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The Expedience of Obedience | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2022 7:00 am

The Expedience of Obedience | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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January 19, 2022 7:00 am

In this message, Adrian Rogers shares the expedience of obedience, so that we may live in victory.

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From the Love Word Finding Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, I'm Byron Tyler, here with Kerry Vaughn, the CEO of Love Word Finding. Kerry, today Adrian Rogers continues in a series called Living Supernaturally. Today's message is The Expedience of Obedience. Well, we have been in a series in the book of Acts called Living Supernaturally, and there's two volumes, one and two, and we're actually moving into the second volume of our series with today's message. And I think before we continue on, let's just remind ourselves as we talk about living this life of supernatural living, Adrian Rogers emphasizes it best this way. We are trying to live the Christian life in the strength of the flesh, and very much it's like driving a car with a brake zone. When God saved us, God gave us all that we need to live the Christian life, but so many people are living in the flesh. We are to live supernaturally.

Now, I don't mean by that that we're to be performing miracles every day, but our life is to be a miracle. The very life that we live is to be the life of the Son of God in us. You know, Byron, that ties right back into God's call to have a closer walk with Him, and I think when we do that, obedience becomes a subset.

Right? And so I think it's, you know, choose you this day whom you will serve, and obedience is the bedrock of all of that. Well, that's why I think the message title is so appropriate, The Expedience of Obedience.

You know, being a Christian is a joyous thing. The reason we are not filled with joy in this Christian life could be a matter of disobedience. Yeah, and I think when you're disobedient and you're out of right relationship with God, then nothing works, but when you remove that and repent and get back in that closer walk, great things happen. Well, Adrian Rogers says obedience is the missing ingredient in so many Christian lives, and I've seen that in my own life too, you know, at times when I'm not obedient, and the lessons learned are far greater, right?

Absolutely. You know, our good friend Todd Eaton years ago would always teach on obedience. You know, every week, obedience, obedience, obedience, and he would say, is there anything else? And I think that's true. Well, when it comes to being obedient, we appreciate the faithfulness of our Love We're Finding listeners to let us know how the program is impacting their lives, Kerry. And we have been privileged for the last couple of weeks to have Nicole from Ministry Services to come in and to share with us responses. And Nicole, you have a response, I think, from Facebook, but before we go there, tell us a little something about what you get to do. I think this is a great thing. Ministry Services, you get to hear from everybody, from the TV listeners, watchers, radio, you know, you get to hear from everybody, social media on how the program is impacting their lives.

That's right, Byron. There are so many avenues that we get to hear from our listeners, and it is just so encouraging to hear the testimonies, to see them come in on email. They text us their testimonies.

They write them in on Facebook. There's just so many opportunities for us to hear what an impact that Love We're Finding has made in the lives of our listeners. In fact, I do have a testimony that came in through Facebook that I'd love to share with you today.

It says, Pastor Rogers, sound biblical messages have been a great influence to me, and I love how God continues to use his ministry here on earth. This is just one of the testimonies, and we just receive volumes of them that we just walk away encouraged every day, knowing that our labor is not in vain. Great example of obedience. We receive the Holy Spirit, there is joy in our hearts, and then the gospel is shared and believed again. Obedience.

Well, with today's message, The Expedience of Obedience, Part 1, here's Adrian Rogers. Let me ask you a question. How many really happy, happy and victorious Christians do you know? Second question, when you look into the mirror, do you see one of them? Are you really a happy and a victorious Christian? Now, don't give me the answer that would sound good, because I don't want you to answer out loud, I want you to answer internally, but truthfully. Are you happy? Are you victorious?

Well, it all depends. I love the song that says, trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus. What? But to trust and obey. And that's what I want to talk to you about today is obedience. Now, I wonder if God has been speaking to you about something that he wants you to do, and you've not yet done it. For example, has God been telling you that there is a confession of sin that you need to make, some sin that you need to confess, and you haven't confessed it? Has God been telling you there's some restitution that you need to perform, someone that you need to go to and make amends with, and you've not yet done it? Has God been telling you there's some gift that you ought to give, and you've not yet given it? It may be even to a loved one. A dead nose will smell no roses if you're going to do it.

You ought to do it. Is there a testimony, a witness that you ought to give? Has God laid some soul upon your heart? And you know that you're God's appointed messenger to go speak to that person, and you've not yet done it.

