Tag Archive | Obedience

The Principal Motive is the Love of Christ Constraining

Ralph Erskine (Christ the People’s Covenant), Sermons 1:161:

Hence we may see what are the motives that now should influence the believer in his obedience. If Christ be the all of the covenant, and that he is loosed from all his former relation to the covenant of works, he is not to obey either from a legal hope of heaven or slavish fear of hell. Not from a legal hope of heaven; for the covenant secures the purchase of that by Christ’s perfect obedience: not from a slavish fear of hell; for the covenant hath secured freedom from that by Christ’s complete satisfaction. The principal motive is the love of Christ constraining; the love of a God in Christ, who is given for a covenant of the people. God deals not with believers now according to the covenant of works, neither ought they to deal with him as if they were under it. They ought to mourn for sin, to repent, to confess, to beg pardon, but not in a legal way, as if they had to do with a wrathful judge, but as having to do with a merciful Father in Christ. They are to yield obedience to the law, not out of a servile fear of hell and wrath, but out of a child-like love and willing mind; so far as the believer acts otherwise, so far he is under a spirit of bondage. Neither ought the believer to act from a dread and fear of his being disinherited. So far as he does so, it is not an act of faith, but of unbelief; for he cannot view this covenant, and yet see himself left at an uncertainty. There is no liableness to a forfeiture of its privileges; Christ is the covenant of the people.

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/the-motives-to-influence-obedience.92818/


When Our Heart Is Not In It

Heart and Soul nebulaeHeart and Soul Nebulae

We cannot wait until we feel the Spirit moving us… We must obey God even when our heart is not in it – often to discover that our hearts come alive to our duty even while we do it.

— Samuel Bolton

Source: https://christianquote.com/we-must-obey-god/

Put Your Hand To Your Work; For Help Is Near

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works 1:175:

A Christian is always a needy creature; because he hath much work to do, and most necessary work, and all above his strength. He that hath most work, and least strength, is most needy of help: Phil. 2:12, 13, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. If the exhortation or command had been without the argument, it had been discouraging. What can a man do about his own salvation? It is God that begun a good work in them, and will perform it till the day of Jesus Christ, Phil. 1:6. Put hand to your work; for help is near. As the exhortation, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, hath the height of duty in it; so the argument, For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure, doth deeply debase man’s sufficiency, and highly advance both the sovereignty and efficacy of his assisting grace. And happy is that Christian, who can lay the weight of the command on his conscience, and can at the same time improve the encouragement for believing obeying.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/put-hand-to-your-work-for-help-is-near.90928/

Yet They Are Acceptable

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Robert Traill (The Lord’s Prayer, John 17:24), Works 2:247-248:

All men owe all service unto God; all true Christians are in heart devoted to his service; and the best Christians mind it most, and perform it best: but when they review their performances, they see them so faulty, and short of what they ought to be, that they see more reason to mourn over the iniquity of their holy things than to glory in their holy things. Yet notwithstanding all the failings in the sincere obedience of a true believer (and he alone is the man in whom sincerity is, and by whom any act of sincere obedience can be performed), yet are they acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 2:5. Their fruits of righteousness (though far from being fully ripe and perfect) are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God, Phil. 1:11.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/the-sincere-obedience-of-a-true-believer.91700/, Comment 1

Let His Pleasure Be Your Rule

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 213:

Völcker Kleines Mädchen mit DotterblumenO how exact and observant is love of that which may ingratiate itself in the beloved’s favour! It is the most studious thing to please, and most afraid of displeasing. Enoch had a large and honourable testimony, as ever was given to man, that he pleased God, Heb. 11:5. I beseech you, be ambitious of this after a holy manner; labour to know his will, and that for this end, that you may approve it, and prove it that you may do that good and acceptable will of God. Let his pleasure be your rule, your law, to which all within you may conform itself. Though you cannot attain an exact correspondence with his pleasure, but in many things you will offend; yet certainly this will be the resolved study of your hearts, how to please him; and in as far as you cannot please him, you will be displeased with yourselves. But then, I would advise you, in as far as you are displeased with yourselves for not pleasing God, be as much well pleased with Christ, the pleasing sacrifice and atonement; and this shall please God as much as your obedience could do, or your disobedience can displease him. To him be praise and glory.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/89291-Studious-to-please-afraid-of-displeasing, Comment 1

A Testimony of our Homage

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 104:

Honey bee on camasOf creatures we must inquire a quare after a quid; a why, after we know what their will is. But Christians should have their wills so subdued unto God’s, that though no profit nor advantage were to redound by obedience, though it were in things repugnant and cross to our inclination and humour, yet we should serve and obey him as a testimony of our homage and subjection to him. And till we learn this, and be more abstracted from our own interests in the ways of obedience, even from the interests of peace, and comfort, and liberty, we do not obey him because he commands, but for our own sakes.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88993-A-testimony-of-our-homage, Comment #1

To Rob God One Way To Pay Him Another

May Day 2013, Portland, Oregon - 09

Rev. Stephen Charnock, Works, Vol. 1, p. 57:

Trust providence in the way of precept. Let not any reliance upon an ordinary providence induce you into any way contrary to the command. Daniel had many inducements from an appearance of providence to eat the king’s meat: his necessity of compliance in his captivity, probability of preferment by learning the wisdom of the country, whereby he might both have advanced himself and assisted his countrymen, the greatness of the consideration for a captive to be fed from the king’s table, the ingratitude he might be accused of for despising so kind a treatment; but none of these things moved him against a command; because the law of God forbade it, he would not eat of the king’s meat, Dan. 1.8-10, &c. “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat.” Daniel might have argued, I may wind myself into the king’s favour, do the church of God a great service by my interest in him, which may be dashed in pieces by my refusal of this kindness; but none of these things wrought upon him.

No providences wherein we have seeming circumstances of glorifying God, must lead us out of the way of duty; this is to rob God one way to pay him another. God brought Daniel’s ends about: he finds favour with the governor, his request is granted, the success is answerable, and all those ends attained which he might in a sinful way, by an ill construction of providence, have proposed to himself, all which he might have missed of had he run on in a carnal manner. This, this is the way to success: Ps. 37.5, “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.” Commit thy way to the guidance of his providence, with an obedience to his precept and reliance on his promise, and refer all success in it to God. If we set up our golden calves made of our own ear-rings, our wit, and strength, and carnal prudence, because God seems to neglect us, our fate may be the same with theirs, and the very dust of our demolished calf may be a bitter spice in our drink, as it was in theirs.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/90791-Charnock-on-Doing-Evil-that-Good-May-Come, Comment #1