Thursday, October 08, 2009

Where's the Line?

So if our obedience to God isn't about what we do, but why, does that mean I don't have to do anything as long as I have a good heart? That's the same attitude as not having conviction about our sin because Christ's grace covers us. "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" (Romans 6:1-2)

But it's those temptations that lead us to "planting a hedge" around our obedience to God. If you're not familiar with that term (hedging bets, hedge funds, etc) it comes from the practice of the Pharisees in Jesus' time who believed, for illustration, if the Law said they can't walk a mile they would have a religious rule that you couldn't walk a half-mile in order to make sure you were never close enough to be tempted to go the full mile. That's the "hedge". In context of today, we may have a conviction that pornography is wrong, but R-rated movies with explicit sex scenes are ok. Or if you're single, you may have a conviction about premarital sex but that won't stop you from making out. So we come up with hedges in our own little corners of religion to prevent that: no R-movies of any kind, no kissing while dating, no dancing, no gambling, etc.

Likewise, often our exhortations to do good are based on Godly principles and maybe even Biblical commands, but we take them either too far or in a direction that was never intended.

So what should be our standard then? It's not the church, I'll tell you that right now. It should be clear that it's Jesus. "If you love me, you will obey what I commanded." (John 14:15) Sounds simple, right? Chrystie at Path From the Head to the Heart, posted just about what I planned this follow-up post to be. But to dig deeper into Godly, Spiritual, Biblical and most of all, personal obedience I encourage you to check out all the posts from Pastor Peter's "blog carnival" on the word obedience. Some very, very powerful words. What's beautiful in these posts, is that we all have different denominational and doctrinal backgrounds, yet you can see the Holy Spirit moving powerfully and consistently in each of the posts. Enjoy.

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