Obedience after Salvation

by Dr. Ken Matto

(1 Sam 15:26 KJV) And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

In the above verse we read a major principle which can and should be heeded by Christians in any generation. Saul had disobeyed God and did not completely annihilate the Amalekites. Instead, he saved Agag, the king of the Amalekites plus he brought back all the animals which he thought that he would use for sacrifices, since they were the best of the best. The problem was that God told Saul to go in and completely destroy all the people as well as the animals. Saul did not do this, instead he chose to go his own way and set the rules for the spoils. A point of thought here, no one can ever rebel against God to the glory of God, nor can one be disobedient to the glory of God. When God gives a directive, it is to be obeyed to the letter. This is why Samuel had asked Saul if God is more concerned with sacrifices than with obedience. Obedience is the bedrock of the Christian life and not service. Within the context of obedience, we will find our place of service. When I speak of obedience, it is not the obeying of ceremonies, special days, or of keeping any part of the law for salvation. Our salvation is totally by grace. One can obey every tenet of the law for their whole life and without the substitutionary atonement of Christ removing their sins, they will go to Hell a good, moral person.

I am speaking of post-salvific obedience. This grace-based obedience is the one that the Christian possesses in order to bring the Gospel to the world. It is the desire of the believer who wishes to be used of the Lord in Kingdom work in bringing God’s Elect to salvation. However, one must also realize that disobedience or trying to do the work of the Lord in any type of deceitful manner, especially in the area of finances, will bring the chastisement of God. How many beg, plead, and guilt manipulation letters do we receive in the mail to give to organizations? I receive many myself and instead of organizations being up front about their needs and aspirations, they would rather walk you around the globe, telling you that if you don’t give all the world’s problems are your fault, and then they tell you how much to give.

There are some Christian organizations who do not put a lot of fluff in their letters and these are a breath of fresh air. One such organization which comes to mind is World Missionary Press, which lays out their monthly projects and objectives, giving you the opportunity to give to whatever project the Lord lays on your heart. Leadership in organizations who tend to manipulate their givers and workers, can face the same situation that Saul did. They can be removed from their position, never to lead again. The higher a person goes in an organization, the more humble they need to be. God cannot communicate with a prideful person except through chastisement. The humble person who waits upon the Lord, will have an organization that will bear much fruit. God replaced Saul with David, not that David was perfect, but he had more of a knowledge and understanding of God than Saul did. No matter what position we are in, whether it is in ministry or business, God can remove us from a good position, if we tend to adopt the attitude that Saul had. God promotes us and He can demote us. Let us always do an attitude check to make sure it is in line with biblical principles. (Ezek 21:26 KJV) Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. (Mat 23:12 KJV) And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. It is a principle we either learn voluntarily, or we are taught it.  (1/10/03)