Archive Favorites: Obedience Is Not a Dirty Word (Transcript)

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Justin Perdue: Hi, this is Justin. Today on Theocast, we are talking about obedience. Obedience is actually not a dirty word, though we know that for many of you, your experience with obedience has been hard. You have often been scolded or shamed or motivated by fear. You’ve often had your assurance eroded in order to motivate you towards obedience and holiness in the Christian life. But what we’re going to do today is from the Bible and from the perspective of the reformed confessions point people to the reality that assurance and rest and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ actually motivates and propels us forward in pursuing obedience in the Christian life. And then in the Members podcast, we didn’t intend for this to happen, but we were really getting ramped up at the end of the regular podcast, the Members podcast is both lengthy and very spirited and we think quite good. And so if you’re not already a total access member, you’re going to want to go over to Theocast.org and get on a 14-day free trial so that you can listen to the Members podcast on obedience. Stay tuned.

Justin Perdue: Welcome to Theocast, encouraging weary pilgrims to rest in Christ, conversations about the Christian life from a reformed perspective. Our hosts today are Jon Moffitt, Pastor of Community Bible Church in Springhill, Tennessee. Jimmy Buehler, Pastor of Christ Community Church in Willmar, Minnesota. And I am Justin Purdue, Pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina. Jimmy, you’ve got the cultural update today, my man. What’s going on in your world?

Justin Perdue: So Jon, what are we talking about today?

Jon Moffitt: Speaking of lists and obedience and legalism, we are talking about obedience in the Christian life. And many of you who are listening to the podcast, you have either just joined us, this might be episode number one or you’ve been listening for a long time. One of the accusations we get here at Theocast over the years is that we’re antinomian. And if you don’t know what that word means is we’re anti-law. We think there’s no place for obedience. There’s no place for law in the Christian life, and so we wanted to bring some clarity to what is, I think, an abuse of obedience. And then what we would say is joy, delight in obedience. So not dread but delight. That’s really what this conversation is going to be about, is our experience and what we’ve seen within evangelicalism within, I would say, conservative evangelicalism and this draw towards fear and guilting people into obeying God and how we believe that the reformed confessions and scripture actually leads the believer to the joy and the delight and rest actually in obeying God. So how there’s actually a huge difference between the two. So that’s where we’re at guys, who’s going to bring us in?

Justin Perdue: Happy to jump in on this one. So in many of the contexts that exist in the evangelical world that are pietistic, I think we can say that, we want to be really clear about what we’re talking about here. In those contexts, Jesus is preached. We’re not saying that Christ isn’t preached in those contexts. The Holy Spirit is even seen to be central in obedience and sanctification. So we’re not saying that the role of the Holy Spirit is somehow downplayed or minimized, but there is practically no outworking of that preaching of Christ and of that seeing the Holy Spirit as central to obedience and sanctification. Because, practically speaking, when you sit in most evangelical context these days, you’re pounded with law. Just absolutely beaten to death with law. And assurance is eroded as a means of getting people to take obedience seriously. So it’s like, Hey, let me unsettle, let me unsettle everybody in the pew in order to motivate people towards holiness. And as you said already, Jon, we’re going to scold people towards obedience. That’s one of the issues, the problems that we’re pointing out with our current evangelical moment.

Jon Moffitt: I was joking with you guys before the podcast started about a song I grew up singing and the lyrics go, ‘obedience is the very best way to know that you believe’, which is attaching a child’s assurance to their obedience. So how well they obey is the level of their assurance.

Jimmy Buehler: I think that that’s dead on for the average person sitting in the pew. I think this is most likely true that the law is used as a means by which to motivate. Where it’s do this, I wouldn’t even say that the emphasis for the posture is, do this and live, it’s, do this or die. Obey or die and that can just be so, so terrifying. And specifically to the person who’s sensitive in conscience, where perhaps, I just think of Luther, if you’re familiar with Luther’s origins and his beginnings and, I mean the brothers spent upwards of eight hours in confession because he never felt like he measured up. And I remember listening to that story and just identifying with that so much because there’s this fear that my life of obedience or my life of disobedience is the measure by which I relate to God.

