WHAT did the Lord command Abraham to do?
"Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy coun- try, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee." Genesis 12:1.
How did Abraham respond to this command?
"So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran." Verse 4.
Of what was Abraham's obedience the fruit?
"By faith. Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." Hebrews 11:8, R.V.
ABRAHAM'S SUPREME TEST
What command did the Lord later give to Abraham?
"And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." Genesis 22:2.
Upon what ground were the previous promises then renewed to Abraham?
"And said, By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will mul- tiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My voice." Verses 16-18.
What enabled Abraham to endure the test?
"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son." Hebrews 11:17. Of
what were the works of Abraham an evidence?
"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar ?" James 2:21.
By his works what was shown to be perfect?
"Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Verse 22.
In what statement of the Scripture was Abraham's obedience really implied?
"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." Verse 23.
What kind of faith avails with God?
"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." Galatians 5:6.
NOTE.—The faith which justifies is the faith which works. Those who say, and do not, are not men of faith. The obedience which is pleasing to God is the fruit of that faith which takes God at His word, and submits to the working of His power, being fully assured that what He has promised He is able also to perform. This is the faith which is reckoned for righteousness. (See Romans 4:21, 22.)
For what purpose is the mystery of the gospel made manifest?
"But now [the mystery] is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." Romans 16:26.
For what purpose is the grace of Christ received?
"Through whom we received grace and apostleship, unto obedience of faith among all nations, for His name's sake." Romans 1:5, R.V.
What effect did the preaching of the apostles have upon the hearers?
"And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." Acts 6:7.
What effect did the preaching of the apostle Paul have upon the Gentiles?
"For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed." Romans 15:18.
How highly does God regard obedience?
"And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt of- ferings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord ? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22.
With what sins are rebellion and stubbornness classed?
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He bath also rejected thee from being king." Verse 23.
Whose voice had more weight with Saul than had the com- mandment of God?
"And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have trans- gressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice." Verse 24.
THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS
What example of obedience has Christ set for us?
"And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philip- pians 2:8.
At what cost did even He learn the lesson of obedience?
"Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered." Hebrews 5:8.
To whom did Christ become the author of salvation?
"And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal sal- vation unto all them that obey Him." Verse 9.
How complete should this obedience • be?
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5.
What charge did Jesus bring against the Pharisees?
"And He said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:9.
NOTE.—Human tradition is simply the voice of man preserved in the church. To follow the traditions of men instead of obeying the commandments of God is to repeat the sin of Saul.
FATE AND DESTINY
What will be the fate of those who do not obey the gospel of Christ?
"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8.
What condition is attained in obeying the truth?
"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." 1 Peter 1:22.
What promise is made to the obedient?
"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." Isaiah 1:19.
Whose example are we urged to imitate?
"That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the, promises." Hebrews 6:12.
THE BETTER OF TWO
To obey is better than sacrifice, the Lord hath said;
To harken when He commandeth, than an offering made.
All ye who say, "There is naught to do since Christ doth save,
" Remember what He commands you in the Book He gave.
Remember only the doers of the word are blessed;
'Tis well to hear and believe it, but to do is best.
—F. E. BELDEN.
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