Simplicity that is in Christ

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Simplicity that is in Christ

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Humans seem inclined to make something complicated out of something that is intended to be simple. God is far more complicated than our minds can imagine, and He knows the heart, intents and limitations of humans (Hebrews 4:12-13). Furthermore, He has a message for all of mankind about how to live a good life.

Most adults can make choices, but it is based on both good and evil, and so those choices are not always wise. Sadly enough, when such knowledge is abundant, the will to do what is right by God’s definition is often missing. How often do we know what we should do, but we don’t do it? To our shame, God says He will make the wisdom of mankind as foolishness (1 Corinthians 3:19).

People do know what is right at times, yet still make the wrong choices. Even pagans like Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar knew about the God Daniel worshiped (Daniel 5:22; Daniel 2:47), but pride, vanity, stubbornness, carelessness, deceptions and peer pressure played a part in their denial of what is right and their choosing not to obey God. The same is true for us.

God is looking for those who will know and obey Him (1 John 2:3). He is hoping people will see the love, goodness, hope and future He offers and simply do what He says. God has done everything He can do to help us understand His love. He provided a Redeemer and Savior when mankind had no way back from sin. He directly taught the law of life and good to humans and to all the world through Israel at Mount Sinai. He presented the holy Ten Commandments and preserved them in the Bible for thousands of years. He worked miracle after miracle (Hebrews 3:9). He appeared to people at times. He became flesh to show us we can live and not sin; and as the sin-free innocent Lord, He took upon Himself the payment for our sins (Romans 6:23).

God asked what more He could do (Isaiah 5:4). He will not force people to make the right choices. Yet only when God opens our minds to understand can we know His truths (Luke 24:45). It is the heart (attitude towards God) that allows us to understand.

How to become receptive to God

A child has a humble heart and is teachable (Matthew 18:4-5). Paul noted that Timothy had understood the scriptures as a child (2 Timothy 3:15). Paul also noted the difference in how a child may know or think and how that thinking needs to mature (1 Corinthians 13:11). “Oh, that they had such a heart in them…,” God says (Deuteronomy 5:29). The hard hearts of humans are often softened through pain and suffering, but that is not what God prefers. He wants us to obey Him because only He is our Creator and Father and holds eternity in His hands. He wants to bless and give good gifts to His children.

What is God looking for? He seeks people who grasp the beauty of His offer of eternal life and forgiveness through the blood of Christ and who repent of their sins. He wants those who resist sin and choose good (His laws) for the rest of their lives. Consistently choosing His way as we live among wicked people and are confronted by Satan does take a strong will. It does sometimes take suffering to loosen the chains that have bound us for years. Bad habits and the influence of the mind of Satan in our decisions and choices do need to be eliminated. That may take some suffering.

Jesus, who never sinned, always obeyed God and fought the temptations that so easily assail us (Hebrews 2:18). Sometimes He, too, had to struggle with His situation through fervent, heartfelt prayer and tears, but His struggle was much more concentrated than ours because Satan knew who He was and viciously tried to thwart Himis strugg. That battle was the biggest one on Earth; we had already lost our battle with Satan in the Garden of Eden. God, through Christ’s victory over Satan by His sacrifice, shows us the path and makes a bridge for our return to His good graces and our freedom from sin. The reward is eternal life – a body that never ages or is sick and a position as a king or priest (Revelation 20:4). More than this, He planned for us to be His children and become like Him in every way (1 John 3:2).

It all started with Adam and Eve

God created a wonderful world. He created humans and spent time with them. He planted a beautiful garden and told them to take care of it, and He told them about the only tree that they must not touch or eat of its fruit. Clearly Adam and Eve were taught of God’s way of life starting with the fact that He and only He is God and the Sabbath is His day. Similarly they knew about the sanctity of marriage, honoring your Father, not believing a lie and more.

If Adam and Eve would have done what they were taught, they could have eaten of the tree of life that was also in the garden and available to them. Nobody can come up with a simpler command than to tell someone not to touch a certain tree or eat its fruit. You cannot eat the fruit without touching the tree and they did both. When they chose to disobey God and follow what their eyes and thinking assured them was a “better way,” they sinned and lost the opportunity for all the gifts God offered, and sin entered into all of mankind from Adam onward (Romans 5:12). Why oh why are we humans like that?

God is looking for those who respond to His calling and are willing to obey Him. He realizes that humans need to know His expectations. What God asks is not impossible or He would not ask it. We humans can understand if only we will because God did not make His commandments impossible for us to obey or understand (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). The problem is us! God is disappointed when people turn away from Him. When God put the choices before Israel and told them of the blessing and cursing that naturally came from obedience or disobedience, He also encouraged them to work for the blessings (Deuteronomy 28; Leviticus 26).

When we read the instructions God gave for Israel to live by, it is clear that a loving God would never give laws that the people could not keep. They could keep His laws, but refused to obey. They would not obey Him (Deuteronomy 28:62) and that is a long way from could not obey Him. As Israel would have obeyed God, their obedience to God’s laws would have led them to gain a deeper and more spiritual appreciation of God’s laws which automatically result in a joyful and successful life – that would have come if only they had begun to obey Him in the letter of the law. The laws God gave were good and for the good of each person as well as the nation (Deuteronomy 4:40).

