My Action Is My Position

October 16, 2015

Several days ago, in commenting (through email) on my 10/8/15 post, a friend wrote this insight to me:

“What I am up to is where I am… I am either doing what is right or doing what is sinful. I am either obeying God’s commands or being disobedient. I am either in the sphere of the Lord’s love or outside of it. If I am outside, I remain condemned in my sin. If I am inside, I remain there and will be doing what is right.”

I think her concise commentary is excellent. It is to the point and summarizes clearly what God’s Word, particularly 1 John 3:6-10, is telling us. She is saying, “What I am doing, is the place I am in.” How true!

This morning as I was practicing my Scripture memory verses, I was reminded again of how necessary it is for us to be choosing to do what is right in God’s eyes, choosing to do what is in line with obedience to Christ, the Word, the Holy Spirit, and God’s will, and to be choosing this because we love God and others and so that we may remain in God’s love, not under His wrath.

One of the verses that I took extra note of was 2 Chron. 19:11. It is a command, among other commands, that the God-fearing King Jehoshaphat of Judah gave to those he was appointing as judges. He told them to carry out their duties with courage (v. 11), to judge carefully and as God judges –without injustice, partiality, or bribery (v. 7)– and with the fear of the Lord upon them. (Same verse) He told them to warn the people not to sin against the Lord (v. 10) and told them that they were not instructing and judging for man but as a representative of the Lord Himself. (v. 6) We too should heed this counsel in all our decisions, choices, actions, and judgements.

Here is what 2 Chron. 19:11b says: “Act with courage, and may the LORD be with those who do well.” Another version says, “Serve courageously, and the LORD will be with the upright.” At readers can see other versions, but combining the versions, I chose to add it to my memory verse booklet back on 1/2/13 (a significant day for me) like this: “Be strong and act! And may the LORD be with those who do well.” As the Lord impressed on me that day, and since, through this verse, it is we who are to make the choices that are in line with courage and action, along with the patience, self-control, love, and wisdom which the Lord has previously been training us in.

Let us take note that 2 Chron. 19:11 is teaching us that action is necessary. –That we must act and do so with courage, and that only after we resolve to do this by taking up our stand and our spiritual weapons, and only after stepping into and walking in the revelation we have so far been given, then the Lord will be with us. In other words, if we choose to remain inactive when we’ve been shown what to do, even if it is just one tiny step, the Lord will not be partnering with us. How can He? We are refusing to partner with Him. In being disobedient to the guidance He is giving us, we are not operating in faith but instead in sin. (Rom. 14:23 // Ja.4:17) In fact, lack of faith and courage incur God’s wrath! (Heb. 10:38,39 & 11:6 // Rev. 21:8) Now of course if the Lord has told us to wait, then obeying that command takes strength and courage too. For waiting on the Lord is definitely not an inactive position, as praising, listening, and getting prepared is certainly work!

Another verse that struck me this morning in my memory-verse rehearsal, was Jude 1:20. It says, “Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” This verse is teaching us to be active. It is teaching us to “keep ourselves in God’s love.” It is teaching us that by our choices (of actions, words, and thoughts), we are the ones who keep ourselves in that safe position; and combined with such verses as Eph. 3:20 and 2 Pe. 1:3,4, we know we are enabled to do this through God’s own power. This “keeping ourselves in”, we are told we do as we wait to arrive at our final destination of eternal life. This verse does reveal that we are not in eternal life in all its fullness. As we walk its road, we are still waiting for the fullness of it even as we are waiting for Christ’s continuous mercy to help us the whole way. Jude 1:20 is definitely teaching us that we must remain in God’s love so we can arrive at Eternal Life’s final place and that we do so by our choices.

We have a whole Bible that tells us how we keep ourselves in God’s love and which encourages us by reminding us that we have God’s fully-adequate power to do so. (Eph. 1:17-21) It tells us that we are enabled to be free (Gal. 5:1) by our obedience to Christ’s teaching. (John 8:31,32) It tells us to thereby put away falsehoods and every speck of impurity (Eph. 4:25 & 5:3-12 // Ja. 1:21), to put off our old self and to put on the new self (Eph. 4:22-24), to “live a life of love” (5:1), to speak the truth in love (4:15), to train ourselves to be godly with the strictest of training (1 Cor. 9:24-27 // 1 Tim. 4:7), to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12), to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ so we won’t fall from our secure position (2 Pe. 3:17,18), and to “run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Cor. 9:24) This all means we are to be doing what is right, good, and holy. Only then are we in Christ (1 John 3:6,24), and only then are we considered righteous in God’s sight. (v. 7-10)

Jesus sums it up very clearly for us: “Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love.” (John 15:9,10) And, “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” (Mt. 19:17) Only then will we receive the goal of our faith (1 Pe. 1:9,13-17) –the grace to be given to us when Jesus Christ is revealed. (v. 13) –That grace and mercy that will be given to us for the salvation of our souls, eternally. (v. 9,13 // Jude 1:20)

It is “obedience that leads to righteousness” (Rom. 6:16), not a confession / claim / belief / prayer. (Titus 1:16 // 1 John 2:3,4) It is obedience that enables God to give us the Holy Spirit. (Acts 5:32 // Rom. 8:9) And it is obedience that brings us to eternal salvation. (Heb. 5:9 & 10:26-31) Therefore, possessing righteousness, possessing a clean standing with God, possessing the Holy Spirit, and possessing a guarantee unto eternal life comes only by remaining in Christ’s love. And that comes only by obeying His commands.

Let’s read again the insight my friend wrote:

“What I am up to is where I am… I am either doing what is right or doing what is sinful. I am either obeying God’s commands or being disobedient. I am either in the sphere of the Lord’s love or outside of it. If I am outside, I remain condemned in my sin. If I am inside, I remain there and will be doing what is right.”

Therefore, let us “make every effort” (2 Pe. 1:5) to walk in behavior and attitudes that are increasingly holy (v. 5-8) so that we will be making our “calling and election sure.” (v. 10) And this, so that we will never fall from that mercy and grace that grants us, That Final Day, a rich welcome into the Eternal Kingdom of Christ Jesus, the King. (v. 10,11 // Mt. ch. 25)

with love,

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