Have you ever wondered why God cares how we live?
Throughout the Bible, the Lord calls the Church to obedience. He gives his people commands, but it's easy to mistake why he does that. Most people probably have a picture of God as a tyrant in the sky - promising fire and brimstone to everyone who doesn’t follow his arbitrary and prohibitive set of rules.
But that's nothing like the God of the Bible. So why does God care how we live? It’s not like he needs anything from us. Scripture tells us:
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (Acts 17:24-25)
The Lord is complete - forever perfected in a triune fellowship of Father, Son, and Spirit. There is nothing we can add to him by our efforts. One historic Christian creed puts it like this:
God has all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He has made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He alone is the fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things. (Westminster Confession of Faith)
God is absolutely complete. He needs nothing from us. So why on earth would he care about whether we are patient with one another, or whether we place ourselves into the bondage of an addiction, or what we do in the bedroom, or whether our hearts are full of bitterness or anxiety? There are a number of reasons:
- We owe him obedience.
- Our obedience honors God.
- It is fitting that God’s world is ordered according to his principles.
These are all reasons why God cares what we do. But I think that chief among them is this: God cares how we live because he loves us as his children.
The God whose glories we just proclaimed... Who needs nothing... Whose majesty is unfathomable… Who is utterly complete in and of himself… That God loves us. Our recent sermon passage - 1 John 3:1-10 - says that Christians are “born of God;” that we are his children. And like any good father he cares about our lives - our sorrows, our joys, and our obedience. He loves his children.
What a privilege! What joy!