My Musings – Today’s musing is inspired by Pastor Kevin Rutledge’s September 29, 2019 sermon.
As You Have Always Obeyed Me – “not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence.” Obedience, when you are being watched, can be nothing more than compliance. Obedience, when you think no one is watching, is called character. Especially when it is “much more.” Obedience, when you are being watched, demonstrates the ability to act. Obedience, when you think no one is looking, demonstrates the will to act.
Continue To Work Out Your Salvation – “with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” At first glance a peculiar phrase, when you consider that salvation is by grace, through faith, not by works. But that is with respect to the initial aspect of salvation – justification (born into righteous). But just like in our physical life we work out to condition and build up our bodies, so in our spiritual life we “work out” to condition and build up our faith. This is the ongoing aspect of salvation – sanctification (growing in righteousness). We are able to work out because God is working within, transforming us into the image of His Son.
Do Everything Without Complaining or Arguing – “so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation.” Complaining and arguing are characteristics of a crooked and depraved generation. Blameless, pure and without fault (by the grace of God) are characteristics of the children of God, as they work out their salvation.
Shine Like Stars – “in the universe as you hold out the word of life.” Just like stars stand out in the vast darkness of space, we are to stand out in the vast darkness of a crooked and depraved world. Noticeable different by our character, conduct and contrast. A prefiguration of that final stage of salvation – glorification (revealing the glory of God in our eternal state).
My Advice – These are all aspects of the higher passion we should have to the higher purpose we have been given. Do not “run or labor for nothing.” Run with a passion. Labor for the purpose. “Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
You can check out Pastor Kevin’s fullsermon at https://www.fbcsycamore.com/sermons. If you live in or are visiting the area, come and join us Sundays at 10:30 a.m. We’d love to be partners in the Gospel with you too.