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What is Biblical Obedience?


I am sharing my devotional reading, and I hope this encourages you to start your own Bible reading and prayer time with Jesus.

We are going to focus on this verse:

Romans 1:5

5 Through him, we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake.

Here's my key takeaway from the verse:

Our obedience starts with faith in Jesus (verse 5)

From this point, we will try to explain biblical obedience and obedience by faith.

I think it is important to understand biblical obedience so we could assess ourselves if we are obedient or not.

It is more important to know that our obedience comes from our faith in Jesus, so we don't put too much burden on us since we tend to punish ourselves when we make mistakes.

Let's discuss these points in detail.

What is obedience?

Here's the definition from Oxford:

  • Submit to the authority of (someone) Comply with (a law)

  • Carry out (a command or instruction)

  • Behave in accordance with (a general principle, natural law, etc.)

Obedience seems to be a complicated subject, so we will tackle each definition individually.

Submit to Authority

The word "submit" is defined as:

Accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.

-Oxford

To stop trying to fight or resist something: to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing.

-Merriam-Webster

To explain the definition, let's take our current situation as an example.

Authorities forced us to stay in isolation until the pandemic is under control.

We don't want to do it, but we obey. Some want to fight it but chose to follow.

We submitted to the will of our leaders and healthcare workers, which is a good thing.

Here's biblical submission:

Job 22:21

New International Version (NIV)

21 "Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.

Believers must submit to God. We have to decide to follow God with delight in our hearts. Understand that God's commands are for our benefit.

Just like obeying the government and healthcare workers' rules right now, following God's instructions are for our betterment.

Carrying Out a Command

Psalm 119:60

English Standard Version (ESV)

60 I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.

God gives His instructions for us to fulfil the purpose that He gave when He created us. Obeying His commands will lead us to our real goal in life.

I want to point out that it is essential to obey right away. Delayed obedience is not complete obedience. Therefore, we should strive to follow immediately with peace in our hearts.

Behave in Accordance with Principle

2 Timothy 2:15

English Standard Version (ESV)

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Romans 14:13

English Standard Version (ESV)

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Romans 14

English Standard Version (ESV)

14 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.

3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.

4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Christian behaviour is a sensitive topic, so I just placed verses here that can help us decide how to carry ourselves in public and treat other people.

If we believe in Jesus, we don't just do whatever we want. We need to ensure that our actions will glorify God.

Obedience by Faith

Galatians 2:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

16 Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

We are righteous only because we have faith in Jesus. In the same way, we can only be obedient by faith in Christ.

We will fail endlessly in our Christian journey, and that's okay. Jesus died because we cannot be perfect.

Instead of focusing on our ability to obey the commands of God, let's focus on how Jesus fulfilled all the commandments for us.

Instead of working hard to obey all the instructions in the Bible, let's focus on having an intimate relationship with Christ.

Again, we can never earn God's blessings because He gave it freely.

I am not saying that we don't have to exert effort in following God's commands in the Bible. What I am saying is that we should do our best to obey. When we fail, let's not be hard on ourselves. When others fail, we should not judge them. Jesus fulfilled all the commands in the Bible for everyone anyway.

Let's Sum it Up

God recognises our efforts to obey Him, and again I am encouraging everyone to do our best in doing the will of God.

However, when we fail, we should not condemn ourselves. We should seek God right away. He knows everything, and we can just call on Him every time we fail. God loves us unconditionally.

Prayer of Salvation

Friend, if you want to have a heart that's obedient to God, but you are unsure of your standing in faith, say this prayer.

God sees your heart and so say the words with conviction and faith.

"Father, I am a sinner. Forgive my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross so I could live fully on earth and in heaven. Change my heart and mind according to your will. This I pray, in the mighty Name of Jesus, amen."

Friend, if you prayed that prayer in faith, I believe you have set things right with God.

If you want to grow in faith, find a Bible-based church. You can also reach out to me through my social media platforms and this website, www.high3r.com. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading this devotional story, and I pray that it encouraged and empowered you in your walk with Christ. Please read other devotional stories on the website.

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