Wednesday, December 23, 2009

obey the gospel 1Pt 1.17 Q

I read this today in 1Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
     Interesting last phrase. What do you think if means when Peter says, "obey the gospel of God"? I've always thought of the gospel as just hearing and believing, not necessarily as an obedience. Thoughts?


     Scripture uses a number of words to refer to the conversion experience. Some of them are believe, repent, turn, regeneration, confess, call, and obey, etc. I have noticed that in the New Testament the call to "be saved" is usually in the terms of an imperative and not an offer. In Acts 17, Paul concludes his message to the Athenians with the words (in the ESV) "but now He commands all people everywhere to repent." When we believe or repent, etc. we are obeying that command.
     There is also a secondary sense in which the Gospel is more that just a conversion message. When we think about the Gospel as a "conversion, sanctification, and glorification experience", it takes on a life encompassing truth that is to be followed to the end. We find this sense in Titus 2.11-14 where is says that the grace of God has appeared and teaches us a whole lifestyle.
     One of the problems we encounter in doctrine in general is when we become formulaic and hang a whole doctrine on the way one verse expresses. It tends to make us unbalanced and exaggerate certain aspects of a truth at the expense of others. There is a sense in which heresy can be truth taken to an unbiblical extreme.

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