What is Obedience?
"If one is guilty of one sin they are guilty of all sin." (James 2:10) Obedience is absolute! Our studies and our experiences make our knowledge and with them we develop the facts of our lives. Our faith must be with works. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." (James 2:17) One cannot worship without gifts to God. We are all one in Christ. We have freedom of choice. Our lives must be changed.
Part Two: The Time Machine
There are 66 thirty-year generations since the time of Christ for your review.
How do you and your generation compare? Read on and learn the history.
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(Those Who Do!)
By Joseph H. Miller
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 Rear Admiral Joseph H. Miller
All rights reserved.
Obedience (Those Who Do!) The Bible Is The Only Reference
Obedience is part of the structure of a Christian's Life. There is no eternal life without obedience to God.
The Whole Ball Game
Obedience is seen in numerous situations including, government laws, military discipline, to parents, etc. In this report we use obedience only when referring to obedience to God and His will. Jesus was the only one with perfect obedience. In His words, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." (John 15:10,11) Our example, "Jesus" was obedient unto death. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name." (Philippians 2:8,9) "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." (Hebrews 5:8, 9)
II. The Requirement of Obedience
In the New Testament there is obedience to God (Romans 5:19; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8) God's Commandments (I John 2:3-5) to faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26), to Christ (John 3:36; Hebrews 5:9), to the gospel (Romans 10:16; I Peter 4:17) to the state (Romans 13:1-5) of slaves, children, and wives (Ephesians 5:21-6:9; Titus 2:9,10) Harpers Dictionary: There is no Hebrew word meaning "obey". It is translated in Hebrew to, "to hear".
The word obey is related to the idea of hearing. Obedience is a positive and active response to what a person hears. Man's failure to obey God results in judgment. The perfect obedience to Christ brings grace, righteousness and life. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Romans 6:16)
"Hear" in the Bible means "to obey." We may hear the words and not obey. In the Scriptures this is to disobey. "But my people would not hearken to my voice... So I gave them up into their own counsels." (Psalms 81:11,12) This is one of several Scriptures that if one does not listen to God and do His will a time may come that He will give you up. Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 11:15)
"And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee." (Jeremiah 7:13-16) If we do not hear the LORD He will not hear our prayers. "My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations." (Hosea 9:17)
If one is not obedient by a spiritual life they cannot worship. "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23,24) Samuel said, "to obey is better than sacrifice." (I Samuel 15:22)
"By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name ... But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 1:5;10:16,17) Obedience is attached to faith and obedience secures God's blessings. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you." (John 14:21, 23-25) These were among Jesus last words to us.
"Then If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." (John 13:17) Obedience to God produces the fruit of faith.
"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:20, 22,23,24,26)
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21) One must obey to enter Heaven! Love for God is proved when we obey Him as noted above in John 14:21. Jesus death was a sacrifice of obedience. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:10) When one is disobedient to God's Word it is due to a sinful heart.
Obedience is required before one can receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 5:32; 10:44) This refers to obeying by believing in Jesus as Messiah. Priests were saved by being obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7) Jesus is the author of salvation of all who obey Him. (Hebrews 5:9) Paul received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations. (Romans 1:5) Here Paul describes faith as obedience. This includes the Gentiles. "But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." (Romans 16:26) This is made known to all nations. The Scriptures do not relate that God asked believers to pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit. (Ryrie) Prayer is needed for the power to meet the demands of obedience, but prayer alone does not bring a filling of the Holy Spirit, as some religions seem to think. Obedience is the condition and Scripture explains what is meant by obedience as it relates the already filling of the Holy Spirit. When we fail to respond in obedience and we confess our sins then God forgives us. Every thought is required to be brought into obedience. (II Corinthians 10:5) We must be obedient of all things from God. (II Corinthians 2:9) In the Old Testament obedience was the basis for knowing God's blessings and favor to them. (Exodus 24:7) Perfect obedience to Christ brings grace, righteousness, and life. (Romans 5:17) Obedience is before grace.
There is an active and passive obedience of Christ. His death on the Cross and His suffering was active obedience to God. His Holy Life is connected to salvation and His sacrifice would not have been accepted without the spotless life that preceded it. (I Peter 1:18,19; 2:21-23; John 13:15; I Corinthians 11:1) "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (I Peter 1:14-16) The Christian life is consistently one of living in obedience to God.
III. With Obedience Comes Disobedience
We see in Malachi similar problems with God's people as today, all their actions had selfish motives; they faked to be what they were not and faked to believe what they did not. The priests were divided in purpose, and lacked commitment. (Malachi 1:1-8) The people had no purpose and were not conscientious. (1:9-10) The economy was bad. They were living self-centered and self-fulfilling lives without regard for others. They paid no attention to God and ignored Him. They refused to give their tithes. God asked the famous question, "Will a man rob God?" (Malachi 3:8) "Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." (Malachi 3:9) Their offerings were the least desirable things they had and were unacceptable to God. (Malachi 1:10) They had profaned God's name and thus His character also. (Malachi 1:12) God warns the people to "repent and obey." (Malachi 3:7; 4:5) God's warning to the priests is one of the worst in the Bible. I have sent a curse upon you and will throw you out with the "dung of your feasts". (Malachi 2:2,3) (For you too highly educated people "dung" means "manure" I will not repeat the name for the less educated.) God's people who do not perform their obligations are called "a traitor". Teaching (bagad) is used five times in Malachi 2:10-16. They profaned worship and the altar in Malachi 2:13. Recurrent sin renders worship meaningless. "And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Luke 1:16-17) which quotes Malachi 4:6)
The requirement of obedience to God is to be free from mixture, it is exact. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10) This is human mathematics, but it is not a human precept. A breach of one command is as guilty as a breach of all since all of the commandments of God are one. It is the number one example of the all or none law. If we break one of Gods commandments we are not doing God's will, but our own and from God's viewpoint we break them all. "Thy will be done on earth as in Heaven." (Matthew 6:10) The duty of obedience to God's commandment is one duty only. All His commandments are one Divine will and rest on one authority. Harmony in music is spoiled if only one note is out of tune. The perfect circle is no longer a perfect circle if there is a flaw in one part of it. So breaking one commandment is to violate the whole principle of obedience. We cannot pick and choose which commands to keep. If we murder and do not commit adultery we are a murderer and violator of the whole law. If we commit adultery and do not murder we are an adulterer and violator of the whole, etc, etc. God's commands are absolute which means there are no exceptions.
