Welcome To The
Bible Teaching Series
Kraig Josiah Rice
A Bible Study On Obedience
by Kraig J. Rice
TABLE OF CONTENTS
An Article on Expressing Love To God Through Obedience
An Article by Ivan Maddox: Joseph: Training in Obedience
An Article on What is Scriptural Obedience?
An article by James L. Morrisson: The Importance of Obedience
An Article by Rev. Fr. Ezra: What is obedience and what does it mean?
We love God because He first loved us
(I John 4:19)
In this article I concentrate on obedience to God in regards to the Christian way of life. I do this for any new converts to Christ or for pastors who may want information in this area to supplement their preaching or disciple-shipping teachings. Also for any believer who wants to study obedience to God from a holiness perspective. I have tried to make this study simple yet clear and effective for many overseas believers.
Right after I got saved many decades ago the Lord wanted me to do something for Him1. In so doing, He was testing my obedience to Him. Why?
The first thing God ordered Moses to do was to remove his sandals from off of his feet2. God was testing the obedience of Moses. Why?
But the opposite of obedience to God is disobedience. Just where did disobedience have it's start? Lucifer in the beginning bowed his knee to the Lord in obedience, but then, later, pride entered into his heart and the result was disobedience and rebellion to God. Disobedience has it's start in Satan. The bible states that "disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft" (having as it's root rebellion to the core).
(1 Samuel 15:22-23)
But Satan does not just want to be sinful to God by himself. He also wants to get you to be sinful to God as well. The Bible states that Satan goes around as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. Satan is the author of confusion. Satan wants to offer you a false pathway to God. He does this by trying to deceive anyone who is serving Christ. He wants to de-rail you anyway that he can. He wants you to worship in a cult or in a false religion. Satan does not want you worshipping God. Satan does not want you giving your obedience to Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.
There are evil forces at work today trying to make what is right appear wrong and trying to make what is wrong appear right. But Jesus said to be wise as a serpent, be as harmless as a dove, and beware of men. The Bible states that if we resist Satan he will have to flee from us. So, let's keep on worshipping only God in truth and be obedient to God.3A
Some Scriptures On Obedience
"Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval.
Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you.
Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness."
(Romans 6:16-18) (New Living Translation NLT)
The point of logic that the Lord is making here through His word is that God will bless a life that is in obedience to Him.
"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,
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."
(Philippians 2:12 & 13)
The application that the Lord is making here through His word is that Paul encourages each of you to continue on with your obedience to God because it is God who is helping you.
"It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.
And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith- for he was like a foreigner, living in a tent."
(Hebrews 11:8 & 9)
The point that the Lord is making here through His word is that obedience is not convenient.
"We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods.
We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil's strongholds.
With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ."
(2 Corinthians 10:3 - 5)
The point that the Lord is making here through His word is that biblical thinking leads to obedience to Christ.
"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart..."
(1 Peter 1:22)
The point that the Lord is making here through His word is that Obedience to the truth is inclusive to Christian love for others.3B
"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith."
(1st John 5:2-4 NKJV)
"If you love me, you will obey what I command."
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me."
"If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching."
"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."
He said, "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?"
"Worship is expressing love to God. The first way that we express love to God is through our obedience to Him, this proves that we love Him, and that we trust Him."
"Faith pleases God, faith is trust, and faith is love. If you know God well enough to love Him then you trust Him and you will obey Him, because you know that He has your best interests in mind in whatever He asks you to do. Everything that God asks us to do and we follow through in obedience is a way we can express love to Him."
"Expressing God's love to others is also expressing love to Him. Obedience is expressing love to God, which is why His commandments are not burdensome to us."
"God summarizes all his commandments by giving us the commandment to love. We are to love God, and we are to love God by loving other people. We are to be vessels of God's love to our neighbor; this allows God to demonstrate His love through us. All of God's word is about love; it is about what love is, and who love is. God is love. The Bible reveals love to us, the Bible reveals God to us. When we know God, we know love. God desires that we express our love to Him through obeying His voice, this shows Him that we love and trust Him, and this is the beginning of true worship."
