Obedience to God

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Obedience is an act or instance of submitting to an authority. It is compliance with the demands or requests of someone over us. The general words for obedience in both Hebrew and Greek refer to hearing a superior authority




From the six-year-old who leaves her game because her mother has called her in for supper to the business executive who pays his taxes on time, we all live in a web of relationships dependent upon obedience to authority. Like a loving parent, God sets standards for our good and to protect us from evil and harm. God desires obedience motivated not by fear but by love and trust. While we may or may not understand it, obedience actually frees us up to enjoy life as God intended, because it keeps us from becoming entangled or enslaved to those things that distract us and cause us heartache. Even though God’s command is sometimes difficult, or doesn’t make sense from our human perspective, obedience will always bring blessing, joy, and peace.

”The question could be ask”


Deuteronomy 10:12…… And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? NIV

Philippians 2:12…..Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, NIV

Obedience is putting into action God’s saving work in our lives.

Jeremiah 7:23…. but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. NIV

Obedience to God is an essential element of a covenant relationship with him.

Hebrews 11:8…. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. NIV

Obedience is an act of faith.

Romans 1:5…Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.

Romans 6:17….But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. NIV

Putting our trust in God for salvation through Christ is equivalent to obeying his message of good news.


Titus 1:16….They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. NIV

If we are disobedient to God, our claim to know him is meaningless.

Leviticus 9:5-6… They took the things Moses commanded to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and the entire assembly came near and stood before the LORD.

Then Moses said, "This is what the LORD has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you." NIV


Deuteronomy 6:1-25; 11:26-28; 28:1-68 . . . Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so all will go well with you.

These passages demonstrate clearly that God’s demand for obedience is based on his commitment to our well-being.

The entire chapter six of Deuteronomy gives a picture of what God is expecting from His people.

 (Look if you will at the first fourteen verses of Deuteronomy chp twenty-eight at the blessings of God when obedience takes place, but verses 15ff takes about what happen when there is disobedience takes place). READ from bible.

Numbers 20:1-13 . . . [God said to Moses,] “Because you did not trust me enough . . . you will not lead them into the land.”

Disobedience always brings negative consequences, even for a spiritual leader.

Moses was able to see the land of Promise, but was not able to enter it because of his disobedience act against God. Deuteronomy chapter three verses 26-28 gives an account of what God said to Moses about the Land of Promise.

Ephesians 5:6 . . . The terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him.

Disobedience is sin and leads to separation from God.

Philippians 2:5-13…… (8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! NIV


Hebrews 5:7-9

7 During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered

9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him NIV Jesus is our model for obedience, even when obedience means suffering.


Romans 13:1 . . . Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God.

Hebrews 13:17 . . . Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say.

God shows us what he wants us to do through human authorities.

This does not mean that we ought to neither follower the government nor spiritual leaders when what they are doing is contrary to God’s word.

Peter and John makes that clear in;

Acts 4:19-20… But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.

20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."


 Psalms 84:11

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. NIV

Obeying God and ignoring evil advice bring lasting joy.

Psalms 119:2 . . . Happy are those who obey his decrees and search for him with all their hearts.

Jeremiah 7:23 . . . Obey me, and I will be your God. . . . Only do as I say, and all will be well.

Obedience brings great rewards.



I. His Outward Obedience. — At times the Gospels note Jesus' obedient response to the claims of human authority and custom, His subjection to His parents (Lk 4:16), His observance of religious ordinances (Lk 4:16), and His payment of tribute money (Mt 17:24). But the chief emphasis is that His whole earthly career was worked out step by step in perfect obedience to God's plan for Him as Savior (cf. Mt 3:15). He lived under the constant constraint of fulfilling this career, which climaxed in His baptism in blood on the cross (Lk 24:26). Knowing well from the start all that it involved (Mk 2:20), He set His face unflinchingly in the direction of its fulfillment (Lk 13:22). His whole career is described as "obedience" in Php 2:6; Heb 5:8. It is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Ps 40:7 (MT 8) (cf. Heb 10:7).

