Have now not I commanded thee? JOSHUA 1:9
IN project THE look at of a Bible word or of a truth of the Christian life, it is a awesome help to take a survey of the location it takes in Scripture. As we see in which and the way often and in what connections it’s miles observed, its relative significance can be apprehended as well as its bearing at the entire of revelation. allow me strive within the first bankruptcy to put together the way for the observe of what obedience is by using showing you in which to move in God’s word to locate the thoughts of God regarding it.
TAKE SCRIPTURE AS AWHOLE
We start with paradise. In Genesis 2:16, we read: “And our lord god commanded the person, announcing.” And later (3:eleven), “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest now not eat?”
Word how obedience to the command is the one virtue of paradise, the one circumstance of man’s abiding there, the one factor his author asks of him. not anything is said of faith or humility or love; obedience consists of all. The call for for obedience as the only element this is to decide his future is as perfect as the claim and authority of God. in the life of man, to obey is the only issue requisite.
Turn now from the beginning to the close of the Bible. In its closing bankruptcy you examine (Rev 22:14), “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life.” Or, if we accept the American preferred version, which gives any other reading, we’ve got the same idea in chapters 12 and 14, where we examine of the seed of the woman (12:17), “that keep the commandments of God, and keep the testimony of Jesus”; and of the endurance of the saints (14:12), “here … [are] they that hold the commandments of God, and the religion of Jesus.”
From starting to end, from paradise lost to paradise regained, the law is unchangeable; it’s far only obedience that gives access to the tree of lifestyles and the desire of God.
And in case you ask how the change changed into effected out of the disobedience at the start that closed the manner to the tree of existence, to the obedience at the stop that again won entrance to it, flip to that which stands halfway between the beginning and the cease: the cross of Christ. examine a passage like Romans 5:19 (ASV), “through the obedience of the one shall the various be made righteous”; or Philippians 2:eight-nine, “He became obedient unto dying … Wherefore God … hath especially exalted him”; or Hebrews 5:8-9, “He … discovered … obedience … and …became the writer of … salvation unto all them that obey him,” and you see how the entire redemption of Christ is composed in restoring obedience to its location.
The splendor of His salvation is composed on this: that He brings us again to the existence of obedience, through which on my own the creature can supply the creator the honor because of Him, or acquire the glory of which his writer wants to make him partaker.
Paradise, Calvary, heaven, all proclaim with one voice: “child of God, the primary and the remaining component thy God asks of thee is simple, regular, unchanging obedience.”
Flip TO THE Old Testament
Allow us to specially be aware in the old testament how, with any new beginning in the history of God’s kingdom, obedience always comes into special prominence.
Take Noah, the new father of the human race, and you’ll locate 4 instances written (Genesis 6:22; 7:five, nine, sixteen), “in keeping with all that God commanded him [Noah], so did he.”
It is the man who does what God commands to whom God can entrust His paintings, whom God can use to be a savior of fellows.
Think of Abraham, the daddy of the selected race. “by using religion Abraham … obeyed” (Hebrews 11:7).
when he have been forty years in this faculty of faith-obedience, God got here to best his faith and to crown it together with his fullest blessing. nothing could fit him for this but a crowning act of obedience. whilst he had certain his son at the altar, God came and stated (Gen 22:sixteen-18), “on my own have I sworn … in blessing I can bless thee, and in multiplying I’m able to multiply thy seed… in thy seed shall all countries … be blessed; due to the fact thou hast obeyed my voice.”
And to Isaac He spake (Genesis 26:3-five), “i can carry out the oath which I sware unto Abraham …due to the fact that Abraham obeyed my voice.”
Oh, while shall we find out how unspeakably alluring obedience is in God’s sight, and the way unspeakable is the praise He bestows upon it! The way to be a blessing to the world is to be guys of obedience, recognised by God and the world by using this one mark: a will totally given up to God’s will. permit all who profess to walk in Abraham’s footsteps walk thus.
Pass directly to Moses. At Sinai, God gave him the certainly, … ye will be a weird treasure unto me above anyone.”
Inside the very nature of things it can not be otherwise. God’s holy will is His glory and perfection; it’s far only by an entrance into His will, by means of obedience, that it is viable to be His humans.
Take the building of the sanctuary wherein God turned into to stay. within the closing three chapters of Exodus you have got component or all of the expression nineteen times, “in step with all of the LORD commanded Moses, so did he.” after which, “the consideration of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (40:34). in order that, again in Leviticus eight and nine, you’ve got, with reference to the consecration of the monks and the tabernacle, the identical expression twelve instances. and then, “the dignity of the LORD appeared unto all the human beings. And there came a fireplace out from before the LORD, and consumed … the burnt offering” (nine:23-24).
Words can’t make it plainer that it’s miles amid what the obedience of His humans has wrought that God delights to dwell, that it’s miles the obedient He crowns along with his favor and presence.
