GRACE BEFORE OBEDIENCE

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GRACE BEFORE OBEDIENCE
(Exodus 19:-5-6)

I titled today’s reflection – Grace before Obedience because of the preceding verse of the book. Verse 4 says – You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. There was no effort made by the Israelites before God could deliver them. It was solely on grace.

It follows that today’s reflection has three (3) sequences or order;

i. Grace (Exodus 19:1-4): The saving acts of the Lord.

ii. Obedience (Exodus 19:5): Our response to grace is obedience to the Law.

iii. Mission (Exodus 19:6): The blessing and reward of obedience (and punishment for disobedience).

Obedience (Exodus 19:5:)
“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine”.

To understand obedience as a Christian, it helps to point out 2 things:

i. Every relationship has responsibilities.
Every covenant relationship has its own responsibilities, which requires self-denial, submission and obedience to certain laws.

ii. Responsibilities are always blessings, not burdens.
The most miserable and unhappy Christians are those who try to have the least possible responsibilities, with maximum blessings and rewards. The failure of Christians through out history come from excuses and justification to not obey God’s laws and commands. A sad excuse for disobedience says – “I am saved by grace, not by obedience to the Law.” Such thoughts completely misunderstand the love and grace of Jesus.

To one who knows and has tasted the sweetness of God’s grace, obedience is a responsibility that are simultaneously blessings, the greatest blessings. God’s people do not become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation when they obey. They are already a kingdom of priests and a holy nation by God’s grace alone. Their obedience is simply their happy life living in gratitude and in response to the grace of God.

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Mission (Exodus 19:6):

“6. You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

What is our mission as Christians? What is the purpose of our obedience?

When we respond to his grace by our obedience, God promises to make us the following:

– “treasured possession” (Ex 19:5b)
– “kingdom of priests”
– “holy nation” (Ex 19:6).

Be obedient always.

Peace be with you.