Obedience to the will of God demonstrates the reality of a person’s faith in Jesus the Messiah. I must learn obedience. It is not optional. It is the essence of my faith. Since I believe in God, I must obey Jesus.
Hebrews 5:8–10 says,
“Son though he was, [Jesus] learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
Jesus “learned obedience” not in the sense that He was prone to disobedience and had to bring rebelliousness under control, but in the sense that He fully entered the human experience. As a child, He obeyed His parents; as an adult, He obeyed the Law and fulfilled all righteousness.
All His life, Jesus completely fulfilled the Father’s will. He knew what obedience was prior to His incarnation, of course, but He “learned” obedience on earth by experiencing it. In every situation, no matter how difficult, the Son was obedient to the Father:
“The Sovereign Master has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me” (Isaiah 50:5–6).
Obedience to God proves our love for Him, demonstrates our faithfulness to Him, glorifies Him in the world, and opens avenues of blessing for us.
Faith is necessary to please God, and if our faith is genuine and true, we will live a lifestyle characterized by righteousness, modeling the example set for us by Jesus the Messiah. We obey His commands, not because we have to, but because we want to, because we love Him. We are enabled to obey because, once we believe in the Messiah and are saved, we are remade. We are not the same people we once were. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in the Messiah, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
- Hebrews 11:8 —By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
- Matthew 7:21 — “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”
- Romans 1:5 —Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake,
- James 2:14–26 —What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.