Obedience is Key to Receiving God Promises
Obedience is key to receiving God promises. Who had the strongest confidence in the Bible? Did I construct the Ark, Noah? Was Abraham the progenitor of the Jewish people? Elijah, Jeremiah, or Isaiah, the prophet? The Bible contains numerous such examples of people who also showed great faith. But among all of them, a Roman Centurion had the greatest amount of trust.
The narrative appears in Matthew’s gospel’s eighth chapter.
Near the Sea of Galilee, in the city of Capernaum, Jesus had just arrived. When Jesus arrived, the centurion begged him to heal his servant. When Jesus said that he would accompany the centurion to his home and heal his servant, the Jewish multitude was astounded.
However, the centurion informed Jesus that such a journey wasn’t required. He was presumably aware that his home was dirty in accordance with Jewish tradition, but more importantly, he was aware of authority and obeyed it.
“All you have to do is speak the word, and it will be done,” he declared. “I am not only a man in authority, but I also have men under my authority, and if I tell them to do something, they will do it.” And it’s implied that they’ll do it without hesitation.
Jesus exclaimed in awe after hearing what the centurion had to say, “I assure you, I say to you, I have not found such strong faith, not even in Israel.” “Go you way, as you have believed, so let it be done for you,” he then said to the centurion.
The servant was cured right then and there.
Therefore, connecting God’s power with our obedience is the key to having tremendous confidence. The centurion’s faith was greatly influenced by this knowledge. Obedience and faith go hand in hand. You will follow someone’s instructions if you trust them. If you don’t, the trust isn’t actually there.
God has equated faith—that is, trust—with obedience. Following God’s instructions is a must for all of His promises. And God guarantees that if we do, we will succeed and live our lives to the utmost.
“Walk in all that the LORD, your God, has commanded you, that you may live, and that you may have success, and that you may extend your days in the country which you shall inhabit.” (NIV) Deuteronomy 5:33
The “if” and “then” promises in the Bible contain incredible promises that God has conditioned on our faithfulness to fulfill. He pledges to save us, watch over us, provide for us, and watch over us if we obey what He says.
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If we follow God’s instructions, we’ll be content, live longer, never be without anything nice, live in perfect freedom, be wiser, live in peace and security, flourish and succeed, and be big in the heavenly kingdom.
God’s promises are predicated on our fidelity to His word. What, therefore, does our compliance show about our faith? Is our submission quick or gradual? Is it whole or only partially? Is it happy or hesitant? Is it constant or intermittent?
We’ll be looking at how we might receive God’s promises for our life this Sunday evening as we continue our series, “A Faith That Works.”
Obedience Definition in the Bible
- Both throughout the Old and New Testaments, the concept of obedience generally refers to hearing or paying attention to a higher authority.
- The idea of placing oneself under someone by adhering to their authority and order is conveyed by one of the Greek words used in the Bible to describe obedience.
- In the New Testament, “to trust” is the meaning of another Greek word for obey.
- A brief definition of biblical obedience given by Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary is “to hear God’s Word and respond accordingly.”
- True “listening,” or obedience, according to Eerdman’s Bible Dictionary, “involves the physical hearing that inspires the hearer, as well as a belief or trust that in turn drives the hearer to act in accordance with the speaker’s desires.”
- Bible-based obedience to God therefore entails hearing, trusting, submitting to, and surrendering to God and his Word.
Why Is Obedience to God Important?
Obeying God is a topic that the Bible discusses extensively, from Genesis to Revelation. We can understand how significant the idea of obedience is to God via the tale of the Ten Commandments. This is how Deuteronomy 11:26–28 puts it: “You will be blessed if you obey.
If you disobey, you’ll be cursed.” The New Testament teaches us that believers are required to live obedient lives through the example of Jesus Christ.
8 Reasons Why Obedience to God Is Important
1. Jesus Calls Us to Obey
Jesus Christ serves as the ideal example of obedience. We follow Christ’s example as well as his commands as his disciples. Love is what drives us to obey:
If you truly love me, you will obey all of my commands. (ESV) (John 14:15)
Let sing this hymn together
1 When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
2 Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey. [Refrain]
3 But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey. [Refrain]
4 Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey. [Refrain]
2. The Act of Obedience Is a Form of Worship
Although the Bible emphasizes obedience strongly, it’s important to keep in mind that obedience does not justify (make a believer virtuous). God freely gives us salvation, and we can do nothing to earn it.
