Promptness In Obedience
Promptness in Obedience
I. The commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ are not grievous. 1JO 5:3.
A. Christ's yoke is easy and His burden bearable. MAT 11:28-30.
B. Pharisee religion is not so. MAT 23:3-4.
C. We should be wary of unscriptural or utterly impractical demands supposedly from God.
D. Zeal is good with qualifications. GAL 4:18; ECC 7:16.
1. We are warned against being heady (Headlong, precipitate, impetuous, violent; passionate; headstrong; ‘hurried on with passion’ (J.). a. Of motion, action, personal qualities). 2TI 3:4.
2. We supposed to be circumspect (The scanning of surrounding objects or circumstances, careful or wary looking about one; the faculty of doing this. †a. literally. b. As a mental action: vigilant and cautious observation of circumstances or events) and this requires time. EPH 5:15.
II. Consider three categories of the disobedient:
A. Those who are ignorant. LUK 12:48.
B. Those who know but don't obey. LUK 12:47; JAM 4:17.
C. Those who know but delay obedience.
1. Some of these may only delay for a little season. MAT 21:28-29.
2. Some of these may delay too long and so suffer. REV 2:21-22.
III. We have no guarantee of another day to perform what we ought. PRO 27:1.
IV. Delayed obedience in the absence of meditation and investigation for proving (1TH 5:21 c/w ACT 17:11) or reasonable time for processing instruction is a form of disobedience.
A. Parents should remember this in the training of children.
B. Some commandments plainly forbid delay. LUK 19:5.
1. Israel was to not put off their offering of firstfruits. EXO 22:29.
2. Withholding a laborer's wage incurs judgment. PRO 3:27-28; JAM 5:4.
3. The command to not harden one's heart against God's word admits of no delay.
HEB 3:7-8, 15.
4. Undoing a foolish obligation demands prompt action. PRO 6:1-5.
5. Fleeing Jerusalem and Judea meant “NOW!” MAT 24:15-18.
C. (PSA 119:60) I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
D. Faithful Abraham did not delay to obey a difficult command. GEN 22:1-3 ct/w 19:16.
E. Evident conviction should prompt prompt obedience. ACT 22:16; GAL 1:16.
F. For fleshly-minded sinners, the time for repentance is never convenient. ACT 24:25.
V. Consider some unacceptable excuses for delaying duty.
A. Concern about obstacles. ECC 11:4.
B. Fear (and sloth). PRO 22:13; MAT 25:25-26.
C. Hinging obedience on personal advantage. JOB 21:15; 35:3.
D. God not bending to our timetable or expectations. MAL 3:13-14.
E. God demanding duty contrary to our bias. JON 3:1-2.
F. Personal concerns more important. HAG 1:2-4 c/w PSA 87:2.
G. Assuming delayed judgment justifies delayed obedience. ECC 8:11.
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VI. How do we want to be found when our Savior comes as Judge? MAT 24:45-51.
VII. Some commandments for believers are qualified by time, circumstances and persons.
A. 1PE 4:9 should be obeyed as situations present themselves.
B. MAR 16:15 obviously required considerable time to complete. c/w COL 1:23.
C. 1TH 5:16-17 do not forbid interruption. c/w LUK 11:1.
D. 2CO 13:12 has recently been addressed in a sermon.
E. COL 3:13 implies a need to forgive someone.
F. 1TH 5:21 is not demanding that everything be proved today.
G. 1JO 3:16 is not demanding that we immediately act in the absence of a cause.
H. TIT 2:4-5; 1TI 5:14 imply sufficient age, appropriate partner, and does not forbid celibacy.
c/w 1CO 7:40.
VIII. What about HEB 3:13? Are we negligent if we are not exhorting a brother or sister every day?
A. Distance, work and domestic responsibilities would make such a conclusion implausible.
B. Telecommunications were not in the apostle's mind (and especially not Facebook).
C. Definitions help out here.
1. daily: adv. Every day, day by day. Often in a looser sense: Constantly, always, habitually.
2. habitual: adj. Philos. and Theol. Belonging to the ‘habit’ or inward disposition (see habit n. 8); inherent or latent in the mental constitution.
With various shades of meaning, as (a) latent in the mind or memory, though not exhibited in action, as in habitual knowledge or cognition (in the Scotist philosophy), knowledge latent in the memory, and capable of being called up when occasion presents itself; (b) latent or inherent in the character, even when not in active exercise (= dispositive), as in habitual faith, grace, righteousness, etc., often opposed to ‘actual’; (c) potential, virtual, though not practically exercised, as in habitual jurisdiction; (d) inherent, native, as opposed to acquired, artificially assumed, or studied; (e) subjective, as opposed to ‘objective’.
D. “Daily” in EXO 16:4-5 did not include the sabbath.
E. Jesus said He was daily in the temple (MAR 14:49) but see JOH 4:40; 7:1.
F. Being daily obedient may be a matter of being always ready to do good when opportunity
arises or demands.
1. This is the basis of discipleship. LUK 14:33; 9:23 c/w 1CO 15:31.
2. We ought to be ready and willing to do good. TIT 3:1; GAL 6:10.
3. In the absence of opportunity, a submitted heart's intent is accepted.
PHIL 4:10; 2CO 8:12.
4. Such duty should be “latent in the character” (def.), and exercised willingly, especially when a situation demands it.
5. This is daily obedience: every day ready to do what is right.
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