By Jerry Price
Retired Pastor, Spring Hill
When I was 8 years old, a lady named Maureen Ellis came to my grandfather’s mobile home park (we called it a trailer park back then) and led a Vacation Bible School-type event in the laundry room that was attached to the bathhouse.
Most mobile homes did not have bathrooms in those days, much less laundry rooms. The situation was less than ideal as women came in and out doing their laundry. But Mrs. Ellis made the best of it and shared the love of Christ with several of us kids during that week.
As a result, I began attending Ivy Memorial Baptist Church in Nashville. A friend and I would sit on the second row and try to out-sing the choir — in quantity if not in quality. I eventually invited Christ into my life at age 9.
One of my favorite hymns then was “Trust and Obey” — still is. The chorus of the song says that “there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.”
In my 40-plus years in the ministry, I have often used that as an invitation hymn because of the centrality of the truth it proclaims.
I cannot count the number of times that I have stated in both sermons that I have preached and individual conversations that I have had that the key to the Christian life is obedience.
Jesus set the tone for us. In John 5:19 and 30a, Jesus said, “I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way… I can do nothing on My own. I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
He lived each day in strict obedience to the Father so that He might glorify Him in all things. Paul reminds us that He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross (Philippians 2:8).
Just as the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ brought glory to the Father, so does ours.
Charles Ryrie once asked and answered the question, “What is the glory of God? It is the manifestation of any or all of His attributes (Complete Gathered Gold, WordSearch Bible Software). In other words, it is the displaying of God to the world. Thus, things which glorify God are things which show the characteristics of His being to the world.”
This is a sobering thought: anything a person does or says that is a misrepresentation of the attributes of God really boils down to a lie about Him.
When those who are lost watch one who professes to be a believer, are they getting a true picture of who God really is or are they getting one that is a false representation?
Paul said in Romans 8:29: “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.”
Those of us who claim the name of Christ should constantly be asking ourselves if we are giving the unbelievers of this world a true picture of who God is.
I am convinced that the world is looking for a true representation of who God is.
If not, why all of the constant searching for truth? It is time for the church to “man-up” and bring glory to God and draw lost people to Him.