II. His Inward Obedience. — Christ's obedience was not automatic. He struggled greatly to overcome temptation from outside (cf. Mk 1:13; Mt 16:23) and to subdue what in Himself required stern and wholehearted discipline to bring it fully into line with God's purpose. He shrank from the agony involved in obedience (Mt 26:38). Although it was not possible for Him to sin, He nonetheless was tempted with a severity that He alone could resist triumphantly (cf. Heb 4:15).

In making His obedient choice of God's will, He was completely without sin (Jn 8:46; 2 Co 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26). He claimed for Himself a perfect obedience in all the inward thoughts and tendencies of the heart: a continual openness of mind to learn what was God's will and a continual readiness to do it (Jn 8:28), an inability to act without divine leading (5:19) or to judge anything apart from God (v. 30), a continual concern never to fail God in His work (9:4). He had such an identity of will with the Father that He could say: "The Father is in me and I am in the Father" (10:8; cf. 14:10). "I and the Father are one" (Jn 10:30) is not simply a metaphysical statement. It is His affirmation that in Himself "there is no purpose of self; no element of self-will; no possibility, even for a moment, of the imagination of separateness" (Moberly, pp. 99 f).

III. His Active and Passive Obedience. — As well as having the active element of fulfilling a victorious career in the midst of the moral, spiritual, and other conflicts of life, His obedience had a passive aspect of acknowledging the judgment of God on sinners, with whom He more and more identified Himself, and of taking the responsibility for their sins. Such obedience ultimately meant submission to the shame and dereliction of the cross.

Thus in Christ's career and response to God an "active" and a "passive" obedience can be distinguished, as classical Protestant theology frequently does. But these two aspects of Christ's obedience cannot be separated. "They do not differ in time: both extend from the beginning of the incarnation to the death. Nor in subject; the same obedience is active and passive in a different respect" (Wollebius, in H. Heppe, p. 467).

IV. The Place of Obedience in the Atonement. — Due weight must be given to Ro 5:19, "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous," and to Heb 9:14, "who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God." It is obvious that the whole course of Christ's earthly obedience, as well as His death, contributes toward the full accomplishment of the atonement. Thus Calvin thought of the obedience of Christ as His merit and insisted that His reconciling and sanctifying work in human nature was carried out throughout His life on earth.

The Westminster Confession of Faith (cf. 8.5 and 11.3) distinguishes, almost sharply, between Christ's obedience and His death. Some have tended to attach His obedience to the work of sanctification and His death to the work of satisfaction. Moberly (pp. 98 f) suggested that the cancellation of the past should be attributed to the offering of atonement, and the sanctification of the present to the offering of obedience (cf. also Ro 5:10).

No basis may exist, however, for such fine distinction. People require His obedience for their atonement, and fellowship with His death as well as with His life for their sanctification (cf. Heb 10:10). As Denney said, "Obedience is the one term by which His work can always be described in relation to God" (Death of Christ, p. 232; cf. Christian Doctrine of Reconciliation, pp. 94-5). In the cross the obedience seems to be as important as the event; as P. T. Forsyth pointed out, what matters in it is not simply the "depth of agony" but also the "height of surrender" (p. 193).

Yet His saying (Lk 12:50) "I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I constrained until it is accomplished" undoubtedly concentrates on His death as the focal point and fulfillment of His whole life's purpose. His death is significant as a deliberate act of "laying down" His life (Jn 10:17). The blood by which people are saved from their sins is undoubtedly the obedient life poured out in death (Rv 1:5; Ro 3:25), but it is doubtful if the analogy of sacrificial blood would have been used unless a good deal of emphasis could be placed on the death in which the life is poured out.

(from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised edition, Copyright © 1979 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. All rights reserved.)

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