Blessings in and for Obedience

Romans 11:22, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”

The Apostle Paul, in the Epistle to the Romans, declares and confirms an abundance of information. I cannot ever remember looking at a set of Church Articles of Faith that didn’t cite a few verses from Romans. One of the subjects the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle to write about was the subject of Blessings in and for Obedience. The Apostle Paul was convinced of salvation by grace and the eternal security of God’s children. He was equally convinced that many of God’s children miss out on the temporal blessings found in gospel obedience. In Romans chapter 11 the Apostle addressed this subject with clarity. In this chapter the Apostle tells us that the Jewish children of God were cut off from the temporal blessings and the Gentile believers were “graffed in” (Romans 11:17). Paul tells us plainly why the Jewish people were cut off, it was “unbelief” (Romans 11:20). He also warns the Gentile believers that they could be cut off the same as the Jews had been. In my humble opinion, no verse in this chapter declares this more plainly than our study verse. Paul calls on the Roman congregation to “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God:…”

When meditating upon Romans 11:22 my mind is stirred to other verses in God’s Holy Word. In Deuteronomy 30:19 we read, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” Moses had watched an entire generation of Israel fall (die) in the wilderness. They had been disobedient to God’s commands and experienced His chastening hand. Moses, in his effort to exhort those who stood before him to do better, encourages them to “choose life.” This verse of scripture, like Romans 11:22, is not about heaven and hell, but about the children of God choosing to obey their Father in heaven and enjoying the blessings found in the obedience.

In Isaiah 1:19-20 we read, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah, in his efforts to exhort the children of God in his day to obey God, reminds them of the blessings of God in obedience and the chastening in disobedience. Isaiah said, if they would be “willing and obedient” they would enjoy the rich blessings of God. But if they rebelled, they would face the Lord’s anger (temporal judgment).

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the Bible is filled with verses like the three we have cited. There are many blessings that the child of grace can and will enjoy by obeying God. But there is a life of darkness and pain that we can experience being separated from God’s fellowship. We often refer to these blessings as Temporal or Time Salvation. Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” What’s your decision today? Will you, dear child of grace, choose to obey the Lord’s commands, or will you go in a wayward way away from God? I will assure you, by the truth of scripture, your eternal salvation is secure in Christ Jesus. But there are many blessings you can and will miss out on by not living a humble life in obedience to Him Who loved you before the world began. Amen!

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