And then you might wonder, why do I not have joy in my life? Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. Now, let me give you the background for the passage of Scripture we're going to read in just a moment. But the apostles had been witnessing. God had been moving. Jesus ascended.

He gave the Great Commission. Jesus went up. The Holy Spirit came down. The apostles went out.

The lost came in. They turned that world upside down and inside out for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Herodians, and the whole shooting match were upset at what they were doing. And the high priest took these apostles and put them in jail for preaching the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But an angel came that night and set them free.

It was sort of a sanctified jailbreak. The apostles had been commanded not to preach, not to teach in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And there they are the next morning out there in the same place preaching and teaching Jesus. They'd been put in jail for that. Well, they come to the high priest and said, I thought you put those guys in jail. And here they are out there on the street preaching and teaching Jesus Christ. And so they call them back again one more time.

And now we get to our text. Let's start in verse 27. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, Did not we straightly command you that you should not teach in this name? And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Now, this man they were referring to as the Lord Jesus Christ. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Now, if you don't mind marking your Bible, I'd like for you to mark that sentence. We ought to obey God rather than men. Skip down to verse 32.

And here's what else they said. And we are his witnesses of these things. And so is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. Now, twice in this paragraph, he's mentioning obedience. And that's what I want to talk to you about today is obedience, the expedience of obedience. The Christian railroad runs on two tracks, trust and obey.

The old T&O is the railroad of redemption. And so I want you to learn something about obedience. And I want to lay three basic things on your heart, some sub points, but three major, major foundational points today on your heart, because I want you to be happy and I want you to be victorious. And I am reminding you that when I'm speaking to you, I'm also speaking to myself.

Here's the first thing I want to lay on your heart. We should review the reasons for obedience. Now, if you don't have a good reason for obeying, you probably will not obey. So I think it's altogether fitting that we look at this passage and review the reasons for obedience. Here's the first reason. Obedience is a duty, a duty to be performed.

Now, notice what he says. We ought to obey. We ought to obey. There is an ought to it.

There's no contest. We ought to obey God rather than men. Now, men said to do one thing. God said to do something else.

And they said, well, that's a no brainer. We're going to obey God. We're not going to obey men if what men say and do contradicts what God does. Does God have any right to command you? Of course he does. We ought to obey God.

Why? Because God is a sovereign God and we ought to obey him. We get into trouble many times because we do not simply obey God. Now, I want to give you an ancillary verse and I'd like for you to write it in your margin. It's 1 Samuel chapter 15. 1 Samuel chapter 15 verses 22 and 23. God had told a king to do a particular thing and the king substituted his own will, his own way, his own ideas for what God told him to do.

And here the prophet of God rebukes the king and here's what the prophet Samuel said. Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? That is, there's no way that you can come here today and by God bribe God. You say, well, I put a big offering in the offering plate. No, God wants not your sacrifices. God wants your obedience. God is great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord. Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams. What he means is offering the very best animals on the altar.

Now, listen to verse 23. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Remember that word. And stubbornness is as iniquity.

Remember that word. And idolatry, remember that word. Now, here's what God says disobedience is like.

If you're a disobedient Christian, here's what disobedience is like. First of all, it is like witchcraft. It is like witchcraft.

Now, are you disobeying something that God told you to do? May I tell you that you are practicing a form of witchcraft? Now, you may not think you're practicing witchcraft, but disobedience puts you on the same side of the fence as Satan. That's what made the devil the devil was his rebellion against the will of God. And so disobedience is witchcraft.

And before long, Saul, who had disobeyed the Lord, was consorting with a witch, if you know your Bible. Secondly, disobedience is not only like witchcraft, but it's also iniquity. Disobedience is a clenched fist in the face of God. It is saying, God, not your will, but mine, be done. Now, it may be a small thing, but disobedience over a small thing is not a small thing because disobedience is a big thing, even if the thing is a small thing that you're disobeying.

There may be some small thing in your heart and in your life that God is prompting you to do. But if you're defying God over that small thing, that small thing becomes a big thing. God says it is witchcraft. God says that it is iniquity. And then God says it is idolatry. Idolatry, that's what he says. Disobedience is idolatry. Why could it be idolatry? Well, what is an idol? Anything you love more, serve more, fear more, honor more than God is an idol. And if God wants you to do something and you don't do it, it's because you put something else before God, which is idolatry. Think about what disobedience is.

