Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
It has been said, the key to everything God has is obedience. Solomon bears this out in the Scripture.Fear God; obey God.
Fear God, and keep His commandments; this is the whole duty of man. Last week I wrote the first installment on Seven Objectives of the Christian Walk. This was born out of a series of messages I am preaching to my people. (Originally, I had six objectives, but I had to add one more.) The first was fear God. The second objective is to obey God.
The first sin mankind committed was disobedience. One old preacher from Texas was drawn into a debate about what kind of fruit was actually on the tree. He used to say, "The problem was not the apple on the tree; the problem was the pair on the ground." If we understand the fear of the Lord, then we must understand the power of obedience to His commands.
A few points to ponder
Understanding does not lead to obedience: obedience leads to understanding.
Many parents feel they must help their children understand why they should obey. When a child questions his authority, he is, neither seeking nor desiring a greater understanding. He wants to get his way. The child takes the position, "If I understand, then I will obey." But this is opposite of what the Bible teaches.
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
If I obey first, it will lead me to understanding. Submission and yielding allow the heart to gain understanding.
Obedience before understanding is an act of faith.
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. Luke 5:5
Simon Peter and his partners had fished these waters. He knew what was out there. He was, after all a professional commercial fisherman. He did not understand the Lord's command to drop the nets in, right there; right now. It did not make since. But we find that beautiful phrase in verse 5:
"nevertheless at Thy Word..."
That is a wonderful picture of faith. I do not understand, but I will obey. Peter found out in a miraculous way that obedience before understanding is an act of faith; the kind of faith God blesses richly. The number 1 act of faith is obedience.
Obedience is the beginning of God's blessings.
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: Exodus 19:5
But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. Exodus 23:22
God gave great promises of blessing to Israel throughout Scripture simply for their obedience to His commandments.
Obedience is better than sacrifice.
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to hearken than the fat of rams.
The Lord is more interested in our obedience than He is in how Baptist we are; or how religious we are; or how pious we are. Obedience is better than sacrifice.
Obedience does not require motive.
But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
The son who obeys is the one who did not want to obey Is that hypocritical? I do not know, but I know it is obedient. Obedience does not require motive. It is give to joyfully give. But if I cannot give joyfully, should I give at all? Of course I should! "The Lord loveth a cheerful giver." But even if I am not cheerful, I should still be obedient.
Obeying when I don't want to obey is a sign of character. The flesh never wants to obey! Obeying when I don't want to obey is a sign of character. The flesh never wants to obey!
The first act of obedience for any sinner is to repent
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Acts 17:30*
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us,
what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1Pe 4:17*
We are commanded to repent. The day I placed my faith and trust in Christ Jesus for my salvation. it was an act of obedience to the "Gospel of God." 1 Peter 4:7. The first act of obedience for any sinner is to obey the Gospel. If you are reading this, and have never come to Christ as a sinner, I encourage you to do so today.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead. Thou shalt be saved. Romans 10: 9
If you are reading this and have any questions concerning you salvation or eternity, please send me a comment. It will not be posted without my reading it, so it is confidential. Please; settle the question today. I will continue part 2 on obedience next time.
Just a thought. Thank you for reading