The Importance of Obedience

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The Importance of Obedience

The Importance of Obedience

Romans 15:17  I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
18  For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
19  Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

The apostle Paul would not be well accepted among most of today’s professing Christians. He spoke very plainly because he spoke the Words of God. God speaks very plainly. God did not authorize the psychology philosophy of our time. That philosophy was developed by people who do not know nor love the Lord. God is truth and He knows the nature of man. He speaks in the way that works. His servants also need to learn to speak His Words. He was directed to remind the saints in Rome of the importance of humility and faithfulness to the Lord. They needed to be careful to follow the truth and not cave in to the Judaizers, or to the Roman corruption. Even within the first generation of Christians, there was much corruption.
In Acts 20 Paul was directed to warn the elders in Ephesus of the danger facing them in their generation. The danger was not from the outside. It would come from within. That danger has not gone away. There are people who profess to be saved, who do not want to believe the truth, nor do they want others to speak the truth.
We notice here again that the reason that Paul was speaking more boldly is because of the grace that was given to him of God. God strengthens His child. He gives us the truth. He does not expect us to invent “truth”. No one can invent truth. The truth is found in God because He is Truth. Today, true Christians can and must speak with the same boldness that the apostle Paul had. We are not apostles, and we do not need to be apostles. Every born again Christian is called upon to stand upon the Truth and proclaim the Truth openly and boldly.
The danger facing the Jews in the first century was that they assumed they were just a little better than the Gentiles. They failed to remember what God told their forefathers many centuries earlier.

Deuteronomy 7:7  The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
8  But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 26:5  And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:
6  And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:
7  And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:
8  And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:
9  And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.

Israel had nothing to brag about. God, because He is God, chose Israel because it was His plan. He could have chosen anyone. He proves that because He is choosing Jews and Gentiles to make up His sheep in the New Testament era through sound local churches. Not everyone in a true church will be a true saint. There could well be lost people in a true church. The true local church is the place that God has ordained through the Lord Jesus Christ, to be the centre piece of Christianity. According to God’s Word, it is not possible to be a faithful steward of God in the New Testament era without being a part of a true local church. Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the Foundation and the Head of every true local church.
There is a time coming very soon where there will not be any true churches on this earth. There may be some secular Christians who will look for one after the Trump of the Lord sounds, but they will not find one. They will be led to believe the lies of the antichrist because they refused the truth while there were true churches on this earth.
Some people misunderstand what I say because they assume I am looking for numbers in our church. That is so far from the truth. I am not a numbers man. Anyone who has followed me for some time would know that. I have been accused in the past of chasing people away because I speak plainly. In the first church I pastored, I was warned that I was going to “hang myself with the King James Bible”. That man was not alone in his thinking. He did not mean I would commit suicide, but that I would be kicked out of that church because of my stand on the Word of God as my authority. That was over 30 years ago and by God’s grace, I have learned many things and am still learning how to stand faithfully and boldly upon God’s Word.
Back in our text, Paul stated that he had reason to glory. Notice that his glorying was through Jesus Christ. He had nothing to glory of in himself. He was simply a vessel chosen by God and after he was saved he spoke those things that were of God. He was no longer his own man. He willingly submitted to the will of God and he was a powerful man because he spoke the Word of God. His power was not in himself. His power was from God. Many professing Christians despise Paul. Others look at him as some superhuman. Those people assume that no one could ever be like him. It is true that there are no more apostles now. We are not given any new revelation from God today. However, we are called upon to preach the Word in season and out of season.
In verse 19 Paul stated that he was given signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God. Why did God give the apostle Paul the ability to do mighty signs and wonders? The Charismatics certainly do not have the answer. The Catholics also do not have the answer. Signs and wonders were one way that God proved who His man was in a certain dispensation. Moses did signs and wonders in the time of Pharaoh. God told him that He would make the Pharaoh think that Moses was a god.
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ did many miracles. He is God and He did miracles as part of the way He proved He is the Messiah. Later the apostles did signs and wonders to prove they were true apostles. The Scriptures were not yet completed, and the people needed to know who was the true servant of God and who was the fraud.
We do not need to do signs and wonders today because we have the finished Word of God. Any person can examine everything I say because we have the completed Word of God. The Bible tells us the next major person who will do signs and wonders will be the antichrist. The Charismatics and the Catholics and many other false religions are stooges who are preparing the lost to accept the antichrist when he comes.
No born again Christian should base their life on signs and wonders. We do not need to throw out a fleece. We do not need to see something spectacular happen in order to know the will of God. We have the Word of God. We can know the truth and we can choose wisely based on the completed Word of God. We also have the Holy Spirit indwelling us if we are saved. He will help those who are saved to discern truth from error. He will help true believers to choose wisely. We can still be wrong. We can still make bad choices. When we do, it is because we do not walk in the Spirit.
The apostle Paul was able to travel to many different places and preach the gospel of Christ. He stated that he had fully preached the gospel of Christ. He had not withheld the truth from anyone. He stated in Acts 20 that he had preached the whole counsel of God. That was not a boastful statement. That was the truth.
The saints in Rome were blessed in knowing the Lord. They needed to be reminded of the blessing of God for all people. No one has bragging rights. No one is anything without Christ. Those who are saved must exalt the true God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One that all people need to know.
Pastor Bartel

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