It is witchcraft, it is iniquity, it is idolatry. If we were to see that men ought to obey God rather than men, it is a duty to be performed. Secondly, it is a debt to be paid.

It is a debt to be paid. Now, what do I mean by that? I mean, friend, Jesus has done so much for us. In this particular passage of Scripture, notice what he says as he's giving his rationale for obeying. He says here in verse 29, we ought to obey God rather than men.

And then he explains it. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a prince and a savior and to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. Think what Jesus Christ has done for me. Think what he's done for you.

He suffered, bled, and died upon that cross. Know to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be. But drops of grief can ne'er repay. The debt of love I owe.

Here, Lord, I give myself away. Tis all that I can do. Look at Calvary, bloody Calvary, and then tell me if you have a right to disobey. No, it is a duty to be performed.

It is a debt to be paid. Now, I'll tell you something else. It is a delight to be preferred. Obedience is a delight to be preferred. Don't get the idea that the will of God is something you have to do. God's not going to force it on you. It is something you get to do, and when you learn to obey, then you're going to learn the joy that everybody's talking about in the Christian life. There's no such thing as a happy, disobedient Christian.

It is a contradiction in terms. Look in chapter 5, verse 41. Then they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. I am telling you that obedience and rejoicing come together. It is a lie out of hell that doing the will of God is painful and makes you miserable. The Bible says His commandments are not grievous. Now, the reason that some of us don't obey the Lord and understand this joy in obeying the Lord is we don't trust the Lord, and we have difficulty taking commands from a stranger that we don't know. You get to know the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will learn that His commands are not grievous. Now, I want to say a fourth thing about obedience.

Not only is it a delight, but, friend, it is a decision to be practiced. Now, you must, you must decide to obey. Now, God will allow you to disobey. Have you ever heard anybody say, oh, well, God's will be done, God's will be done. Everything is God's will, just praise God. If God wants it to happen, it'll happen. If God doesn't want it to happen, He won't let it happen.

That, my friend, there's a Greek word for that, and it's baloney. I want to tell you something. Listen to me.

Listen. God's will is not always done. Now, there's some people who say that, that God's will is always done in everything. God's will is not always done.

If God's will is always done, why did Jesus teach us to pray, thy kingdom come, thy will be done? No, there are a lot of things that are not the will of God, and God will allow you to disobey Him, and that does not diminish God's sovereignty at all. God gives man the power to rebel against Him without diminishing God's sovereignty. God has given man a choice. You can choose to obey, or you can choose not to obey.

Now, some people stumble over this. They wonder why the world's in a mess that it is. They say, well, if God is all-powerful, why doesn't God just do away with evil and suffering? Well, if He doesn't do away with evil and suffering, maybe He's not all-powerful, or they say, well, if He is all-powerful and doesn't do away with it, maybe He's not all-loving. No, God is all-powerful, and God is all-loving, but God has given to man a choice. God has given you a choice, every one of you.

You can choose to obey, or you can choose to disobey. Now, some people say, well, God can do anything. That's not true.

That's not true. Let me give you a little riddle. My grandson asked me this. What is more powerful than God? What is more evil than Satan? What is it that rich people think that they need? What is it that poor people have plenty of? And what is it if you eat it, you'll die?

Got the answer to that? What is more powerful and better than God? What is more evil than Satan? What is it that rich people think they need? What is it that poor people have plenty of?

And what is it if you eat it, you'll die? to nothing. Nothing. Nothing is more powerful than God.

Nothing is more evil than Satan. Rich people think they need nothing. Poor people have plenty of nothing.

And if you eat nothing, you'll die. The answer to that whole thing is nothing. Nothing. Now, friend, some things God cannot do. If I would ask, What can God not do? And you'd say, Nothing.

You'd be wrong. Let me tell you some things that God cannot do. Now, we're talking about here that obedience is a decision. Let me give you some things that God can't do. I'll give you six things that God can't do. Because God is omnipotent, God can't fail. God cannot fail.

Ephesians 1, verse 11 says, He works all things after the counsel of His own will. It's impossible for God to fail. Number two is something else God can't do. God cannot do evil.