Justin Perdue: I think one of the things that we’re pointing out here is the inconsistency that exists in the evangelical world. And in particular, there are many guys, many people who rejoice in what we would call the Doctrines of Grace. They understand themselves even to be Calvinistic and will, on the one hand, herald, the glorious truths of the unconditional grace and love of God towards his people. But then, it’s interesting, there’s a great contradiction in the posture and in the tone of preaching and of teaching and of life in the church because then we herald this unconditional love and grace of God toward the elect on the one hand, but then everything in terms of its practical outworking becomes exacting. It becomes threatening even in tone. And that’s one of the things that we’re trying to point out here that we want to talk about today in this podcast, Biblical motivations for obedience, and that’s where this conversation will be headed here in just a moment.

Jon Moffitt: And the tone is, it’s as Justin was just saying, it is subtle. You will hear the Gospel and you will hear messages that are invigorating. They are, they are gripping. They bring you close into the cross. They love the cross. But as we pointed out a couple of weeks ago in, I think it was, I can’t remember the exact episode, but it might have been the Dark Side of Christianity, where there is this fear of a laxity. There’s a fear of laziness. There’s a fear that Christians will not take God serious and instead of going at the root issue of that, which tends to be, I think, not seeing the glory of God, not seeing Christ clearly not participating in the sacraments, rightly. We counteract that and we use fear tactics. So instead of allowing your child to feel safe in your home and they feel loved and they feel drawn into your love, you’re basically telling your children that they’re going to live in a context of fear and doubt. And if you do not perform at a certain level, then there is pending punishment coming your way.

Jimmy Buehler: Right. Would you guys say that this is perhaps, maybe a byproduct, that that kind of tone and tenor of preaching and teaching would, part of me wonders is this a byproduct of a kind of rugged individualization of the Christian life? Where we’ve really divorced the Christian life from the context of the body, the context of the church at large. And I guess what I’m trying to get at is, we use this word obedience and I think a lot of it is so nebulous, because if I hear obedience, my specific context and individual Christian life, I’m going to know the things that I’m disobedient in perhaps on a daily basis, which could be different than Justin’s, which could be different than Jon’s, which could be different than Billy or whoever, insert yourself or insert a different name, but I think one of the things we see in the New Testament, specifically the Epistles, is that Paul and the different writers, they were able to address the various areas that the body was being disobedient in to one another. What do you guys think about that?

Jon Moffitt: No, I think it’s what I call the only child syndrome. It’s just me and God. And we talk about it, we use this language, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which is not a biblical term, by the way. And I don’t mean those exact words, but the concept of it’s just me and Jesus and we walk in the garden alone and it’s just, I’m trying to make sure that he’s happy with me and I’m happy with it. It’s a horrible understanding of scripture and I think it’s right, Jimmy, when you have a highly individualized focused view of your own Christian life, that it does very much become this moment where you are analyzing every area of your life and you’re not analyzing within the context of the church. And Yeah, I think a lot of sermons even are geared towards that.

Justin Perdue: I think that we have to acknowledge the impact of just movements through history in the church as well. So you can’t have this conversation about even the individualization of the Christian life. You certainly can’t have the conversation about obedience and the transformation of life in our current context without acknowledging things like, revivalism and just this emphasis that took place in the history of the church on moral transformation where the Christian life became essentially… Like the understanding is the Christian life is about the moral transformation of the individual. And so all of these movements through history have contributed to this current moment. And I think absolutely you’re talking about a context in the west in America, where we are rugged individualists anyway, you take with it this kind of idea of moral transformation and you think about revivalism and its impacts as well in this kind of decision moment where people are walking aisles and praying prayers and committing their lives to Christ. And yet we end up talking about obedience only in this context of the individual, not in the body of the church. Which again, I couldn’t agree more Jimmy is the context of the New Testament.

