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"The Bible On Obedience"

Larry R. Ping II

     A diligent study of the fifth book of Moses, Deuteronomy, will reveal God’s call and demand for obedience to His will. One would have to work hard to misunderstand this mark of this volume. The true definition of obedience is doing what God says the way God says to do it. Let’s look at what the Bible says about obedience.


     1. Obedience Is Connected To Salvation. The Hebrew writer said Jesus “became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9). A clear and Divine connection is established between salvation and obedience, one which should not be broken by those who “wrest” scripture (II Pet. 3:16) or handle “the word of God deceitfully” (II Cor. 4:2).


     2. Obedience Is An Indication Of Our Love For God. John wrote “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15). If one truly loves God, then he will render obedience to Him. If not, “they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:6).


     3. Obedience Is Better Than Anything. Remember the story of Saul and Amalek in I Sam. 15? Saul was told to “go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not” (I Sam. 15:3). However, Saul “took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive” and brought back “best of the sheep, and of the oxen” (I Sam. 15:8-9). Later, Samuel set him straight and said “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (I Sam. 15:22). May we learn God’s way is always better.


     4. Obedience Will, For Some, Be An Eternal Downfall. Paul made it crystal clear in II Thess. 1:8 when he wrote this: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ...” Peter penned a great pair of questions when asking “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear” (I Pet. 4:17-18)?


     5. Obedience Is About Doing. Some in the Lord’s body today have endeavored to divorce obedience from the act of doing. But this is a Biblical impossibility. The Jews on Pentecost, after Peter’s sermon asked “Men and brethren, what shall we do” (Acts 2:37)? The Philippian prison-keeper, after surviving an earthquake and possible self-murder asked “Sirs, what must I do to be saved” (Acts 16:30)? May we learn to appreciate the association between obedience and individual action.

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