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What Is Your Motive?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by KenH, May 23, 2024.

  1. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2002
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    “What Is Your Motive?”

    When I was a lost preacher, in self-righteous works religion, I often told my hearers: “It’s not the one who starts the race, but the one who finishes the race that obtains the prize.” There was a variety of techniques I used to motivate other lost, self-righteous, religious sinners to obedience and morality. When I saw attendance drop off, or giving become stagnant, I’d preach a so-called “hell-fire and brimstone message” that would threaten them with eternal punishment for their disobedience, or promise them “stars in their crowns” for their sincerity and obedience. After this sort of preaching, they would for a time attend regularly and give more freely. And when they would fall away again, I’d preach another message to motivate them. The problem is that man by nature wants to do something to gain or maintain salvation - “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16) Like their father and representative Adam, unregenerate sinners think something they do or don’t do makes the difference between eternal life, or eternal death. Answer these questions sincerely: Why do you attend church? Why do you give to support your religious organization? Why do you try to love God or love your neighbor? The way you answer these questions reveals the motive behind your obedience, and your motive for obedience reveals the condition of your heart.

    This is the reason for the question in the title of this article: WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVE? Every effort at obedience and morality is nothing more than dead works and fruit unto death if your motive (cause or reason) for obedience is anything other than gratitude to God for His justifying grace to sinners based exclusively on Christ’s perfect obedience to God’s law and justice, and by His representative and substitutionary death at Calvary as the sin-bearer, and the imputation of righteousness to the sinner’s account at Calvary. Here is the vital issue: Only the obedience of one who is as righteous as God is acceptable to God - “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect .” (Matthew 5:48)

    God never tells any sinner to “try” anything; He commands them to “do”. For your obedience to be acceptable, you must achieve perfection before the one True God. I know you’re thinking: “Nobody is perfect and nobody can be perfect.” YOU’RE RIGHT! But God still demands it, and you must be perfectly righteous to offer acceptable obedience - “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” (Hebrews 11:4) The animal sacrifice wasn’t what made Abel acceptable to God. His sacrifice was accepted by God because Abel’s person WOULD BE JUSTIFIED AT CALVARY by the One the sacrifice typified, the Lord Jesus Christ - “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (deliverance or forgiveness).” (Hebrews 9:22) To put it simply: The self-righteous religionist has for his goal, what the justified saint has for his starting place. The self-righteous religionist is seeking to establish a righteousness by his obedience. On the other hand, those elect sinners justified by Christ at Calvary ARE RIGHTEOUS and therefore their obedience flows from a proper motive and is acceptable to God - Read 1 Peter 2:5. Are you “accepted in the beloved?”

    - Richard Warmack, pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana
    #1 KenH, May 23, 2024
    Last edited: May 23, 2024
  2. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 30, 2001
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    Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

    25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

    Brother Glen:)

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  3. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Mar 4, 2011
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    Do believers get "stars in their crowns" for sincerity and obedience? Nope

    Do all unregenerate sinners think they must earn salvation or sustain salvation? Nope

    Is every effort at obedience and morality dead works and fruit unto death? Nope

    Is it necessary for our motive for obedience to be just gratitude for our salvation? Nope

    Is only the obedience of the righteous acceptable to God? Nope

    Was Abel righteous and perfect such that he entered heaven when he died? Nope.

    Was Abel righteous by the future death of Christ? Nope

    Do all the lost seek to establish their righteousness by their obedience? Nope