God's displeasure and discipline in our lives
Acts 5:11--"And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things."

7) The desire to seek greater heavenly reward
Matthew 6:19-21--“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust [1] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

8) The desire for a deeper walk with God
Matthew 5:8--“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

9) The desire that Angels would glorify God for our obedience
1 Timothy 5:21-- "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality."

10) The desire for peace and joy in our lives
Philippians 4:9--"What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."

Hebrews 12:1--"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

Grudem, Systematic Theology, 757-58.

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