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The Real Importance of Obedience to God
— Dan Corner —
I have no doubt some people will read this article's heading and conclude from that alone that the author might be in legalism, a "work's salvation," or is in some kind of cultic doctrine. According to today's version of grace, obedience to God is optional and, therefore, not even a priority for many. But is that the real truth or a lie from the devil, who is trying to damn your soul to Hell through false teachings, which come from the devil's servants? Before you prejudge this article, please carefully ponder the following Scriptures given by the Lord Jesus Himself and His disciples and adjust your behavior and theology accordingly for your own benefit.
Jesus told the Apostles to go and make disciples and teach those new disciples to obey everything they were commanded.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Mat 28:19,20) Jesus corrected a woman who praised Mary his mother just because she gave birth to him and then declared the blessed people are those who obey God's word.
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." (Luke 11:27,28) We show our love for Jesus and God by obedience.
If you love me, you will obey what I command. (John 14:15)
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. (John 14:21)
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3) Love or non-love for Jesus is reflected in our obedience to Jesus' teachings.
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (John 14:23, 24) Those that actually inherit the kingdom of God love (or obey) God.
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (James 2:5) To remain in Jesus' love, we must meet the condition of obeying his commands.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. (John 15:10) Jesus' servants obey today just like they did back in Jesus' days on Earth.
Remember the words I spoke to you: "No servant is greater than his master." If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. (John 15:20) The Apostles knew they and others could and should obey God.
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!" (Acts 5:29)
As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. (Acts 16:4)
But now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him. (Rom 16:26)
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12) The Holy Spirit is given to people who obey God.
We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. (Acts 5:32) We are slaves to sin or to obedience depending on whom we obey.
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Rom 6:16-18) The gospel is to be obeyed for salvation's sake.
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power. (2 Th 1:8,9) Those who have salvation obey God.
And, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. (Heb 5:9)
Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (1 John 3:24) The unsaved are described here as those who don't obey the gospel.
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Pet 4:17) Obedience to God's commands is a proof of salvation. Those who claim salvation, but don't obey are liars.
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:3,4) Prayer assurance for a Christian is based on his obedience. One command has especially been singled out.
And receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. (1 John 3:22,23)
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (2 John 1:5,6) Jesus' commands are to be obeyed.
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Rev 3:3) Christians are described, in part, as those who obey God's commandments.
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev 12:17)
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. (Rev 14:12) A Christian's obedience comes from his faith (in Jesus Christ).
Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. (Rom. 1:5) From all of these Scriptures, we have a clear picture that true Christians can and do obey God's commandments and are not living immorally as multitudes of false teachers, such as those that teach eternal security, say does occur. Disobedience can bring forth spiritual death to a person who was once saved (Lk. 15:24,32; Rom. 6:16; 8:13; James 1:14,15; 5:19,20; etc.) Ponder the following Scriptures that clarify this and do not let yourself be deceived:
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thess. 4:7,8)
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Eph. 5:5-7)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9,10)
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Rev. 21:8)
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21)
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction ; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal. 6:8,9) And remember this, Jesus described his true spiritual family (his disciples) as those who put into practice God's word and do his will.
He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."(Luke 8:21)
Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matt. 12:49,50) He also stated that one is a wise builder or a foolish builder based on the single condition of putting into practice the word of God.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (Mat 7:24-27) Friend, the real importance about your obedience to God and the seriousness of disobedience (sin) is partly shown by these Bible verses. Reject all who teach otherwise, even if they are popular. To help reinforce the aforementioned eternal truths, please reread these Scriptures and pass them on to others. Do not be deceived by an eternal security teacher.
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