The Importance of Obedience

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

John 6:38

How difficult is it for you to obey? Whether it is traffic laws, the authority placed over you, or even the Bible, obedience is a choice. Most people justify to themselves all of the reasons why it is OK to stretch the boundaries that have been established all around us. To pick and choose what it is that we are willing to obey. Consider the following.

God created a beautiful earth, perfect in every way. He created Adam and Eve, placing them in His perfect world. When they disobeyed God’s command by eating of the fruit of that one particular tree, sin entered the world. God immediately initiated His plan of redemption, allowing them to be brought back into His grace. God promised to send One to restore mankind. We understand through Scripture that God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). One need only to believe upon Jesus to be redeemed.

God sent Jesus as the solution to the problem of human sin. Jesus came to give man the opportunity to be restored from the life of sin into which all have been born. All of God’s Word points to the reasons as to why Jesus came. “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7). Jesus came to do what God wanted Him to do. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). He understood the importance of obeying every Word of God. Why was it so important that Jesus did exactly as God required? “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). Our lives depended upon Jesus’ obedience to every command of God. For only those who believe upon Jesus can be saved from eternal separation from God. “17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:17-18).

Although Jesus was God come in the flesh (“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” John 1:14), He was also a man. Do you think He ever found it difficult to obey every Word of God? Remember part of Jesus’ prayer in the garden shortly before He was arrested. “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). Confronted with death, Jesus understood the importance of obeying; even the obedience of His death upon the cross. Jesus chose to obey God. (To remember Jesus’ prayer for Himself, His disciples, and even for those of us who would believe in Him, read John 17.)

Having acknowledged the importance of Jesus obeying God’s Words exactly, do you understand how important God finds obedience? Nothing else is as important as obeying God and His Word. God gave the Bible to us so we would understand His heart, and what it is that He expects of us. We cannot do anything in and of ourselves to appease the wrath of God that is deserved by every human (because we are born into sin). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). What is the only thing we can do to appease the wrath of God? “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29).The only work we can do is to believe upon Jesus – for He fulfilled all of the requirements of God for us.

Jesus obeyed in every respect, fulfilling all of the requirements God had recorded in the Bible. “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). Jesus declared He had completed it all before He died upon the cross. “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30).

Jesus is our ultimate example of obedience. “But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do…” (John 14:31). We, too, are to obey God’s Word. “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” (John 14:21).

Have you chosen to follow Jesus’ example to obey God and His Word?

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