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Who Owns You? Part 2
© 01.21.19 D. Eric Williams

This article appeared in the January 24 edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle

In last week's article we touched on the duty of obedience to Jesus placed upon every human being. The Eternal Son is the Creator and Owner of all things. As such he is owed obedience by all people. This week we will focus on the followers of Jesus and the practical expression of their obedience to Christ the King.

In Paul's second letter to Timothy it says, All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NLT). Thus the first thing we see is that practical day-to-day obedience to Jesus is a matter of understanding and obeying the Bible.

Yet, there is more to obeying Jesus Christ than simply trying to live according to the Bible on our own. The other ingredient in practical obedience is accountability. The Bible tells us that all Christians are accountable to each other (1 Corinthians 16:16, Ephesians 5:21), wives are accountable to husbands and husbands to wives (Ephesians 5:24-33, Colossians 3:18 etc.), young to old (1 Peter 5:5), slaves to masters (Ephesians 6:5, Titus 2:9, 1 Peter 2:18), and children to parents (Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20, 1 Timothy 5:4). Moreover, pastors and teachers are specifically gifted by God to accomplish the task of teaching, correcting, preparing and equipping as they do their part in holding the followers of Christ accountable (Ephesians 4:11-12, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:1-4).

Now, all of this is very basic Bible doctrine. Nevertheless I frequently encounter self professed "Bible believing Christians" who cannot fathom the idea of accountability. To them, obedience is measured by what makes them feel good emotionally or even physically. Their reasoning is that they answer only to Jesus and he (they say) wouldn't ask them to do anything they're uncomfortable with. Even when they don't go to this extreme, it remains true that many self professed Bible believing Christians are guided primarily by emotion rather than sound Bible doctrine. In any case, it is hard for some Christians to understand the concept of accountability to other Believers as obedience to Jesus.

The reason this is frightening is because most of the people I've encountered who fit this description refuse to consider the idea they may be wrong. In this meta-modern world, everyone's view is equal to another. True authority only exists in the central state (it seems) and all others must bow to the ultra-autonomy of the individual. Thus it seems that churches preaching the whole counsel of God struggle to retain members while "feel good, self help" fellowships are packing the pews - and they will continue to do so as long as they minimize the demands they place on their congregants.

The answer to this dilemma? Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching (2 Timothy 4:2, NLT). Mutual accountability is basic Bible doctrine; it is simply a matter of obedience to Christ - for all of us.

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