Elmer Alajoki | 1995 LLC Phoenix Winter Services - Congregation Evening - February 24 --
In the Holy Word of God there is much written of the obedience to God's Holy word, obedience in the life of faith.
The Gospel Changes Man
When man believes the gospel of the forgiveness of sins, a change of heart takes place in his life. It is evident in his life and speech. Living faith influences life which desires to serve the Lord in doctrine, life and suffering. To that person the kingdom of God becomes dear and precious, a fellowship of dear brothers and sisters. It is a "golden candlestick" in whose midst the Lord Jesus travels among His own children.
Righteousness of Faith
The Apostle Paul writes to the Romans "Therefore being justified by faith (made righteous), we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom. 5:1). Righteousness of faith, living faith and obedience are inseparable from one another. Living faith brings forth fruits of the righteousness of life. The Apostle Peter writes, "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in ignorance, but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation." (1 Peter 1:14-15).
The grace of God teaches to forsake and shun all ungodly life. The Apostle Paul writes to Titus: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." (Titus 2:11-12).
Holy Spirit Home Teacher
The Holy Spirit teaches and instructs as a home teacher unto obedience to the will of God. It is very important in the life of faith that at home parents discuss with their children and young the questions and answers in regard to the foundation of faith. Study the teachings of the word of God in the light of the Spirit to know that is the good and acceptable will of the Lord.
Gospel the Power of God
From the gospel of the forgiveness of our sins we receive power to follow in faith the gracious teacher the Lord Jesus in His kingdom and to fight against the enemy of the souls, against our sin-corrupted flesh and the world. The Apostle Paul writes: "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Tim. 2:22). He also writes: "Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience." (1 Tim. 3:9).
A Light to the World
Dear brothers and sisters, we are a little light and a candle in the midst of the world. The fire of the Holy Spirit has warmed our hearts to burn in the love of God. We have wanted to confess to the unbelievers that are around us what great grace and gift we have received from the Lord Jesus. We have wanted to call them to the services of God's children, show them the way into this kingdom of life and salvation. We show godly love to them with merciful and pardoning minds of Christ who has first loved us.
Obedience to the Servants in the Church
God has chosen in the church ministers, board members and teachers. The Apostle Paul writes: "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit dividing to every man severally as he will." (1 Cor. 12:27, 18, 28, 11).
It is very important for all of us to show obedience, respect and honor to the servants that God has chosen to serve in the administration of the house and church of God. The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy, "that thou mayest know how thou aughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15). In the letter to the Hebrews is also written, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly." (Heb. 13:17-18).
If someone in the living church of God rises against the teachings, instruction and decisions of the Holy Spirit that God has spoken in the church through the mouths of His children, then that person has fallen into disobedience in his life of faith to the word and spirit of God. The Lord Jesus said to the seven churches in Asia, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29). Disobedience to the living church of God causes one to eventually fall away from the love of Christ, and from His kingdom, from the fellowship and love of the children of God.
Obedience in Faith
Abraham by faith was obedient when he was tried, called of God to leave his father's house and kin. Abraham was also obedient when he offered up his Isaac.
Jacob obeyed the voice of Rebecca his mother and received the father's blessing. Jacob also obeyed his parents in not taking for his wife the unbelieving daughters of Canaan.
King David hearkened to Prophet Nathan when he rebuked David of his fall to sin. David humbled himself and repented of his sins and received forgiveness from the prophet.
Obedience and Care of the Young
Today in the kingdom we have many many young; it is a great blessing in the church to have you young boys and girls preciously believing. You are the joy of your parents and the older Christians in the congregation of God. Today in the midst of the unbelieving world you young experience how the enemy of the souls, "the devil, as roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8). It is an every day battle to keep faith and a good conscience before God and men. Many times in battle you are tired, wearied, and even fall into "sin which doth so easily beset you." In the church of God you need much loving care and guidance in your weak faith, "hands that hang down" need strengthening, you need to be encouraged to lift up your eyes of faith to Jesus. (Heb. 12:12). It is written: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." And, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29). In Zion there are open fountains against all sin and defilement. Always be free to come with your sin-burdened conscience to a brother or sister. Open your mouth to speak of that which burdens you and hear for them the forgiveness of your sins in the name and blood of Jesus. God's kingdom is "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." Every day we need the grace of God to lead and teach us on the way of living faith. But we have a patient and loving teacher, the Lord Jesus. He is always revealing for us the victory of Golgotha, the price He has paid for redeeming us from our sins. His love for us is unmeasurable and unending.
Concerns of Today
Some areas of concern that are lurking around us today include videos played on TV screens, drugs in school, use of alcohol, going to theaters and participating in competitive sports after school. Our sincere prayer is that our dear Heavenly Father would protect all His children, young and old, from falling into the love of the world, from its many ways of sins. Dear Lord, give us sober and vigilant minds to resist the enemy of our souls. Keep us steadfast in faith, considering "one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." (Heb. 10:24-25).
Some of the topics discussed at the speakers meeting in Finland included:
1. Let the voice of the Good Shepherd be heard in our sermons, having forgiving hearts to those fallen into sin.
2. Living faith brings forth fruits to righteousness of life.
3. The grace of God teaches to shun all ungodly life. The Holy Spirit as a home teacher instructs to obedience in life.
4. In the world they express: Everyone with his own faith is saved; it does not matter how one believes and what he believes.
5. God prepared righteousness in Jesus; this is that joyous gospel. Christ sent his own to preach.
6. Keep faith in a good conscience - be obedient to instruction of the Holy Spirit.
7. Servants of the word are the mouths of the Holy Spirit.
8. The importance of home teaching to the young
9. The young need support and love.
10. Faith is a joyous matter
11. The greeting of God's Peace already strengthens faith.
12. It is good for the speakers to see the picture that today's world portrays. 13. The carnal mind desires to govern areas that pertain to faith and the Word of God.
13. The enemy of the soul desires to break the love among Christians even with temporal matters. The young can stray away in their lawfulness; parents can fall into being overly strict, unforgiving.
14. It is necessary for us to acknowledge what the word of Christ means to me personally. Christ is gracious and merciful so that of His grace I can once go to the joy of heaven.