It was not merely by being humble that Jesus procured our salvation — it was “by becoming obedient” (Philippians 2:8). We have learned nothing of Jesus Christ and His gospel if we have not learned the necessity of obedience (Hebrews 5:8,9).
Out of all we have learned from the Scriptures, only a fraction of that has truly been “received.” Today, let’s determine that we will not let pride keep God’s word from pricking our conscience and moving us to greater obedience (James 1:21).
There is nothing about any of us that is not known to God (Hebrews 4:12,13). What if God made known to the public everything He knows about us, even the “thoughts and intentions” of our hearts? Who among us would not be chastened and humbled?
Rebellion may be a temptation sometimes, but it’s not the only way we may depart from Christ. In a dangerous world, our confidence needs to be balanced with carefulness — so don’t let the devil tell you that “drift” won’t ever be a problem for you.
The idea that God has the right to govern everything about us is hard for us to swallow. But if God is indeed our Creator, we are not free to sit in judgment on His laws. The truth must be embraced and acted upon. Not just some of it, but all of it.
The “teaching of Christ” is a teaching we must “abide in” if we hope to be saved from our sins (2 John 9). And whatever else the teaching of Christ may include, it certainly includes the fact that He was the Incarnation of God, God in the flesh.
The entire gospel depends on the Incarnation. God could not have died an atoning death for our sins if He had not become a human being who was capable of being killed. So to leave this out of our “gospel” is to drain the gospel of its main meaning.
Hatred comes straight out of hell. Sexual sin is an abomination that will damn your soul, but if things like pride, anger, and selfishness are in your heart, you are already farther down the road to hell than if lasciviousness was your only problem.
In Christ, we are assured of being protected from the wrath that will be poured out on the rebellious and disobedient. But even in Christ, we must not fail to take God’s wrath seriously. There are none among us who don’t need to be warned.
The gospel’s value does not lie in its power to remove the difficulties of this life; its power is the promise of resurrection to eternal life (1 Peter 1). May God help us, against the spirit of our age, to put the emphasis where the apostles put it.