After the 40 years wandering inside the wasteland and its terrible revelation of the fruit of disobedience, there was again a new starting while the humans had been about to enter Canaan. study Deuteronomy, with all Moses spoke in sight of the land, and you will find there is no e book of the Bible which uses the phrase “obey” so regularly or speaks so much of the blessing obedience will usually deliver. The whole is summed up in the words, “I set before you … a blessing, if ye obey … and a curse, if ye will no longer obey” sure, “a blessing, if ye obey”! that is the important thing-observe of the blessed lifestyles.
Canaan, much like paradise and heaven, can be the region of blessing, while it is the area of obedience. could God we would take it in! but do watch out for praying only for a blessing. let us care for the obedience; God will care for the blessing. permit my one idea as a Christian be how i will obey and please my God flawlessly.
The Tlext new starting we have is in the appointment of kings in Israel. in the tale of Saul we’ve got the maximum solemn warning as to the need of actual and whole obedience in a person whom God is to believe as ruler of His people. Samuel had commanded Saul (1 samuel 10:eight) to wait seven days for him to come back and sacrifice and to show him what to do. when Samuel behind schedule (thirteen:8-14), Saul took it upon himself to provide the sacrifice.
While Samuel got here, he said: “Thou hast not stored the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee … thy state shall not continue … due to the fact thou hast no longer stored that which the LORD commanded thee.”
God will no longer honor the man who isn’t always obedient.
Saul has a second opportunity given him to show what is in his heart. he’s sent to execute God’s judgment against Amelek. He obeys. He gathers an military of two hundred,000 men, undertakes the journey into the wilderness, and destroys Amelek. but whilst God had commanded him to “completely smash all … and spare them not” (15:three), he spares the high-quality ofthe cattle and Agag.
God speaks to Samuel, “It repenteth me that i’ve installation Saul to be king: for he … hath now not executed my commandments” (v. 11).
When Samuel comes, Saul twice over says, “i’ve done the commandment of the LORD ” (v. 13); “i have obeyed the voice of the LORD” (v. 20).
And so he had, as many might think. however his obedience had no longer been whole. God claims precise, complete obedience. God had said, “totally wreck all! Spare … not!” This he had no longer completed. He had spared the nice sheep for a sacrifice unto the Lord. And Samuel stated, “To obey is better than [any] sacrifice … because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee” (vv.22-23).
That could be a sad type of so much obedience which in component performs God’s commandment and but isn’t always the obedience God asks! God says of all sin and all disobedience: “wholly destroy all! Spare
… now not!” can also God screen to us whether or not we’re indeed going all lengths with Him, searching for completely to break all and spare nothing that is not in ideal harmony together with his will. it’s miles best a wholehearted obedience, down to the minutest info, that can satisfy God. permit nothing much less satisfy you, lest whilst we say, “i have obeyed,”
God says, “Thou hast rejected the word of the Lord.”.
Simply one phrase more from the old testament. next to Deuteronomy, Jeremiah is the e book most complete of the word “obey,” though, unfortunately, ordinarily in reference to the complaint that the human beings had no longer obeyed. God sums up all His dealings with the fathers within the one word: “I spake now not unto your fathers … regarding … sacrifices: but this factor commanded I them, pronouncing, Obey my voice, and i can be your God” (7:22-23).
would God that we could research that each one that God speaks of sacrifices, even of the sacrifice of His beloved Son, is subordinate to the one factor: to have His creature restored to full obedience. Into all of the inconceivable that means of the phrase, “I could be your God,” there may be no gateway but this: “Obey my voice.”
COME TO the brand new testimony within the New testament we assume straight away of our blessed Lord and the prominence He offers to obedience as the only factor for which He changed into come into the sector. He who entered it along with his “Lo, I come to do thy will, zero God” (Hebrews 10:nine), ever confessed to men, “I are seeking now not mine very own will, however the will of the daddy which hath despatched me” On five:30).
Of all He did and of all He suffered, even to the death, He stated, “This commandment have I received of my Father” On 10:18).
If we flip to His teaching, we find everywhere that the obedience He rendered is what He claims from every body who would be His disciple.
Throughout His entire ministry, from beginning to end, obedience is the very essence of salvation. in the Sermon on the Mount He started out with it. no person could enter the kingdom “however he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Mt 7:21). And in the farewell discourse, how splendidly He reveals the spiritual character of genuine obedience as it’s far born of affection and stimulated by using it, and because it also opens the way into the love of God.
Do take into your coronary heart the awesome words On 14:15,16-17,21,23, ASV), “lf ye love me, ye will maintain my commandments. And … the father…shall provide you with the Spirit. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he … will be loved of my Father, and i’m able to love him, and could appear myself unto him. If a person love me, he’s going to maintain my phrase: and my Father will love him, and we can come unto him, and make our domicile with him.”
