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Obey God

The main thing: Jesus is all about doing what He sees His Father doing. He listens to God. Jesus doesn’t do anything without hearing from God first. In his heart and soul, he is all about listening.

  • Jesus knows what is in God’s heart.
  • He was obedient to the point of giving everything up, coming to live with us, perfectly following everything His Father wanted Him to do.
  • Jesus understands what God’s goal is at any given moment.

Jesus honored God.

What was the result of this perfect obedience? God answered Him. Jesus became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.

The essence of honor is obedience. I need to learn more. It is all about learning to hear God and obeying. Jesus teaches us to pray: “Your reign [kingdom] come, your will be done.”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. [1]

Hebrews 5:7-10

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.

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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.

Obedience is demanded of God’s people

Paul draws the connection to obedience in being a slave. Paul sees himself as a slave to Jesus. At the start of Romans, he declares “Paul, a slave of the Messiah Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the good news of God.”

Romans 6:16–18  — Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

In the old covenant (aka testament or agreement), it was all about obeying God. It was better than anything including sacrifice. It is a matter of the heart.

  • Leviticus 25:18 — ‘You shall thus observe My statutes and keep My judgments, so as to carry them out, that you may live securely on the land.”
  • 1 Samuel 15:22 — Samuel said, “Has the Master as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Master? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”
  • Deuteronomy 26:16 — “This day the Master, your God, commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul.”
  • Deuteronomy 32:46 — He said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law.”
  • 1 Peter 1:14–16 — As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Heb 5:7–10). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.