Written by Pastor Brett E. Castle
This sermon was originally used April 1st, 2012 during our Morning Services.
1) Our Lord's "love in action" can be summed up in one word, "Obedience"
a) One of the biggest lessons that God in Christ came to teach and model for all that claim to be Christians was to be obedient to the Father's Will.
b) Children are constantly being told to do things they don't understand.
2) When we are in the family of God we fall under the authority of the Father, and as the Head of the Family he has not only the right, but the obligation to tell us what to do.
a) This picture of obedience touches me because it is Jesus living out His love for the Father, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, and that is an example for all of us here seeking a Word from God this Lord's Day.
b) It is through obedience we find real harmony, joy, love, and peace in this life and the next.
I) We have to trust the authority and motives of the One commanding us if we are going to follow their commands.
1) The test of faith is to obey when it is hard, when we don't want to, when it is painful, when we see no reason or don't understand the "whys".
a) The walk in Christ and with Him is started with the small steps of faith lived out in total and complete Obedience.
b) Don't miss the truth and fact of total and complete submission.
2) Jesus had no reason to step into the water in order to be baptized because John baptized out of remission of sin.
14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
What seems small in the flesh is often big in the Holy Spirit.
II) The pleasing love of true obedience opened the very door of Heaven and does so today.
1) First, Jesus answered the call to come from Nazareth to the river Jordan.
a) When God the Father calls us out we must answer the call! (Have you answered the call to Salvation by stepping out and coming to Christ?)
b) It is hard to be public about our faith, but Jesus stepped out in front of the crowd on the Jordan River, and he calls us to do the same today.
2) Then Jesus stepped out into the water on faith. (The first act or test of faith is to be baptized. It does NOT save us, but is a public profession of faith.)
a) Even the simple acts of obedience are a test of our attitude, and call for sacrifice.
10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens [a]opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;
1) It is often the first steps of faith that bring about the opening of Heaven and then our own eyes of faith "fly open".
a) This one final step of going into the water brought the voice of pleasure in the Father.
b) This one step on to this stepping stone opened Heaven but it also opened the pathway to the cross of Calvary.
I wonder how many times over the next 40 days, would Jesus play this moment back in order to strengthen his faith.
a) Each step of obedient faith builds on the last, and leads to the next. When we refuse to obey, we miss the steps of God's Will, and often step out of His Will.
b) Jesus came to teach us Obedience. How well are you at following?