Jon Moffitt: I think we’ve done a pretty good job over the last few episodes. If you’ve not listened to the last, I would say four episodes that Theocast has produced, including our introduction, we’ve tried to expose what we call pietism, emphasizing our own faithfulness the internal of the Christian life. And today, really what we want to turn this conversation towards is a positive approach towards obedience. In other words, how do you see obedience in a way that brings delight, where you’re excited about pleasing God and you’re not doing it out of fear because you haven’t done it at a certain level. And so this is probably a different context for some. Some would even say, obedience is a dirty word. If they’ve experienced grace and they love grace, they would say obedience is a dirty word. And, the should and ams, are Anti-Gospel in a way, I guess.

Justin Perdue: We so often in evangelicalism, obedience comes across like a trip to the DMV. It’s like the last thing in the world that I would want to concern myself with or do because whenever obedience has been talked about or preached or considered, it’s always with this kind of threatening, exacting tone and it sounds miserable. Whereas in scripture, obedience is presented as a joyful thing, and as you’ve already used the word Jon, Delight. And so I think it would be good for us to turn the conversation in that direction and help people see biblically and even from the confessions, what are the motivations for obedience that turn it into something that is good and something that is joyful, something that’s restful.

Jon Moffitt: We are excited to announce that we have a new free eBook available at our website called Faith Versus Faithfulness, A Primer on Rest. And we the hosts put this together to explain the difference between emphasizing one’s faith in Christ versus emphasizing one’s faithfulness to Christ and how one leads to rest and how the other often to a lack of assurance. And you can get this at Theocasts.org/primer and if you’ve been encouraged, what you’ve been hearing at Theocast, we’d ask you to help partner with us. You can do that by joining our total access membership. That’s our monthly membership that gives you access to all of our material that we’ve produced over the last four years or simply by donating to our ministry. You can do that by going to our website, Theocast.org. We hope that you enjoy the rest of the conversation.

Jon Moffitt: Let me ask you guys this question. It may seem like a trick question, but it’s not, it’s a grounder and at Theocast we have rules, you don’t throw grounders but you know, you guys are new.

Justin Perdue: As long as it doesn’t take a nasty, hop.

Jon Moffitt: So does God need your obedience?

Justin Perdue: No

Jimmy Buehler: That’s a weird question.

Jon Moffitt: That is, does God need your obedience, Jimmy? Yes or no?

Justin Perdue: I’ve already said no.

Jon Moffitt: Yeah, I know, why not?

Justin Perdue: I mean, first of all, I think the witness of the scripture is that we are the ones in need of what only God can provide. God is not in need of anything that we would bring to him. So this matters for a whole host of things, including how we think about obedience for the corporate gathering or a number of a number of things. And so our obedience does matter, our lives will be transformed. We’re going to get here in a minute. We have been made for good works in Christ Jesus. I mean God has prepared good works for us to walk in. So those things are going to happen. God is honored in that. But honestly, those good works in that obedience matters more for my neighbor in life here on earth. Then it does even for me.

Jon Moffitt: You stole my thunder, man. You can’t steal my thunder.

Justin Perdue: I could say more. I could say more. Go ahead, fellas.

Jimmy Buehler: Well, what I was going to say is, I love the line, what God requires in his law, he gives in his Gospel. And when we think about obedience, does God require my obedience? Well no, but you know, I think as Justin said, what the scriptures attest to, and I think even what the…

Jon Moffitt: Not require, not require is a wrong word, need, does God need, right?

Jimmy Buehler: Excuse me. Need, but what the scriptures attest to, and even what the confessions, the reformed confessions speak of, is that God produces obedience in his children. Right? Let me just read this. This is the 1689 London Baptist Confession, Chapter 16 Paragraph 3 where they write this, their ability to do good works, speaking of regenerate Christians, their ability to do good works does not arise at all from themselves, but entirely from the spirit of Christ. And as you think about, again, pushing against this rugged individualism, I think what Justin pointed out so well is that these good works do not exist in a vacuum. If I think about my life and think about the good works that God produces in and through me, it’s not just so I can feel good in my prayer closet, but rather the good works that God produces in me benefit my wife, benefit my children, benefit my church, benefit my neighbor. That there is a real, horizontal value to these good works that God produces. They don’t exist just between me and God. But these good works really do benefit people.

