Sermon Recap from 1/07 service Big Picture Question: How is obedience communal?

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Sunday, January 7, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 12:1-5:

12:1 And Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have obeyed your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you. 2 And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day. 3 Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me and I will restore it to you.” 4 They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.” 5 And he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”

We looked at this Big Picture Question:

How is obedience communal?

And we found these  3 answers to our Big Picture Question:

  • Faith is always personal
  • Faith is always public
  • Faith is always accountable to God

Faith is always personal

1 Samuel 12:1 And Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have obeyed your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you. 2 And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day.

Samuel wants to retire, so he examines the areas where he would be personally responsible before God in performing his duties as a priest.  He asks the people if he has defrauded them or stolen from them.  He asks for them to bring any accusations against him if he has failed.  Samuel is living out his personal faith and obedience within the communal accountability of the people of God.

Faith is always public

1 Samuel 12:3 Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me and I will restore it to you.” 4 They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.”

In the full living out of Samuel’s personal faith, he not only asks if he has hurt or offended someone, he offers to restore any wrong that he has done.  They respond that he has been faithful.  The personal life of obedience invites others to participate by holding each person accountable within the community and before God.

Faith is always accountable to God

1 Samuel  12:5 And he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”

The culmination of the personal life obedient to God is the recognition that our obedience is in the context of God’s eye and His accountability.  When we obey, we obey God in the context of the people of God.  Those truths should inspire us to live boldly and faithfully as God is gracious.

Big Picture Question:  How is obedience communal?

  • Faith is always personal
  • Faith is always public
  • Faith is always accountable to God

Truth:  Our personal obedience to God finds its accountability in the way we live before and with one another. 

Application:  Live knowing that every command of personal obedience from God finds its application in the life of the church and in the eyes of the world.

Action:  Ask someone in the church this week the bold and humble question that Samuel asked his congregation.

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