"King Saul's disobedience (1st Samuel 15:21-23) showed that he did not love God, and didn't trust God enough to obey Him fully. Saul thought he could do things his own way and impress God with religious rituals and ceremony. Such things do not impress God."
"He is impressed by our demonstrations of love and trust for Him through obedience. Then when we offer up worship to God He can accept it and be well pleased with our offerings of praise and worship."4
An Article by Ivan Maddox
Joseph (the step father of Jesus): Training in Obedience
"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him..."
"Jesus was not born naturally obedient to God. True, he was born without a sin nature, but he still had his own will, and, according to this passage in Hebrews, he had to learn not to put his will ahead of God's will. He did not learn obedience by disobedience, as we so often do, but he did have to learn it through the things he "suffered," or endured. The end result was a man mature in placing God's will above his own, whom God was able to make the author of eternal salvation for the rest of us."
"Jesus didn't just decide as a baby to teach himself obedience. Someone else had to teach him; and the first person to have this responsibility was his step-father, Joseph."
"Joseph is something of a mystery man in the Bible. By earthly standards, he was a nobody. We do not know how old he was at the time Jesus was born. We know that he was a working man, a carpenter. We know his ancestry, but when it comes to personal information about his family (What were his parents like? Did he have brothers and sisters, or was he an only child?) we know basically nothing. And there is not one single quote from Joseph in the whole Bible."
"Yet this "nobody" is the man that God, the Father of Jesus Christ, hand-picked to teach Jesus Christ the meaning of the word "father". This was the man that God trusted to raise his only-begotten son. If we knew nothing else, we would know from this alone that there had to be something special about Joseph; but we might be hard-pressed to figure out what it was."
"Yet the Word does tell us a few things about Joseph. Matthew 1:19 tells us that Joseph was a just, or righteous, man. Joseph was used to living his life and making his decisions in accordance with the written Word of God."
"Joseph stands out because of his obedience to God. God never had to tell Joseph anything twice! God spoke to Joseph only four times that we are told about. Joseph never talked back to God. Joseph never questioned God. And when God told Joseph to do something, it was as good as done."
"It was this one thing that qualified Joseph for the job God called him to do. Joseph didn't have to be smarter than everyone else, or braver than everyone else, or stronger than everyone else, or richer than everyone else. All he had to do was do what God told him to do, when God told him to do it. That's it!"
"When Mary came to Joseph with an absolutely ridiculous story about how she got pregnant (she didn't think he was that stupid, did she?), Joseph thought the matter through and came up with a godly way to deal with the situation while doing the least possible harm to Mary. This tells us that Joseph was a compassionate man. He did not seek revenge on Mary for her supposed betrayal of him. Instead of focusing on his own pain, he focused on what was best for Mary in light of the written Word of God. But when an angel came to him in a dream, and told him that Mary's story was absolutely true, Joseph put all his objections aside and went on with his plans to marry Mary, heedless of what his family, his friends and his neighbors might say. Apparently, Joseph wasn't much of a crowd follower."
"When the angel of the Lord warned Joseph to flee the country because Herod the King would try to kill the child, Joseph didn't wait for proof on the senses level. Based on God's warning alone, while everything looked peaceful, Joseph took Mary and Jesus and left for Egypt by night. Joseph wasn't much of a procrastinator or doubter, either."
"God was able to trust Joseph with His son's very life- not because Joseph was especially brave or strong, but because Joseph was obedient to God. That obedience began with a firm adherence to God's written Word, and continued into prompt obedience to revelation given him from God."
"Joseph didn't just teach Jesus to obey God; he lived obedience to God. He wasn't perfect by any means, but he provided Jesus with a concrete example of what it means to base your day by day, moment by moment decisions on the Word and will of God. For Jesus, learning obedience to God began at home, with the teaching and the example of his step-father, Joseph."5
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
"Not only did God create the heaven and the earth, God also, "created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them."