Jon Moffitt: Here’s a second question for you. When we think about again the individualization of the Christian faith, where it’s me and God, we tend to read scripture in this way, so go read Ephesians, Colossians go read Corinthians and the instructions that are given there. It’s as if God is speaking directly to us for the application of our own personal life and we completely remove the context that Paul is writing to a church, for the context of a church, to be applied and obeyed in the church. So here’s my question, what command has been given or what sin can you commit that doesn’t directly affect? Is there a sin that you can commit that does not affect another human being in your life? It’s only an offense against God. Can you think of a sin?

Justin Perdue: So my answer again here is no. I think that quickly people want to immediately object and say, well what about these sins that I commit on my own without anybody else knowing about it? Clearly that’s not affecting my neighbor. I would just say that’s a very short-sighted and naive perspective because a life lived indulging in the desires of the flesh or whatever is going to inevitably start impacting your neighbor, whether that’s your spouse, your kids, your friends, other members of the church, your coworkers. That is going to manifest itself and it’s going to start cutting people to pieces in ways that you can’t foresee, in ways that you don’t even realize right then in that moment when you’re committing that supposedly private sin.

Jon Moffitt: So if you go and read, just as an example, go take and read the latter half of the book of Ephesians, starting in chapter 4. All the first three chapters are the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. Chapters four on Paul gives a lot of instructions. But what’s interesting about the instructions is that they’re not individualized. They’re all dealing with a corporate reality in that if these truths if this is true about Jesus, this is what it should look like. And he gives some pretty forceful commands and forceful instructions to the believer to be kind and gracious and patient, to be sacrificial, to consider how to build one another up in love and good works. He never equates that to the believer’s assurance, he never equates that to the believers standing. It’s always what I would say, the reflection of the Gospel, if this is true, this is how it’s applied and it is for the benefit. Because he says when the body functions properly, what does he say? It builds itself up in love. So obedience, rightly understood, is that God doesn’t need our obedience then who needs our obedience? As Justin said earlier, our brothers and sisters do because that’s how we maintain unity. Obedience is the form of unity because it draws, I mean we’re all sinful people. We have to obey these commands, otherwise, it’s just going to be highly dysfunctional.

Jimmy Buehler: That’s right. Well, I think of Ephesians 2:1-10, I mean that is a passage that I think everyone loves to quote. It’s one of the most clear Gospel, God has done this for you in Christ passages in the whole scripture. And then we get to verse 10, that we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works. And a lot of times there can be almost a, we get to that, and either we do this, well, how does this fit with the rest of that passage? Or we just hang on that and say, oh, well this is where we need to live. Where when you look at the passage as a whole, if you just want to isolate those 10 verses, 1 – 4 talks about our dead state before God. That we are spiritually dead apart from Christ. And then there’s that glorious shift where Paul writes, but God being rich in mercy, he then moves us to this reality that God has done this great spiritual saving work in our lives apart from us. We were dead in sin, not just face down in the water, but at the bottom of the ocean, dead in sin. And God has saved us. And so when you think about this, this idea that we are created in Christ Jesus for good works, how can you move from this glorious presentation of what the Gospel says about us, that we were dead, but then God made us alive and then all of a sudden get to this obedience. And it’s almost like there’s this mental shift where we can falsely believe. Verse 10 is like God saying, now it’s your turn, your turn. I did my thing, now it’s your turn. “Prove that I’ve done this.” You even think about this in Galatians, you who began in the spirit, are you now going to be perfected by the flesh? No, no. Again, as the confession speaks, God produces these works, this obedience within us.