True Christian submission springs from a spirit of thanksgiving for the Lord’s grace:
So, my brothers and sisters, in light of all that God has done for you, I beg of you to give your bodies to God. They should offer a pure and living sacrifice that he will accept. This is how you should sincerely worship him. Romans 12:1 in the NLT
3. God Appreciates Obedience
The Bible often teaches that God rewards loyalty with blessings:
And thanks to your obedience, “all the nations of the globe will be blessed via your descendants.” Genesis 22:18 in the NLT.
But far more happy are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice, Jesus said in response. (NLT) (Luke 11:28)
Don’t merely rely on God’s word, though. You must follow its instructions.
If not, you are merely deceiving yourself. Because hearing the word and disobeying it is like looking in a mirror at your own face. You see yourself, turn aside, and lose sight of your appearance.
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However, if you carefully consider the flawless rule that liberates you, if you follow its instructions, and if you don’t forget what you heard, then God will reward you for doing it. (NLT: James 1:22–25).
4. Our Love is Proven by Our Obedience to God
The writings of 1 and 2 John make it quite apparent how loving God is shown through obeying him. Love for God entails adherence to his rules:
When we love God and keep his commandments, we can be sure that we love God’s children. Being obedient to God’s commands is evidence of his love for us. (See 1 John 5:2–3, ESV).
Love is carrying out God’s instructions, and one of those instructions is to love one another, as you were told at the beginning. (NLT) 2 John 6.
5. Faith Is Shown Through Obedience to God
We demonstrate our faith and trust in God by obeying him:
And if we follow his instructions, we can be certain that we know him. Someone is lying and not living in the truth if they say, “I know God,” but then disobey his or her commands.
But those who heed God’s commandments display their unwavering devotion to him. We can tell we are living inside of him by that. Those who claim to believe in God ought to conduct themselves in the same manner as Jesus. (NLT) 1 John 2:3-6.
6. Obeying Is Better Than Making a Sacrifice
Christians have frequently been baffled by the statement that obedience is preferable to sacrifice. It can only be understood in the context of the Old Testament. The Israelite people were compelled by the Torah to sacrifice animals as offerings to God, but obedience was always the primary requirement.
Samuel however, said, “Your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your devotion to his voice, which is more acceptable to the LORD? Listen! Subjection and submission to authority are preferable to offering ram’s fat in sacrifice. Stubbornness is as wicked as idolatry, and rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft. Therefore, the LORD has rejected you as king as a result of your refusal to obey his command.” (NLT) 1 Samuel 15:22–23. Proverbs 15:16
7.Sin and Death Result from Disobedience
Adam’s transgression created sin and death in the world. The concept behind the term “original sin” is this. But everyone who trusts in Christ has their relationship with God restored because of his perfect obedience:
Because just as many people were made sinners by the one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience, so too will many people be rendered righteous by the one man’s [Christ’s] obedience. Romans 5:19 in the ESV.
Because everyone dies in Adam, everyone will be made alive in Christ. (ESV) 1 Corinthians 15:22.
8. We Experiece the Benefits of Holy Living through Obedience
Only Jesus Christ, who is flawless, could live a life of blameless obedience. But we develop in holiness when we let the Holy Spirit change us from the inside out. This is the sanctification procedure, which is also known as spiritual development.
When Christians, we develop in obedience and purity as we read God’s Word, spend time with Jesus, and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from the inside out:
People with integrity who obey the LORD’s commands are joyful. Those who follow his instructions and diligently seek him will experience joy. They follow solely the roads of evil, making no concessions to it. You have commanded us to diligently observe your commandments.
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Oh, that I would continuously carry out your commands! When I evaluate my life in light of your commands, I won’t feel embarrassed. As I become familiar with your moral laws, I will return the favor by behaving properly. I’ll follow your instructions. Don’t give up on me, please! (NLT, Psalm 119:1–8).
Dear Friends, let us purge ourselves of everything that could pollute our body or spirit because we have these promises.
And because we revere God, let us strive for perfect holiness. (NLT) 2 Corinthians 7:1.
As it states in the scripture above, “Let us strive for total holiness.” Obedience is a lifelong process that we pursue by setting it as a daily goal. We don’t learn it over night.
Obedience the Key that Opens all Doors
Nowadays, the word obedience is not viewed favorably. Some people find it to be icy and harsh. Others perceive it as having connotations of control in other contexts or religious legalism.
It may be a challenge to everyone’s innate desire for independence and the individualistic outlook that characterizes our civilization. Americans don’t want anyone, not even God, instructing them what to do.
