Obedience to God and His Word is a subject that is taught in both the Old and New Testaments.


In the Old Testament the need for obedience to the Law of God, given to Moses at Mount Sinai, was very explicit. A reading of Deuteronomy chapters 6 to 8 detail the blessings attached to keeping the Law of God, to warnings of the consequences of disobedience. God had entered into a covenant with the Children of Israel. He had chosen them because He loved them, not because they were more numerous than the other nations, but because He had set His love on them and would keep the oath which He swore to their families (Deuteronomy 7:7-9). His love for His people should have drawn a similar response in their love for Him. While through the pages of the Old Testament there were individuals who did love and serve the Lord, the nation on the whole was guilty of disobedience and continually turning away from the ONE true and living God, into idolatry and the worship of other gods. The people suffered as a result.


When we come to the New Testament era, the emphasis seems to be more on our personal love for God. The Lord Jesus sums up what our attitude should be in John 14:15 – “If you love Me keep (you will keep) My commandments”. This means that our love for our Saviour is the motivation for our obedience to His will, His commands, His wishes.


There are however, some specific commands given by the Lord Jesus to His people:


1) Matthew 28:19 –The words of our Lord to His disciples “Go therefore (meaning while you are going) make disciples of all nations baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The disciples were given leadership and had the responsibility of training others in the will and purposes of their Lord. The command to baptise believers is an instruction given to all pastors and elders, but individual believers are to seek to be baptised, as was the Lord Jesus Himself (Matthew 3:13-17). The question to ask oneself is ‘have I been obedient to this command?’ If not, why not? If we are not obedient to our Lord’s commands we loose out on blessing.


2) 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, the subject of Christian marriage is mentioned. A warning is given about the dangers of being yoked to an unbeliever. In 1 Corinthians 6 and 7 there is much to teach us about the marriage relationship. We find these passages difficult, but they are there to warn us of dangers that will arise if we do not obey our Lord.


3) 2 Corinthians 10:5 perhaps presents us with the greatest challenge in our Christian life where we are instructed to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. The Apostle Paul reminds us earlier in verse 4 “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds”. This means that while the struggle is very real, we are not on our own for our gracious and loving Lord has given to us the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable us to overcome the attacks and wiles of the enemy.


To sum up, let us endeavour to obey the commands of the Lord. If not yet baptised then request to be baptised, do not delay. If thinking about friendship which could lead to a life relationship in marriage, only pursue this with a Christian boy or girl. But for all who love the Lord Jesus let us all, including the writer, endeavour to bring all our thoughts, desires, actions, yes our whole life into obedience to the will and purposes of our God.


R. John Wheeler



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