"Every person of the whole human race is loved mightily and tenderly by God our Creator. Whatever God has ever done for the human race, he has done out of genuine love, and with an intense desire to see man happy. In the Scriptures, our loving heavenly Father and Creator has revealed unto the human race His divine will. Everything God has ever said to us in Word has been said for our own good, and is conducive to our happiness here in this life, and in the life that is to come. Our obedience, therefore, to God's holy will as revealed in the Scriptures, is for our own personal happiness and eternal welfare."
"A study of the Scriptures and of human history reveals that man's obedience to God's will has always brought man happiness, and disobedience has always brought unhappiness. For this reason we have in the Bible an emphasis on obedience. God said, "The things I command you, observe to do."
(Deuteronomy 12:32). Again, "If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land."
"Christ himself set the example of obedience to the Father's will. "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him."
(Hebrews 5:8,9). Christ said, "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."
(John 6: 38). Again Christ said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven".
"The inspired Apostle John said, "He that doeth the will of God abideth forever".
(I John 2:17). Man must come to know God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent".
(John 17:3). Eternal life thus depends on our knowing God. But how do we know that we know God? "Hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments".
(I John 2:3). We cannot claim scripturally to know God, if we refuse to keep his commandments. Obedience shows we know God. Do you keep God's commandments?
"Man needs friendship with God and his Son. Jesus said, "Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you".
"Obedience is an expression of our friendship with Jesus. What a marvelous friend we have in him! Every human being needs this close friendship with our blessed Lord. Obedience shows our friendship."
"Faith in Jesus Christ as God's Son is essential to our salvation from sin. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved".
(Acts 16:31). But our faith is not a saving faith unless it expresses itself in obedience to God's will. The inspired James said, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also".
(James 2:26). Saving faith expresses itself in obedience to God's will. Certainly we know that love for God on our part is indispensable. But love expresses itself in obedience. "If you love me, keep my commandments", said Jesus in
(John 14: 15). Vocal claims of love for God and His Son are empty sounds unless they come from the hearts of faith, finding expression in willing, loving obedience to God's will. Faithful obedience to God shows we love God."6
An article by James L. Morrisson
The Importance of Obedience
"I believe the key to obedience is submission to God. What matters is, not external adherence to specific rules, but a heart that is submitted to God. If our heart is submitted to God, then we will obey his specific requirements. But it is the heart attitude that is crucial."
"Jesus, as I have already noted, was perfect in his obedience to God. If we desire to imitate Jesus, then we need to obey God. The Father and the Son have told us how we should live. If we want to imitate them, if we want to become like them in character, then we will live as they have told us to live. If we want to live the new life that God has promised us, we must be obedient to all that God has told us to do."
"We are to be imitators of Christ, be like Christ, have the mind of Christ. We are to fix our eyes on Christ, fix our minds on things above. We are to live by the Holy Spirit, be led and controlled by the Holy Spirit. This means, I believe, that we need to be listening all the time to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, and to follow whatever guidance he gives us."
"As I see it New Testament obedience is not so much a matter of adhering to specific rules and regulations as it is a matter of attitude, of desiring to please God, to be like Jesus Christ, to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Where there are specific rules we follow them as the clearest evidence of what God would have us do. But in all things we need to have an attitude of submission to his will."
"This, then, is our primary motive for obedience- the love of God and the desire to please the one we love. The greatest joy that can come to a Christian is to have his Lord say
"Well done, good and faithful servant!"
(Matthew 25:21, 23)
"He said that when the storms come (when difficulties come), "everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice" will remain standing, while "everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice" will fall with a great crash."
"He wrote the church at Sardis, "Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent."
Revelation speaks of "patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus."
"Paul defined his ministry as that of calling "people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith."
(Romans 1:5; see also Romans 15:18, 16:26).
"Peter tells believers that they have been "chosen according to the foreknowledge of God... for obedience to Jesus Christ."7
(1 Peter 1:2).
An Article by Rev. Fr. Ezra
What is obedience and what does it mean?
"Obedience to God is guiding and submitting our conduct to God's standards, rather then our own. We study the nature of obedience in the hope that it will help us avoid the failures and repeat the victories of the people of God in the past."