But how many of us have given it any thought that our suspicion of obedience may be stopping us from one of the major factors that contribute to our experiencing God and experiencing life-changing change?
Are we aware that John Calvin’s observation that “all true knowledge of God is born out of obedience” is supported by the Bible and the saints throughout history?
Disobedience Comes at a High Price
It only takes a brief moment of contemplation to realize how expensive disobedience has been. We humans do not much like the image of God in which we were first created, nor is the world as we know it the good world that God originally created.
Tragically, that ideal has been destroyed, and now sin, sadness, and suffering are commonplace. One act of disobedience by our first parents signaled the start of the “break.” They chose to behave in opposition to God’s revealed will out of pride and unbelief.
And every human has inherited their egotistical need for autonomy. The famous quote from Woody Allen, “The heart wants what it wants,” may have spoken for all of us.
The bonds that tie us were formed by our own hands, and we are now powerless to break them. We can’t stop ourselves from doing what we want to do.
The One who loved us and sacrificed himself for us is the one outside source of hope for us.
The Benefits of Obedience
The benefits of obedience are simply amazing if we fully comprehend them. God has provided a means for us to be set free from our slavery to sin and self because of his immense love.
If we will give up our disobedience and turn back to him, our dilemma can be resolved. And since God sent his one and only Son to save us, this is now possible. During his time on earth, Jesus perfectly submitted to and carried out the Father’s will.
His willingness to endure a shameful, humiliating, and agonizing death on a cross was the pinnacle of his obedience and the pinnacle of his love for the Father (John 14:31).
He “who knew no sin” became sin for us in this act of selfless love, “so that in him we may become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).
As God’s loving and obedient Son, his flawless obedience to the law can now be ascribed to us and our disobedience can be laid at his feet, making us right with God if we so choose.
When we heed Jesus’ call to repent and believe the gospel, God’s love meets us and we are set free (Mark 1:15). These two verbs are demands to follow because they are in the imperative mood in Greek.
They call upon us to switch from our disobedient unbelief to our obedient faith (Rom. 1:5). And this is made possible for us by the gift of faith. Confident faith in Jesus and his message liberates us, gives us life, and causes a significant turnabout in our lives.
As we follow Jesus Christ, who commands, “If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” this changing reversal advances (Mark 8:34).
Following Jesus entails moving steadily away from our previous areas of disobedience and back into God’s will. This is what might be referred to as “the obedience of faith.”
The Holy Spirit, whose purpose it is to transform us into His likeness, gives us the ability to achieve this (Rom. 8:13, 29). Although we will occasionally disobey, as long as we confess our sins and turn back to the Lord, we can receive forgiveness.
It takes a lifetime to complete this sanctification or discipleship process, which restores the image of God in us, and it only ends in the world to come.
However, we can achieve a lot in this world, and that should be our first priority.
The Secret to Obedience
Obedience, according to C.S. Lewis, “is the key that unlocks every door.” But how can we follow rules without becoming legalistic? the way of love. If you love me, you’ll obey my commands, said Jesus (John 14:15).
In the same way that Jesus’ love for the Father was shown by his obedience, so too is our love for Jesus shown through our obedience (John 14:31; 15:9-10).
Ours is not the submission of one seeking to appease God, but the submission of one seeking to please him “who loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:2; Galatians 2:20). As a result, we can talk of “the obedience of love.”
The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Sonship, who leads us to the Father’s love, is the source of this love, just as he is for faith. Furthermore, Jesus has promised to assist: “I will ask the Father, and he will grant you another Helper, even the Spirit of truth, to be with you forever” (John 14:16).
Jesus continues, “I will love him and manifest myself to him” (14:21) and “My Father will love him, and we will come to him and build our home with him.” to the one who, by the Spirit, embraces the obedience of love (14:23). John Stott once observed that “obedience is the test of love and the reward of love is the self-manifestation of Christ” as a result.
We are brought to the very center of the trinitarian life, a life of grace that is devoid of law, by this promise of close personal contact with the Father and the Son made possible by the Spirit. a way of life where we fervently desire to carry out God’s plan and to please him in everything.
All those who have come to a living faith in Jesus Christ share this legacy. Let us embrace the observance of faith and love and constantly attempt to walk by the Holy Spirit, through whom all these blessings come, if we are to enjoy the fullness of our life (Galatians 5:16–25).
And let us ask the Spirit to instruct us and change us more as we reflect in prayer on Jesus’ words.
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