Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

As Obedient Children

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY. (1 Peter 1:13-16 NKJV)

The Believer is a Child in God’s Family

Think of it! When we are born-again or born from above, we become children of God. Before we were saved, we were sons and daughters of disobedience.  But as children of God, we have a Father who loves us, a Savior who died for us and the Holy Spirit Who indwells us.  We are privileged people.  However, it is not every child that makes the parents proud.  Every child is truly loved as we see in the parable of the prodigal son, but some children can break our hearts.  I wonder how many of us who say we are saved have broken our Father’s heart.

The Children of Israel

The children of Israel were chosen not because they were numerous, but because of His love for them and because of his oath to their Fathers.  (See Deuteronomy 7:7-8).  They were special and He redeemed them out of Egypt while destroying those who would destroy them.  It appears that as new generations came along, they forgot what the Lord had done for Israel and began to serve other gods.  They ceased being obedient children and most of them did not “know the Lord.”  As I read through Ezekiel, I find that a day is coming when they shall “know the Lord.”  But nearly every time I read that phrase, it seems that it is judgment that brings the children of Israel to the point where they believe in and trust and worship the Lord once again.  The first and second generations that came out of Egypt had trouble possessing what had been given to them, and subsequent generations found the worship of pagan idols to be more attractive than serving the Lord.  Why would that be?  I could make several suggestions:

Why worship the Pagan Idols?

First, it was more “fun” that worshiping God.  God wants people to be disciplined and sober and moral.  This is not what saves them in the New Testament spiritual sense, but it is what preserves them in this life.  It contributes to mental health and to physical health.  But the “fun” was in the pagan temples.  I am not going to enumerate what went on there under the mistaken guise of worship, but it was not activity that contributed to a healthy society or to a healthy person.  God wanted His people to be different, that is set apart wholly for Him.  That is what it means to be holy.

Second, the pagan women seemed to be attractive. God had wanted the pagan nations destroyed so that the nation of Israel would not go down the same road that the Canaanites had gone.  King Ahab found Jezebel to be to his liking and she led him and the nation into terrible idolatry.  But it appears that she knew how to make herself attractive.  It seems that most of the problems arose from men taking pagan women rather than in women taking pagan husbands.  This is probably due to the way brides were chosen in that day. 

Third, we all have the desire to be “independent” and to make our own decisions.  It is difficult to whole-heartedly submit to authority.  This is true in the world in which we live, and it is just as true in our relationship with God.  We have a hard time not taking the place of God and telling Him what is right rather than letting Him tell us what is right.

Peter’s Concern

Peter seemed to realize that not everyone who claimed to be a Christian was “obedient”.  Who likes that word?  He seemed to think that it would be possible to claim to be saved and still live like the immoral world. Before salvation, we lived that way because we were ignorant, that is, we didn’t know better.  But now as children of God we have a new life, a new love, and a new master.  Peter seems to think we should serve the Lord the way He wants to be served.

The Question

This phrase “as obedient children” keeps going though my mind lately.  I keep asking myself, am I being obedient?  Is it unloving and legalistic to use that term?  I will let my reader decide whether being obedient to the Lord and to the word of God is a good thing.  I think it is

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the weeks of November 10 and 17, 2019

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