Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 14, 2015

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus” – “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Samuel Chapter 15.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+15&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“17 Samuel said (to Saul), “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel?  And the Lord anointed you king over Israel, 18 and the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.’  19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord?”

20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” 22 Samuel said,

“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 “For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He has also rejected you from being king.”  1 Samuel 15:17-23.

————————

Like Saul, we may go through life thinking that we are good enough and that God is blessing us.  We are destroying most of the Amalekites (symbol for evil) in our life.  We appear righteous to others who treat us like a king.  We worship and are prosperous.  We even go on mission trips for God.  In summary, we are pleased with ourselves and our goodness and our free-will to obey God.  But, God is not pleased.

Saul did not get credit for his 99% obedience, because he utterly destroyed all the Amalekites except Agag the king of the Amalekites.  Verse 8.

And, we do not get credit for 99% obedience even if everyone else thinks we are perfect little angels.

Saul did not get credit for his 99% obedience, because he utterly destroyed everything that was “despised and worthless”.  Verse 8.

And, we do not get credit for 99% obedience, because we utterly destroyed everything that was “despised and worthless”.

Saul did not get credit for using that best 1% that he saved for use in a sacrifice for God.  Verse 21.

And, we do not get credit for 99% obedience, because we saved that best 1% for use in a sacrifice for God.  See, for example, Mark 7:9-11.

Today’s Scripture teaches us that 99% obedience is simply disobedience.  Obedience is only 100% obedience, not over 50% obedience, not even 99% obedience.  See Galatians 3:10. 

Our LORD is a perfect “Holy, Holy Holy” God Who will not tolerate sin.

Our only “chance” for salvation is the 100% obedience of Christ.  “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”  Romans 5:19.

So, how do we gain credit for that 100% obedience of Christ? 

Our works did not put us in Christ.  Our obedience did not put us in Christ.  Our wisdom did not put us in Christ.  Not even our will put us in Christ.  “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

In sharpest contrast with other doctrine, Reformed Doctrine knows that God is certainly not pleased with us and most humbly pleads our “Total Depravity”.

In sharpest contrast with other doctrine, Reformed Doctrine does not cling to our own goodness and our own alleged free-will to obey God, but rather Reformed Doctrine only boasts in the LORD and only clings only to the goodness of God and the will of God to save according to His terms of salvation summarized in “TULIP” which are “Unconditional Election”, “Limited Atonement”, “Irresistible Grace”, and “Preservation of the Saints”.

In briefest summary, Reformed Doctrine understands and knows the LORD of Scripture “who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth”, because He delights in these things.  See Jeremiah 9:23-24.  With great hope and delight and trust, Reformed Doctrine quotes this LORD Who states:  “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  Ezekiel 36:27.


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