"Abraham's binding of his son Isaac in Genesis 22 serves as a good model of obedience for several reasons. First, Abraham occupies a prominent place in the Bible's story of salvation, functioning as something of a prototype for all believers in God."
(see Galatians 3:6-9; John 8:39-40).
"Second, the story illustrates the intimate connection between "trust and obedience", between "faith and works."
"Finally, the New Testament presents this story as an example to Christians."
(Hebrews 11:17-19; James 2:21-24)
"What, then, is the nature of obedience? First, human obedience must always be to the revealed will of God. We can obey only what we've understood to be God's communication to us."
"God made His intentions known to Abraham with a command in
Genesis 22:2 "Take your only son, Isaac, the son you love, and go to the land of Moriah. Kill him there and offer his as a whole burnt offering....." Abraham, unaware that this command was a "test," might have legitimately questioned its rationality and uprightness: why sacrifice the very child he received through God's promise?
(Genesis 21:1-7) But in the end, these possible questions, which stood outside the realm of his own understanding, did not deter him from obeying."
"Abraham is commended because he humbly submitted to what he held to be the word of God. The rest of the Bible also makes it clear that obedience is recognizing God's revealed word and yielding our minds and wills to it."
"Second, human obedience is possible only in the context of a faith-relationship with God. We can obey only when we savingly know and trust the One that we are obeying."
"The test of Abraham�s obedience at Moriah was really a test of his "faith."
"After he obeyed, the angel of the Lord said, "Now I can see that you trust God."
"The book of Hebrews shows how Abraham's faith made his obedience possible: Abraham was ready to offer Isaac because he believed that God could raise the dead."
(Genesis 11:19). "If this trust in God were absence, it is not difficult to imagine Abraham failing to obey. But, as it turned out, "Abraham's faith and the things he did worked together"
(James 2:22). "The rest of the Bible confirms that faith in God must be firmly in place before true obedience can come about."
"Obedience is not the means of securing God's favor: it is the grateful response to His favor, which is seen and received by believing in Him."
(Romans 1:5; Acts 6:7).
"Prior to having the desire and power to obey, which is granted only by God
(Ezekiel 11:19-20; Phillippians 2:13), the Christian must first trust Jesus Christ and posses His empowering Holy Spirit."
(John 14:15-17; John 15:5; Acts 5:31-32;
Romans 15:18-19; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 3:23-24).
"Third, human obedience is honored and blessed by God. We understand the meaning of our obedience better when we know what it means to God. God responds to Abraham's obedience at Moriah by reaffirming his promise, "I will surely bless you...Through your descendants all nations on the earth will be blessed, because you obeyed ME."
(Genesis 22:17-18). "These words express God's delight in obedience, His desire to reward obedience, and his plan to use these rewards to bring humankind closer to HIM."
"...there is a LOT in this that should bring you joy and help you understand what we all should do and be ready for. This shows that sometimes we all have to make what appears to be a sacrifice to us, but in the end that sacrifice becomes a blessing that we could have never dreamed of having at all."8
"We must understand that there are spiritual laws that are just as real as physical laws. The Christian life begins with obedience to God."10
"Obedience to God unites us to Him in a continuing communion. When we submit and unite our will with His will, we place ourselves and the power of our soul at His service. Obedience is charity in action. Obedience leads to profound peace. The obedient soul knows how God is pleased and lives quite content and happy under His loving care. When God is our pilot, he arranges everything with love for the greater good of us. Why should we worry?"
"Obedience has three degrees:
1. The obedient person observes the commandments of God and of the church,
2. his life is an example of Jesus, and, progressing even more,
3. he submits his own will, conforming it to the will of God."
"Lord, to my nature, "Obedience" is very hard. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. May the most holy, most just, and most loving will of God be obeyed, praised and exalted eternally, in all things. Help me to know what would please you today. Speak, I am listening. Yes, I will submit my will, heart and judgement without hesitation. Accept my service. I ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus the Lord. Amen."9
I hope you have enjoyed reading and studying my article on obedience to God. It is an awesome study and I have gotten a blessing out of writing it and putting it all together. All issues of life come from the heart- the intentions of the human heart. Since I am an evangelist I like to write articles that unbelievers will read in the hopes of winning each one to Christ. However, once in awhile, I write an article like this to help or encourage other Christian believers.