Justin Perdue: I think part of the issue here in our human nature, we’ve alluded to this in other podcasts and I’m sure we’ll continue to talk about it. The legal spirit is hardwired into our DNA. And so for us, naturally from a human level, we see two primary motivators for obedience. One of them is merit. We’re going to earn something, we’re going to be rewarded with something. The second is escape of punishment. So for most people, as they think about this obedience question and you tell me that, okay, in Christ Jesus, everything has been accomplished that’s necessary for my salvation. He’s provided me with all the righteousness that I will ever need and I am safe. You have now removed the possibility of merit and you have now removed the possibility of punishment. So sometimes people look around and say, all right, well why obey now? Help me understand why I should pursue obedience if I’m really safe and secure and I can’t earn anything. That’s a legitimate question that people always are wrestling within the church when they hear the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jon Moffitt: Well, to quote the Proverbs, the way of the transgressor is hard. I don’t know about you, but when sin is had its course, it’s not fun and that is not what the motivation we’re talking about. But there is a side of me that says, Hey, realistically you look at anybody who goes headlong into sin, they’re typically not a very happy person. They might be on the outside, but no, the results of sin are never satisfying. Unfortunately, all three of us men, we still sin because we think it will satisfy our flesh still desires it. Oh wait, we’re not supposed to. We’re all were born in suit and ties and sanctified. We came out like John The Baptist. I said this to my congregation recently, I said, if I had the capacity within me, like if God gave me the spiritual gift to love my wife perfectly as Christ loved the church, to be the perfect dad, to be the perfect citizen, to be the perfect pastor, I promise you if I could do that, I would because it would bring more joy and less pain in my life and it would glorify God to the supreme, like the utmost. But I can’t do those things. Right? That’s the problem.

Jimmy Buehler: So Justin, to go back to something you said, to the person, we’re speaking of a hypothetical individual, the person who says, well, if I can’t earn anything and if all of the punishment has been placed on Christ, which those things are true, then why obey? And really when you think about that, that’s not an antinomian spirit. That’s not an anti-law spirit. That’s still a legal spirit. I’m still operating on legal terms with God. And so if I don’t have to fulfill any legal terms, then what the heck. Why do any of this?

Justin Perdue: So biblically, the best place to launch us into the rest of this conversation would be Romans 6:1 and following. So when Paul anticipates the objection after he has made the Gospel very clear, should we sin all the more that grace may abound, he says by no means. And then he doesn’t pound people with law, he doesn’t give them rules to keep, he doesn’t threaten or anything like that. He says, by no means, may it never be, because you’ve been united to Christ through faith. And then he goes on to talk about how we have been delivered from the dominion of sin and we have been set free. We’re no longer under law, we’re now under grace. And then he says these wonderful words, thanks be, praise be to God because you have now become obedient from the heart. And so in one sense, we’re answering the question, okay, well bro, why do I obey? Like why obey? Well, because you’ve been set free and you actually can obey now. So let’s start there. It’s good for you. It produces good things in your life and you actually can now. So the question I’m asking is why would you not obey?

Jimmy Buehler: The ability that you did not have before, you now have. The ability to obey God from the heart. God has now circumcised your heart, removed the obstinate nature of your flesh and has given you this ability. God is producing these things. It’s a thing of wonder. It’s a thing of glory that God is doing this in you.

Jon Moffitt: Well I think what’s hard for the Christian is to not live on a scale balanced life where we evaluate, we evaluate our intentions, we evaluate our actions. So, if someone feels, and how many of you as pastors over the years have heard, well I’ll get back into church once I what? Clean up my life.

Justin Perdue: Clean things up once I’m doing better.

Jon Moffitt: They want to balance out the scales a little bit before they walk into the door because then they’ll say, I don’t want God to strike me down. But that’s a person not looking in the mirror. That’s a person looking down saying, well, if I just, you know, change my clothes a little bit. Well, unfortunately, a lot of Christians feel this way. That I don’t feel like obeying because I’m so far away. I’m so evil. I’m so wicked. They don’t live in Gospel, they live in Law. So the motivation is, well, I guess all obey once I can clean up these things, I can fix this bad habit. Then there’s a motivation to obey. And what we’re trying to say is that if you look at the cross, you’ll never have the opportunity to look at yourself. You won’t live on a scale and you will just as much as you possibly can, through the power of the spirit, you’ll say, look, I’m going to obey because it’s the right thing to do, even though the scales are tipped in my disfavor.