No words ought to explicit more actually or greater powerfully the inconceivably wonderful area Christ gives to obedience, with its twofold opportunity: (1) as most effective viable to a loving heart, (2) as making feasible all that God has to offer of His Holy Spirit, of His awesome love, of His in-dwelling in Christ Jesus. I know of no passage in Scripture that offers a higher revelation of the non secular life, or the strength of loving obedience as its one circumstance. allow us to pray and ask God very earnestly that with the aid of His Holy Spirit its mild may additionally transfigure our every day obedience with its heavenly glory.
See how all this is confirmed within the next chap-ter. How nicely we understand the myth of the vine! How often and how earnestly we have asked how if you want to abide usually in Christ! we have notion of extra take a look at of the word, more faith, greater prayer, greater communion with God, and we’ve got disregarded the simple fact that Jesus teaches so really, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love,” with its divine sanction. “even as I kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
For Him as for us, the only manner underneath heaven to abide in divine love is to maintain the commandments. Do allow me ask: have you regarded it, have you ever heard it preached, have you ever believed it and proved it genuine for your enjoy that obedience on the planet is the key to an area in God’s love in heaven? except there be a few correspondence between God’s wholehearted love in heaven and our wholehearted, loving obedience on the earth, Christ cannot manifest Himself to us, God can-not abide in us, we cannot abide in His love.
If we cross on from our Lord Jesus to His apostles, we find in Acts two words of Peter’s which show how our Lord’s teaching had entered into him. within the one, “The Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts five:32), he proves how he knew what had been the preparation for Pentecost, the give up to Christ. inside the other, “We have to obey God instead of guy” (Ac 5:29, ASV), we’ve got the manward facet. Obedience is to be unto demise; not anything on this planet dare or can avert it in the guy who has given himself to God.
In Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, we’ve got in the beginning and ultimate verses, the expression, “the obedience of faith amongst all the international locations” (1:5, ASV; cf. sixteen:26), as that for which he became made an apostle. He speaks of what God had wrought “to make the Gentiles obedient” (15:18).
He teaches that, as the obedience of Christ makes us righteous, we emerge as the servants of obedience unto righteousness. As dis-obedience in Adam and in us was the only thing that wrought demise, so obedience, in Christ and in us, is the only thing that the Gospel makes referred to as the way of healing to God and His want.
All of us recognize how James warns us not to be hearers of the phrase handiest but doers, and expounds how Abraham became justified, and his faith perfected by way of his works.
In Peter’s first epistle we have most effective to have a look at the first chapter to look the location obedience has in his system. In verses 1-2 he speaks to the “select
… In sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood Jesus Christ,” and so points us to obedience because the everlasting motive of the father, as the great object of the paintings of the Spirit, and a prime a part of the salvation of Christ. He writes, “As youngsters of obedience” (v. 14, ASV), born of it, marked by it, difficulty to it, “be ye holy in all way of conversation” (v. 15).
Obedience is the very start line of true holiness. In verse 22 (ASV) we study, “Seeing ye have purified your souls on your obedience to the truth.” The complete reputation of the truth of God become no longer merely a count of highbrow assent or strong emotion; it was a subjection of the lifestyles to the kingdom of the fact of God. The Christian life become in the first region obedience.
Of John we realize how sturdy his statements are. “He that saith, I understand him, and keepeth no longer his commandments, is a liar” (1 John 2:four). Obedience is the one certificates of Christian person. “let us … love … in deed and in reality … hereby we … shall assure our hearts before him …. And by any means we ask, we acquire of him, due to the fact we keep his commandments, and do the ones matters which can be eye-catching in his sight” (1 John 3:18-22).
Obedience is the name of the game of a good con-technological know-how and of the self belief that God heareth us. “that is the love of God, that we preserve his commandments” (1 John 5:3). The obedience that maintains His commandments is the garment in which the hidden, invisible love well-known shows itself, and whereby it is regarded.
Such is the location obedience has in Holy Scripture, within the thoughts of God, within the hearts of His servants. We may also nicely ask, Does it take that location in my coronary heart and life? Have we indeed given obedience that ultimate location of authority over us that God manner it to have, as the inspiration of each movement and of every technique to Him?
If we yield ourselves to the looking of God’s Spirit, we may discover that we by no means gave it its authentic share in our scheme of lifestyles, and that this lack is the purpose of all our failure in prayer and in work. We may see that the deeper benefits of God’s grace and the entire enjoyment of God’s love and close to-ness, have been beyond our attain definitely be-motive obedience was in no way made what God might have or not it’s: the place to begin and the intention of our Christian lifestyles.
Allow this, our first study, waken in us an earnest choice to recognize God’s will absolutely regarding this truth. allow us to unite in praying that the Holy Spirit may additionally show us how defective the Christian’s life is wherein obedience does now not rule all, how that existence can be exchanged for considered one of full surrender to absolute obedience, and how sure it’s miles that God in Christ will enable us to stay it out.