The second message is about obedience. That word sure can make our rebel hearts want to run away or start rationalizing behavior, can’t it? And yet, the Bible makes it clear that we are saved not to continue sinning, but to love the Lord and to obey him.
How can we be transformed so that we want to obey God’s laws and live righteously?
Pastor MacArthur does a great job of explaining the difference between Godly obedience and legalism: “Legalism is content to work on the outside. It’s content to conform people externally. That’s what legalism does. It manipulates people, it intimidates people, it somehow promises them rewards or it brings them under fear and it gets them to conform externally to certain behaviors. But that does not accomplish the work of God.”
He cites multiple passages including Ephesians 3 to illustrate that Jesus Christ works inside us, transforming our hearts, minds and motives. How? Through the scriptures.
The scalpel God uses for this internal work is the Scripture: “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” Hebrews 4:11-13
This sermon could provoke some self-examination. Listen here.