Justin Perdue: I think maybe one of the best passages that’s just straight gold when it comes to this question, it speaks to a number of the things we’ve already raised. Like why obey at all? Where does the motivation come from? And it also speaks to this kind of corporate dynamic versus this rugged individualism. So Hebrews 10, 11 and following, I’m not going to read all these verses, but just kind of a summary. I mean the writer of the Hebrews is talking about the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ. He made an offering once and for all and then he sat down because it’s over. Redemption is done. Verse 14 of Hebrews 10, For by a single offering, he, Jesus, has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. So he has perfected all of us who are being sanctified by the Spirit. And then he goes on to talk about forgiveness and the reality of forgiveness. But then he moves on into this full assurance of faith section where he tells us because of Jesus and because we have this great high priest and because of the access we have to God let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith because we’ve been sprinkled clean and all of these things, let’s hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering because God is faithful. And here’s the thing, here we go and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some but encouraging one another all the more, as you see the day drawing near. We’re motivated by what Christ has done. We’re motivated by safety and security and rest and peace. And we do this in the context of the church seeking to stir one another up in love and good works.

Jimmy Buehler: So much of this conversation just revolves around the idea of how is it that you relate to God. How is it that we as Christians relate to God, and it’s not on this legal scheme. We relate to God on the basis of the blood and righteousness of Christ imputed to us. So there is a little book, I think it might be on our recommended reading site, where it’s called A Gospel Primer. It’s by Milton Vincent. And there’s some little truths in here that are great. And I love one of the things that he writes. He says this, how can I come to love God with all of my being? The Bible teaches that genuine love in my heart for God is generated by what? An awareness of his love for me. And nowhere. Nowhere is the love of God more clearly revealed than in the Gospel. And so again, to re- drill this in, so much of our posture in this can come from my awareness as God’s law for me, what God requires of me. This is why you see so clearly in the New Testament, these authors, Peter, Paul, the writer of the Hebrews, they are drilling in, the sufficiency of Christ, the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ on your behalf because this is where you need to start.

Justin Perdue: Amen. Jimmy, you’re pointing out the reality that we tend to still, even in the church, we tend to still relate to God as judge. Whereas we have been told that in Christ Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, we have been adopted into the family of God and we now call him Father. So we’ve not been given the spirit of fear, we’ve been given the spirit of adoption. By whom? By which we call God Father, so we’re not constantly striving and struggling to climb up into our Father’s arms, it’s like, no, we’re their man. Like we are safe and we’re secure and so you’re exactly right. Rather than relating to God and these legal terms, we have to understand that God is no longer our judge. He is now our Father and we relate to him in that way.

Jon Moffitt: What was recovered, we’ve said this many times, what was recovered in the reformation was the doctrine of assurance. You remove assurance, you remove the motivation for obedience from delight. And what ends up happening is obedience is to affirm or confirm or assure your salvation. And what we’re saying is no. The reformation and biblical understanding of scripture is that the believer is assured by faith in Jesus Christ alone, by God’s grace alone, through his power alone, through the regenerating and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Once the believer has faith in Jesus Christ, there is absolutely no reason to ever doubt that their sins have been separated as far as the east is from the west and that our obedience, which is empowered by the spirit, God looks past all of our sins and sees our affection towards him and sees our desire to love him, which he implanted into us and the good works, which he ordained before the foundations of the world, and uses them for the advancement of the Gospel and uses them for the building up of the saints. So when we look at obedience, don’t ever say, man, I don’t,… Because this is the question, boys, How much obedience is enough to assure you? How much?

Justin Perdue: Who sets that standard?

Jon Moffitt: So if that’s not the standard and we’re not going there to assurance, but if that’s not the standard, then don’t look at your obedience and strive to measure it up. Just pursue it, allow the spirit to do his work and enjoy the absolute no fear, or wonder does your Father love you? Does he care for you? Does he accept you? Because he does. Now go do the Father’s work because you’re accepted.