This does not say that all sins are equal, but that all carry the some contempt of the authority of God, the Lawgiver. This shows us what a vanity it is to think that our good deeds will atone for our bad deeds. Obedience is acceptable when all is done within the will of God. Disobedience is condemned because it is contempt of God's authority. If we offend in one point we condemn the authority of God who gave the whole law and thus we are guilty of all.
The entire gospel can be considered a law. Christ is king to rule, a prophet to teach, and a priest to intercede for us. We are under the Law of Christ. This concept is very strict. "Abstain from all appearance of evil." (I Thessalonians 5:22) In the beginning God gave us the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9; Deuteronomy 1:39; II Samuel 14:17; Psalms 34:14; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Isaiah 5:20; Mark 3:4; Romans 3:8; Hebrews 5:14; Romans 12:21 and "For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:" (Amos 5:4)
Who is this man? Who is Jesus? Who is He that even the winds and the seas obey Him? "And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!" (Matthew 8:26-27) He created us, the winds and seas obey Him so we would be wise to also obey Him and keep His Commandments.
The average man will never be able to comprehend this as this is not human mentality, but is the Divine law. God does not classify sin. There is only one sin to Him and that is His will for man. If man breaks one law of God he is out of God's will.
IV. The Commandments (Laws) Of Christ
Commandments To Be Kept: The Ten Commandments (The Oxford Dictionary, pp.282-283)
The Ten Commandments are groups of God given religious and moral laws. They contain rules of life that involve all mankind.
A. The Ten Commandments:
I. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (v.3) [This is the object of worship, God.]
II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image (v.4) [This is the behavior of worship, which is only to the only true God.]
III. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain (v. 7)
IV. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (v.8) [III and IV deal with the true reverence and genuine devotion of God. The day of rest must be kept holy by sharing the spiritual rest with God. The commandment is not "six days of loafing, but six days of working."]
V. Honour thy father and thy mother (v. 12) and Mathew 19:18.
VI. Thou shalt not murder (v.13)
VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery. (v. 14)
"And He saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. (Mark 10:11,12)
VIII. Thou shalt not steal. (v. 15)
IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (v. 16)
X. Thou shalt not covet (v. 17)
B. Jesus repeats part of the Ten Commandments in: Matthew 19:18,19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20.
C. Other Commandments
"And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, ... To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?" (Deuteronomy 6:18; 10:13)
"And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments." (Deuteronomy 26:18)
"But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Joshua 22:5)
"And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself ... Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father ... That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers ... Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day ... And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee." (I Kings 2:3,6:12; 8:58,61; 11:39)
Excerpted from Obedience by Joseph H. Miller. Copyright © 2013 Rear Admiral Joseph H. Miller. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
I. Introduction.................... 1
II. The Requirement of Obedience.................... 1
III. With Obedience Comes Disobedience.................... 4
IV. The Commandments (Laws) Of Christ.................... 6
V. The Gospel and Epistle Commands.................... 23
VI. The Baseline For Obedience is Christ' Example.................... 27
VII. Disobedience.................... 38
VIII. The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13).................... 39
IX. Persevere in Faith and Prayer.................... 41
X. The God of Grace and Providence.................... 43
XI. The Eye is the symbol of The Motive.................... 44
XII. The Way For Our Lives Is a Narrow One.................... 49
XIII. What Does It Mean To Be Called?.................... 52
XIV. How Do We Recognize A "Call" When It Comes?.................... 54
XV. He That Keepeth My Commandments.................... 56
XVI. God Is The Supreme Teacher.................... 61
XVII. The Beginning Of The Gospel.................... 65
XVIII. We Are Most Free To Obey.................... 69
XIX. We Need The Spiritual Armor Of God.................... 70
XX. The Freedom Of Choice.................... 72
XXI. Paul Is The Great Example Of Obedience.................... 75
XXII. We Must Recognize God's Claims.................... 78
XXIII. The Obedience Of Abraham.................... 83
XXIV. The Problem Of Disobedience.................... 86
XXV. The Word "Perfect" From Scripture:.................... 87
XXVI. Moral Influence to Be Obedient To A Lawful Superior.................. 89
XXVII What Would You Do In The Presence Of God Or Christ?.................. 90
XXVIII. Defining Faith.................... 93
XXIX. Jesus' commands to the Seven Churches in Revelation.................. 94
XXX. Who is Jesus? Some Profound Truths.................... 95
XXXI. Obedience in the Old Testament.................... 96
Summary: End of The Old Testament.................... 165