Obedience during Advent

Published 1:49 pm Saturday, December 1, 2018

by William Sloan

What are the Biblical implications of Advent? During Advent, the faithful prepare to meditate on the incarnation of the Messiah and to prepare for His final judgement. Advent is a time in which the faithful must reflect on their deeds and condition, and, by the instruction of the Spirit and Biblical study, commit to diligently persevering in divine grace. During Advent specifically, the faithful are charged to maintain preparedness or readiness as those incorporated into the Messiah.

Holy Scripture is eternally clear about preparedness for those in submission to the Sovereign God. For example, the Israelite priesthood was charged to accurately prepare elements for the sanctuary (1 Chronicles 9:1-24.)

Moreover, David as Israel’s leader ardently prepared a place for the Ark of the Covenant to be kept (1 Chronicles 15:3.) David also commends the Israelites to prepare or sanctify themselves before transporting the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chronicles 15:12.) Similarly, the priesthood and tribes of Israel were commanded to take position in the Holy Place during Passover, making preparation for themselves and other Israelites before the ritual was completed (2 Chronicles 35:5-15.)

Preparedness was vital for Zephaniah as well, maintaining that the faithful were commanded to be reverent and submissive to the Godhead as He sanctified and prepared the sacrifices the priests completed (Zephaniah 1:7.) Aaron, his sons and their descendants modeled preparedness as they maintained order in the ritualistic system the Lord had instituted (Leviticus 2.)

The Israelites were commanded to repent, gird up their loins and complete sacrifices in preparation for the Lord’s judgment (Exodus 12:11.) Similarly, the Lord emphatically instructs Moses to be prepared the morning he must approach Sinai (Exodus 34:2.) Moreover, Ezra and his comrades were instructed by the Spirit of the Lord to prepare themselves before reconstructing Jerusalem (Ezra 1:5.)

Importantly, David describes himself as a ready or prepared scribe, dedicated to teaching the Law of the Lord (Psalm 45:1.) The Israelite tribes were exemplars of preparedness via intense ritual and study. The faithful now are charged to maintain eternal readiness and preparedness as those redeemed by the Triune God.

The New Testament authors vehemently instruct the faithful about the vitality of preparedness as well. For example, Paul maintains that those in the Messiah must be prepared to contend for the faith and persevere, regardless of the situation (Colossians 1:11.)

Moreover, the faithful are instructed to interiorize the truth that the Sovereign God has prepared and intelligently designed the earth, thus humanity must function preparedly in obedience to the Godhead who is eternally ready and calculated (Hebrews 11:3.)

Similarly, our Lord describes the preparedness of Himself via the parable of the wedding banquet, maintaining that the Godhead remains prepared, and the faithful must function preparedly in cooperation with divine grace (Matthew 22:10-46.)

Luke also describes the eternal necessity for preparedness as he maintains that Paul, when facing death, contended that he was ready to meet the Lord if martyrdom were to occur (Acts 21:13.)

Furthermore, Paul informs the Corinthians that their preparedness was lacking, but obedience to the Triune God and functioning within the confines of Holy Scripture would ready them to persevere in divine grace (1 Corinthians 3:1-5.)

Similarly, Paul contends that the zeal and obedience of the faithful bolsters their preparedness as soldiers for Christ (2 Corinthians 9:2-5.)

Paul instructs the Corinthians to not go beyond what is written, obey the instruction of the Spirit, and persevere in divine grace to maintain preparedness. In sum, the New Testament authors are ardent and detailed about the needed readiness of the faithful.

The Triune God breathes out Holy Scripture and maintains that the faithful must function in a prepared and readied manner as those in submission to Him. The earnest study and implementation of the written Word is requisite for perseverance in divine grace.

We know not the day nor the hour when the Messiah will return to execute judgment and renew those who submit to Him, thus Advent reminds the faithful to operate preparedly.

WILL SLOAN is the minister at Grace Memorial United Methodist Church in Sedley.