Justin Perdue: Amen. In this whole conversation, it’s critical for us to remember that the Holy Spirit of God is the one who does that heart-changing, heart transforming work that produces obedience. But then the question is, okay, how does he do that? What means does he use to do that? Because a lot of times I think people ask the question, say, okay, like they’re sitting in there listening to us and they’re like, okay brothers, I think I’m tracking with you. Assurance and peace and joy and all those kinds of things, are the motivator. I’m there, but still, give me some handles. Help me practically think about obedience and my Christian life, my walk, in aiming to follow Christ and honor God.

Jimmy Buehler: Yeah. Quiet, quiet times.

Justin Perdue: Come on, we’ll talk about that later. Ladies and gentlemen, he’ll be here all week.

Jimmy Buehler: That’s right. Yeah, that’s right. Well, and first of all don’t, I mean, boy, I probably just made a bunch of people mad.

Jon Moffitt: Just save that for the members. Save it for the members.

Justin Perdue: Don’t hear what we’re not saying.

Jimmy Buehler: No. And, and, and here’s the thing again, as we talk about this communal nature of the New Testament written to churches, I think, again, this is why we point to ordinary means. This is why we point to, Word and sacrament if you will, or Word and ordinance, if that’s more comfortable for you. It’s the idea of when we gather around the Word preached, the Word sung, the Word prayed, the Word read, the Word seen in baptism and the Lord’s table, what are we seeing? We’re seeing the Gospel. We are seeing the Gospel be central within the life and worship of the church. And so when we gather on the Lord’s Day and the law of God is read to its fullest extent. That we are unworthy in ourselves to relate to God in a meritable sense, that when the law of God is read, it drives us to our knees to relate to God only and solely through Christ. Here’s the thing, we have to get out of our mindset that each Sunday, when we gather for worship, is going to be this incredible, emotional experience that, man, after each Sunday, I’m just going to be so refreshed to go live this life of joyful obedience. Now, praise God if that’s you. If you live in that reality, God be praised. But I think for the most of us, we need to take a long view that God’s ordinary means of Word preached and read and sung, the Lord’s table, remembering our baptism, or as I think it’s the Westminster larger catechism talks about improving our baptism, as we remember those things and gather around those things, God is going to use these promised ordinary means to develop within us this life of obedience,

Justin Perdue: Picking up where you are there, Jimmy, God, by his Spirit transforms us. He uses the word to do it. He uses sacrament to do it. He uses the fellowship of the saints to do it. So all of these ordinary means, realities take place within the context of the church. They take place in corporate life, in the body of Christ. And so practically one of the things that I always tell people when they ask me this question like, Bro, what do I do? It’s like, okay, well beginning with something quite simple, show up, show up to church on Sunday. Just be present. Be here. Like this isn’t rocket science. It’s actually quite simple. Show up in fellowship with the saints on Sunday as the Word is heralded, it’s read, it’s preached as we sing and pray and as we partake of the Lord’s table. Let’s start with that. And one of the great ironies in this conversation is that sometimes people who are most geeked up to talk about personal devotional life are often times people that miss the corporate gathering regularly. I’m not saying that’s always true, but there is an irony that I see and I’m sure you brothers have seen it too, and perhaps we’ll continue that conversation over in the members’ podcast area. So it seems brothers, that we’ve got more to say on this topic and I mean Jimmy, you fired the shot across the bow man, referencing quiet times and all of that stuff. I’m sure that people want to hear more about that. So friends, if you’ve enjoyed what we’ve talked about so far and you’re interested in participating with us in the members’ podcast, which is where the three of us are headed right now, you can do that by heading over to Theocast.org You’ll find more information there on the website about our total access membership. We would love to have you become a member, where you can gain that total access to all of the material that we offer through the podcasts and articles and other things on the website. We look forward to seeing you over there on the members’ side. Thank you for listening to Theo cast. If you’d like to contact us or find out additional information about our membership, you can do so at Theocast.org.

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