When we love someone, we want to please them. If we really love and know Jesus, we will do what brings him joy. 1 John 2:3-4 NLT affirms this: “And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, ‘I know God,’ but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.” Jesus himself told his disciples, “‘If you love me, obey my commandments.’” John 14:15 NLT
In his book, The Awe of God, Bible teacher and author John Bevere reminds the reader that Christ’s sacrifice for our sins justifies us and makes us “positionally” holy. But we are sanctified by lifestyle choices that align themselves with God’s commandments. This is called “behavioral” holiness. We love what God loves and hate what he hates. We work out our salvation in the fear of God which causes us to depart from evil (Proverbs 16:6).
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to live righteously (Philippians 2:12-13) as we cleanse ourselves from all “filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV). This lifestyle is not boring or a burden (1 John 5:3 NLT) but the door to peace, joy, abundant life, and true freedom (Psalms 31:19, Psalms 119:45) because God loves us and asks us to obey him for our benefit as well as his glory.
Let’s allow God’s Spirit to assist us in examining our hearts and lives to ensure they truly reflect the fear of God and a love for our Savior as evidenced by joyful obedience to the truth of his word. If they do, let’s not become self-righteous. If they don’t, let us repent, hate our sins as God hates them, and work out our glorious salvation as the Lord gives us strength.
Almighty, holy God, thank you for the justifying work of your Son on the cross. With your empowering help, I will find the joy and abundant life that comes from obedience to your truth in Jesus Name. AMEN.
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