November 29 – Today’s Readings – Nehemiah 10-11 and Psalms 149
Nehemiah 9:38 and 10:28-29 reads, “In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”…“The rest of the people—priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand – all these now join their brothers the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the LORD our Lord.”
At the end of Chapter 9 and the beginning of Chapter 10 the people entered into an oath to keep the Law of God. They promised to tithe, to keep the Sabbath, to not get involved with the sins and customs of “the world”, and to not neglect the house of God. I’m sure there were other aspects of “the Law” that they promised as well – but we understand the general meaning – these people were committing themselves to obeying God’s Word.
There are many who would scoff at this practice today, citing the fact that none of us can keep the Word by a commitment of our wills alone. This is true. Living according to the Word of God comes by the grace of God and living in a humble attitude of repentance. What benefit then is there to our commitments? Is there any value in deciding to follow and obey Jesus? Is it all up to God? Well of course its all up to God – – well of course its all up to us!
Do you see it? We have to be 100% percent committed to obey and God has to do 100% of the “work”. This is called the grace of God. It’s like a good marriage. 50/50 will never work. Each spouse has to be in it 100%.
We are not nor will we ever be “saved by works” – or by committing to the “Law”. However when we are saved we must set our wills to obey and we will be progressively transformed to the image of Christ by constantly running to the arms of grace. Our good works will be the fruit of our salvation and of our relationship with the Lord.
Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 – “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
1. Give your own definition of the word “redemption”.
2. Give your own definition of the word “consecration”.
3. Give your own definition of the word “justification”.
4. Give your own definition of the word “sanctification”.