Well, let's recap some of the things that we have learned from this article:
Human obedience is honored and blessed by God
There is disobedience and rebellion against God
Disobedience has its start in Satan
Obedience to God is good for our own personal happiness and eternal welfare
Biblical thinking leads to obedience to Christ
The Bible contains the rules God wants us to obey
Obedience has three degrees
sacrifice can become a blessing
One must submit his own will, conforming it to the will of God
One must have the love of God and the desire to please the one we love
We express our love to God through Obedience
One must not follow toxic obedience
We learned Training in Obedience, the Importance of Obedience, and the fact that Obedience shows we know God
We learned about Scriptural Obedience and the fact that obedience is not always convenient
We learned that God is helping you and I with our obedience to Him
We have studied obedience to God from a holiness perspective
We have learned to imitate Jesus
We have learned that a Christian must have love for others
We have learned that it is the heart attitude that is crucial
We have learned that Jesus Christ alone is worthy of your obedience and that this obedience comes from faith
We have learned that you and I can choose to obey God and receive his approval
We have learned that Joseph, the step father of Jesus, obeyed the will of God
We have learned that Abraham obeyed when God called him
We have learned that biblical thinking leads to obedience to Christ
We have learned about our demonstrations of love and trust for Him through our obedience
We have learned that obedience is for our own personal happiness and eternal welfare
We have learned that man needs friendship with God and his Son, especially when the storms come
We have learned that our obedience is an expression of our friendship with Jesus
We have learned that we must be obedient to all that God has told us to do
We have learned that God will reward our obedience to Him
We have learned to be imitators of Christ, to be like Christ, and to have the mind of Christ
We have learned to fix our eyes on Christ and to fix our minds on things above
We have learned to guide and submit our conduct to Gods standards rather than our own
We have learned that human obedience is possible only in the context of a faith-relationship with God
We have learned that we can obey only when we savingly know and trust the One that we are obeying
We have learned that God is our pilot and that He arranges everything with love for the greater good of us
I think that when I do this it is more as a missionary adventure for me rather than a pastoral adventure because I know that I am reaching out to overseas Christian believers via the worldwide web who are looking for biblical truth and information and for material that will help them grow deeper in the Lord-
material that each one can use to help others with. For pastors there is info here for sermons and material that you can win souls with. However, I realize that there is a missions field around each one of us here in the United States and that it is necessary to bloom where one is planted. And, besides that, a lot of our young people need to be properly discipled and a web page like this with all of this information can help do the job. I give the glory to the good Lord.
I thank each contributor for the above article. Each one appears to love Jesus Christ and is concerned about helping others and the Lord will reward you for your efforts and for your kindness. I have quoted your work and given the web address at the bottom of this page.
I have tried to physically make the web page colorful as well as attractive and easy to read and use. I think of each web page as a creation of artwork and I enjoy creating each one.
On the Firing Line,
Kraig J. Rice
1About one week after I was converted to Christ in 1967 several of us from the Bible study group were discussing a shocking incident. We had just read about it in the newspaper. The article stated that a night club owner had just allowed some women to dance naked before a live audience in his establishment. I made the remark to the rest of the group,
"Someone ought to write him a letter of protest."
No sooner had the words left my mouth when God spoke to my mind by placing a thought there which I did not think. God said to me,
"Write a letter."
It was the first time God had ever spoken to me and I knew He was testing my obedience, so I wrote a letter of protest to the owner of the night club, had everyone in the Bible study group sign it, and mailed it off. I never received any response in return and do not know if the letter ever accomplished any good or not. But, at least, I felt I had passed my first obedience test from the Lord.
3AI Corinthians 14:33; Matthew 10:16; James 4:7
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Links to Articles Dealing with Obedience
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