Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Christ the Center & Christian Obedience

Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."

Romans 12:1 "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."

Years ago I had went through a study called "spiritual life and evangelism" that was based off of the discipleship ministry called "The Navigators".  The material urged us as young students to memorize scripture under certain topics for the purpose strengthening our Christian walk.  I can recall in those days memorizing the above four verses: 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 2:20 were placed under the heading: "Christ the Center", while John 14:21 and Romans 12:1 were termed - "The Obedient Christian-life in action". 

In the study, when memorizing those passages, you were encouraged to think about those headings as being a wheel.  Dawson Trotman, the founder of Navigators, pictured the relationship between the believer's salvation (i.e Christ the Center) and sanctification (i.e Obedient Christian life) in the following way...

Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 2:20) aims at making Him the "hub" or center of the Christian life.  Furthermore, John 14:21 and Romans 12:1 comprise the outer rim or traction necessary to move the Christian walk forward - hence the term "the obedient Christian life" (or what the scripture calls sanctification).

True salvation receives Him by grace alone through faith alone. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20) Consequently, the post-conversion Christian life (sanctification) should progress onward and upward, characterizing a faith that is never alone. (John 14:21; Romans 12:1) Conversion (salvation) is the root of faith, with obedience being the necessary fruit of faith.  Numerous scriptures spell out this important and inseparable link between true saving faith and the works that come forth following the salvation commitment. 

I urge you the reader to take the above four passages and commit them to memory.  Second, I urge you to consider the "wheel diagram" above and use it as an aid in your scripture memory.  Lastly, ask the Lord to continually strengthen you by His Holy Spirit as you aim to keep centered on Jesus Christ while effectively obeying His will. 

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