Titus 1, verse 2, In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie promised before the world began. God cannot lie. God cannot steal. God cannot do evil, because He's a holy God.

I'll tell you something else God cannot do. God cannot be tempted. James 1, verses 13 and 14, Let no man say, When he is tempted, I am tempted of God. For God cannot be tempted with evil. God can't be tempted. You say, I thought Jesus was tempted.

Jesus was tempted in His humanity. He was not tempted in His essence as almighty God. God cannot be tempted. What else can God not do? God cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2, verse 13, If we believe not, He abideth faithful.

He cannot deny Himself. I'll tell you something else God cannot do. God cannot be unjust. That's the reason for the cross. Romans 3, verse 26, To declare, I say at this time, his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. You see, there are some things impossible for God to do. It is impossible for God to forgive sin without a sacrifice.

The reason that Jesus died on the cross is that He might be both just and the justifier. Do you remember what Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed? Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. But the silence from heaven said, no, that is impossible.

That is impossible. Had there been some other way than the cross, God surely would have taken it before He allowed His Holy Son to die upon the cross. By God's very nature, God cannot overlook or God cannot bypass sin. I'll tell you something else God cannot do, and I've been building to this point. God cannot force loving obedience. God cannot force loving obedience. God cannot make you love Him because it is a contradiction in terms.

Forced love is not love at all. God cannot force somebody to receive a gift. God will not force you to obey Him. That doesn't mean that God loses His sovereignty. That simply means that there's certain things by God's very nature that God cannot do.

It's not that He cannot do them because He's limited in power. It is that He cannot do them because of His very nature. Now, I'm telling you that you must choose to obey Him. Now, you cannot obey Him unless He enables you to obey Him.

We love Him because He first loved us, and it is God that works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Obedience to God is like breathing. Is breathing a gift of God? Well, you better believe it is because God gives you lungs and God gives you air, but you can smother if you want. Obedience is a gift of God in the sense that God gives you the will, God works in you, but there comes a decision, and God is not going to force you to obey Him. And don't you shrug your shoulders and say, well, if God wants it to happen, it'll happen.

No. There is, dear friend, a decision to be practiced. You must say, I will obey Him. And these are the compelling reasons for obedience. Now, not only should we look at the reasons for obedience, we should recognize the requirements for obedience. Now, what are the requirements for obeying God? I want to mention some of them if you would really obey God. Number one, your obedience must be informed obedience. It must be informed obedience.

How can you obey God if you don't know what it is that God wants you to do? Now, these apostles had had a command from God. Here in Acts chapter 5, begin looking in verse 17. Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees, and were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in common prison.

But now watch verse 19. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors and brought them forth and said, Go, stand, and speak in the temple to all the people, all the words of this law can be plainer. They were told what to do.

Go do it. Now, the reason they were doing it is because they've been told to do it. All true obedience is informed obedience. You must hear from God in order to obey God. Now, just don't go out doing things just because you want to do them and think that you're living the Christian life. What God doesn't initiate, God doesn't appreciate. God is going to tell you what to do. And God has never promised to bless any endeavor that He has not commanded. There must be, number one, informed obedience. Number two, there must be intentional obedience. You see, doing right is not merely abstaining from doing wrong.

It's very obvious that these apostles wanted to know the will of the Lord Jesus Christ. You say, Well, it's not my fault. I don't know what God wants me to do.

Well, it just may be your fault. Put this first down, Proverbs chapter 8, verses 32 and following. Now he'll say, Oh, you pakken unto me, O ye children, for blessed are they.

They keep my ways, hear instruction, be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the post of my doors. Are you hearing God?

Are you reporting for duty? Coming up tomorrow, we'll hear part two of this important but maybe today you have questions about who Jesus is or what he means to you or how to begin a relationship with God through Christ. Go to our Find God's Love page at lwf.org slash radio. There you'll find resources and materials that will answer questions you may have about placing your faith in Jesus Christ. Go to lwf.org slash radio and click the tab that says Find God's Love. Well, thank you for studying in God's Word with us today. If you'd like to start receiving daily devotions and links to our program, sign up for our daily heartbeat emails at lwf.org slash radio and tune in next time for part two of The Expedience of Obedience right here on Love Worth Finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-22 08:49:26 / 2023-06-22 09:00:54 / 11

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