We cannot of ourselves produce any of the experiences of the Christian life. We cannot regenerate ourselves, for we are born again not of the will of the flesh but of God (John 1:13). We cannot confess Jesus as Lord but by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:3). We cannot understand the Bible but by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; I John 2:27). We cannot live the Christian life – Christ lives in us (Philippians 1:21; Galatians 2:20). The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 2:14). We can consent and cooperate, but this is a supernatural work of God from start to finish.
The Great Commission bids us teach the disciples to observe all things commanded. Our word “observe” has two meanings today. It may mean to behold, to look on, to view the scene. It may also mean to adhere to, keep the rules, abide by the terms, obey the laws of an organization or society. Most Christians belong to the first category; they are balcony Christians, spectators, onlookers, nonparticipants. We hire a church staff to do church work, and on Sunday we sit and watch them do it. Too many are in the grandstand, too few are playing the game.
We have come all the way from burning hearts to itching ears, from “Amen” to “So what?”