The choice is ours

God has done all He can do to provide the light and knowledge that humans can absorb. Now He is watching to see what we choose to do. The formula is simple: see what God calls sin and offensive to Him, repent of that with all your heart and soul, accept the gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ and then keep His laws and do not practice sin for the rest of your life. His laws are not difficult (Matthew 11:30).

Will we obey Him and live – respecting the pain we have caused our loving Father and accepting His offer of the cleansing blood of Christ? Will we resolve to struggle never to sin again – or will we turn away and spurn His offer and stay in darkness?

Once most humans have suffered enough, their stiff necks will be stiff no longer. Most will have had enough of self-inflicted pain, misery and sorrow, and will turn to God and His promise. He will mercifully hear and listen (Jeremiah 23:23-24). There have always been a few sinners who have heeded the call of God and repented. Humans like you and me have responded and succeeded. Even those carrying loads of sin can be forgiven (Isaiah 1:18).

Just obey. It is simple. He tells us how painful sin is and then, as a loving parent, He lets us choose. We will learn that He is right – He is always right.

To learn more about how Christ’s sacrifice makes us right with God if we choose to obey Him, request our free Bible study aid The Road to Eternal Life.

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  • neighbor
    The message I get is we choose to dis-obey and we reap what we sow. A life filled with misery and bad choices that then influences our family, friends, our overall life. I have always considered myself a simple man and been glad for no apparent reason. I came to know the Lord and then fell away for a time and then again and then again. So I have suffered for many years thinking that there was no hope for me now, all was lost. Yet I kept praying and striving to obey, reasoning that no matter what, I would and will choose God over satan even if God wanted no more of me. Reading the bible, I came across this scripture, that I cannot find right now but it said something to the effect that if one came to the truth and then kept on sinning, his only hope was to overcome. I may have explained it wrong and I apologize if I have.
  • Norbert Z
    I have to totally agree, "we are often the ones that add complication to our lives". Not only do I have the ablity to complicate my life when it comes to discerning how to obey the letter of the law (1 Tim 1:8), but I also find a number of other people who are dedicated to add their version of it and complicate my life as well. (1 Tim 1:7) So indeed, "we" are often the ones that add complication to our lives.
  • Ivan Veller
    Hi Mr. Wilson, While it is true that opening the carnal mind to God’s truth requires miraculous intervention because spiritual things “are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14b, ESV 2011), that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him…Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:5, 17a ESV), and that the Spirit guides us “into all the truth” (John 16:13), if receptive we can be led in the way of wisdom: “I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness” (Proverbs 4:11 ESV). Likewise, God grants us “teachers” (1 Cor. 12:28b ESV) who can “impart wisdom” to God's Church (1 Cor. 2:6a ESV): “Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom…we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God…And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual… …For to one [(not all)] is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, …to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, [and] to another faith by the same Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:6-7, 13; 12:8-9a ESV).
  • sign_ruth
    Hi Robert Thank your for writing this It was blessing to read it It touch my heart to know that what God ask of us it not hard and it s easy to follow and I knw it s not easy for those like me who want to change and do the right for him Sometimes we may not knw that we r nit doing it right way Right now I want to change So thank you Also I want to share this wit friends and family *ruth*
  • Curtis Wilson
    Hi Robert, My name is Curtis, I am just your basic sinner saved by God's mercy and grace. I believe God,s plan for man, and each individual person is simple, when we have the wisdom and understanding that come from our Heavenly Father alone. Man is incapable of discovering spiritual truth on his own, it must be revealed by our Father, who also confirms his teaching by His Word. As Jesus said, "every body who has heard the Father and have been taught by him, cometh to me" (the Word). Complications arise when we try to logicaly analyze scripture apart from God's anointing that dwells in us. Tradition will always get it wrong 100 percent of the time. Wisdom can not be transfered from one person to another, it is a very personal thing between God and man. We have to come before God individualy to recieve this wisdom, we must the Lord God one on one. Pastors, teachers, or the five fold ministry can not give this knowledge to the Church! It is not there job, they are only to equip to the Church to do the work of the ministry, which each and every saint has to do them selves. In other words we go to Church to learn how to go to Church. The Church is in Mt Zion not here on earth. Curtis
  • Jacob Hitsman
    Hello Robert, I thought your article was well written and simple to understand. I am very much impressed with your understanding of the scripture and your ability to communicate this. Certainly this spoke to my heart as well and hopefully I will let it sink in and make some changes to my life. I am one who will have no excuse before God as I know my judgement is now taking place in my life. There has never been doubt in my life as to Gods Holiness. Not since I was 21 years old at least and now I am 58. My weaknesses of the flesh are innumerable and extremely discomforting. For this reason your article gave me greater conviction to draw closer to God. We need His help in over-coming and He does promise to help us. Not one of us can take for granted our place in His Kingdom. Even us who has lived and trusted God for many many years. Satan and his lures and temptations are always waiting just around the corner. My lamenting must come to an end and action taken no matter how painful as you so poignantly stated. God please help us to live your Holy Way to live the life. And may Your Kingdom come. Amen Thank you again Robert for your inspiration.
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