When I look back at my life to when I first received Jesus, all I remember is how free and full of joy I was! I remember the man that led me to the Lord and how patient and kind he was, as he explained how much God loved me even in the midst of my self-imposed miserable life. He told me how precious I was in Gods sight, and that all God wanted to do was to be my Father; and to walk with me, and talk with me. To love and encourage and instruct me through this life! He told me that the Father was not mad at me; that He just wanted me to know Him so that I could experience His love for me firsthand. So I took him up on his offer and received Christ into my heart, and it was exactly as he said – beautiful! Suddenly I was alive, at peace, and full of his love! Yet, what I did not realize then, and in fact, did not totally realize until just recently was that within that brief conversation, I had become obedient to the gospel of Christ; and as a result had opened my heart and received His life. The reality of a relationship with the Creator of the universe had begun for me! I was like an eager child exploring life for the first time! Everything had become new! I loved life for the first time, and loved other people as well! I was full of the joy of the Lord because I was at liberty to follow my new heart!
Then came church – Where I was instructed to do all these things: sin management of course being at the top of a very long list surrounding all the ways in which I could either please or displease God. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much discussion surrounding the beautiful thing that had already happened to me. In other words, telling me to rest in that place because that’s where the Christian life flowed from.
What I got instead was, if you gain much wisdom you’ll get closer to God; or if you do this or that you’ll get in better standing with Him. What they failed to tell me is that I was as close as I was ever going to get because He actually made Himself one with me, and that I was already in perfect standing with Him! In essence, what happened to me in church is that I had picked up an alternate reality. I had exchanged at least on the surface, or rather in my mind, simple obedience to the gospel for that of obedience to the law, and an advanced course in behavior modification. It wasn’t until I stepped out of the church that I once again stepped back into obedience to the gospel I had first received!
My friends, obedience to the gospel is simply to open your heart in belief, that you may receive the eternal life of God Himself; at which point He becomes our eternal Daddy! Please do not allow yourselves to be distracted by an alternate reality. Obedience to the simple gospel is in reality an eternal relationship with God the Father!
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – I Peter 1:3-5
George L. Miller
P.S. Please remember as Andrew Farley so beautifully stated, ‘There is a Daddy behind the doctrine!’