Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bible Study: The School of Obedient: WEEK #1 PART II


 








What is Obedience?

Key Passage:  Leviticus 19:2: Supporting Scriptures: Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Exodus 20:1-17; John 17:6-19; I John 2:3; II Corinthians 10:5-6

Obeying or willing to obey; complying with or submissive to authority:
What is Obedience? A willful submission to authority;

What does willful mean?  The desire to perform an act;

What kind of attitude does God want from us in regards to obedience?  When we’re obeying God’s Word, we do it out of desire to please God. Therefore our attitude is to be positive!

I   Biblical Obedience: Examples of Obedience:  Read
Genesis 6:22-Noah
Genesis 12:4-Abraham
Exodus 36:1-Bezaleel
Number 9:23-Moses
Joshua 11:15-Joshua
2 Kings 18:6 Hezekiah
Luke 2:39-Joseph and Mary
Acts 26:19-Apostle Paul
Hebrews 5:8-Christ

II   Christ’ Words concerning Obedient:
A).       The Base Rock of Character: Matthew 7:24

B).       Essential to membership in God’s family: Matthew 12:50

C).       The Key to Spiritual Knowledge: John 7:17

D).       Sources the Blessing of divine fellowship: John 14:23

"Why is obedience important to God?"

Obedience to God proves our love for Him (1 John 5:2-3), demonstrates our faithfulness to Him (1 John 2:3-6), glorifies Him in the world (1 Peter 2:12), and opens avenues of blessing for us (John 13:17).

Faith is necessary to please God (
Hebrews 11:6), and if our faith is genuine and true, we will live a lifestyle characterized by righteousness, modeling the example set for us by Jesus Christ. We obey His commands, not because we have to, but because we want to, because we love Him. We are enabled to obey because, once we believe in Christ and are saved, we are remade. We are not the same people we once were. As Paul wrote in (2 Corinthians 5:17), “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

When we obey the Lord, we can live a life of joy, without shame, rooted deeply in the Lord and confident in our eternal hope. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (
2 Corinthians 3:17). Our obedience is actually part of our assurance that we truly know God (1 John 2:3).

When God’s children obey their Heavenly Father, He is glorified. Jesus told us that the plan is for others to “see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (
Matthew 5:16). Of course, performing “good deeds” requires obedience to the One who calls us to good deeds. A Christian’s testimony of holiness is a strong witness that God is at work in the world.

“Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him” (
Psalm 128:1). The Bible often tells us that God blesses and rewards obedience. James 1:22-25 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. . . . Whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” See also Psalm 119:1-2.

God is gracious. If we haven’t been living for Him, if we haven’t been following His commandments, if we’ve been living in and for the world, we can be transformed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We can ask God for forgiveness, and He will give it. And He will choose to forget the sin, just as if we had never committed it in the first place. God is glorified when He extends forgiveness, because it is written, “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. . . . Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (
Hebrews 10:16-17).

"What does the Bible say about obedience?"
The Bible has much to say about obedience. In fact, obedience is an essential part of the Christian faith. Jesus Himself was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). For Christians, the act of taking up our cross and following Christ (Matthew 16:24) means obedience. The Bible says that we show our love for Jesus by obeying Him in all things: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). A Christian who is not obeying Christ’s commands can rightly be asked, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).

Obedience is defined as “dutiful or submissive compliance to the commands of one in authority.” Using this definition, we see the elements of 
biblical obedience. “Dutiful” means it is our obligation to obey God, just as Jesus fulfilled His duty to the Father by dying on the cross for our sin. “Submissive” indicates that we yield our wills to God’s. “Commands” speaks of the Scriptures in which God has clearly delineated His instructions. The “one in authority” is God Himself, whose authority is total and unequivocal. For the Christian, obedience means complying with everything God has commanded. It is our duty to do so.

Having said that, it is important to remember that our obedience to God is not solely a matter of duty. We obey Him because we love Him (
John 14:23). Also, we understand that the spirit of obedience is as important as the act of obedience. We serve the Lord in humility, singleness of heart, and love.

Also, we must beware of using a veneer of obedience to mask a sinful heart. Living the Christian life is not all about rules. The Pharisees in Jesus’ time relentlessly pursued acts of obedience to the Law, but they became self-righteous, believing they deserved heaven because of what they had done. They considered themselves worthy before God, who owed them a reward; however, the Bible tells us that, without Christ, even our best, most righteous works are as “filthy rags” (
Isaiah 64:6). The Pharisees’ external obedience still lacked something, and Jesus exposed their heart attitude. Their hypocrisy in obeying the “letter of the law” while violating its spirit characterized their lives, and Jesus rebuked them sharply: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also appear righteous to men outwardly, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27–28). The Pharisees were obedient in some respects, but they “neglected the weightier matters of the law” (Matthew 23:23).

Today, we are not called to obey the Law of Moses. That has been fulfilled in Christ (
Matthew 5:17). We are to obey the “law of Christ,” which is a law of love (Galatians 6:2; John 13:34). Jesus stated the greatest commands of all: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36–40).

If we love God, we will obey Him. We won’t be perfect in our obedience, but our desire is to submit to the Lord and display good works. When we love God and obey Him, we naturally have love for one another. Obedience to God’s commands will make us 
light and salt in a dark and tasteless world (Matthew 5:13–16).

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible has a lot to say about obedience. In the story of the Ten Commandments, we see how important the concept of obedience is to God. Deuteronomy 11:26–28 sums it up like this: "Obey and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be cursed."
In the New Testament, we learn through the example of Jesus Christ that believers are called to a life of obedience.

What is the Biblical Definition of Obedience?
The general concept of obedience both in the Old and New Testament relates to hearing or hearkening to a higher authority. One of the Greek terms for obedience conveys the idea of positioning oneself under someone by submitting to their authority and command. Another Greek word for obey in the New Testament means "to trust."
According to Holman's Illustrated Bible Dictionary a succinct definition of biblical obedience is "to hear God's Word and act accordingly."

Eerdman's Bible Dictionary says, "True 'hearing,' or obedience, involves the physical hearing that inspires the hearer, and a belief or trust that in turn motivates the hearer to act in accordance with the speaker's desires." So, biblical obedience means, simply, to hear, trust, submit and surrender to God and obey his Word.

PART II 

What is Obedience?

Key Passage:  Leviticus 19:2: Supporting Scriptures: Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Exodus 20:1-17; John 17:6-19; I John 2:3; II Corinthians 10:5-6

Jesus Calls us to Obedience:
In Jesus Christ we find the perfect model of obedience. As his disciples, we follow Christ's example as well as his commands. Our motivation for obedience is love:

John 14:15:      “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” 

Obedience is an Act of Worship
While the Bible places strong emphasis on obedience, it's important to remember that believers are not justified (made righteous) by our obedience. Salvation is a free gift of God, and we can do nothing to merit it.
True Christian obedience flows from a heart of gratitude for the grace we have received from the Lord:
Romans 12:1
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

God Rewards Obedience:
Over and over again we read in the Bible that God blesses and rewards obedience:
Genesis 22:18
"And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me." (NLT)
Exodus 19:5
Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me.(NLT)
Luke 11:28
Jesus replied, "But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice." (NLT)
James 1:22–25
But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (NLT)

Obedience to God Proves Our Love:
1 John 5:2–3
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.: 
2 John 6
“And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” (ESV)

Obedience to God Demonstrates Our Faith
1 John 2:3–6
“And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” (NLT)
Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice:
1 Samuel 15:22–23
“But Samuel replied, "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king."(NLT)

Reflect on the following two examples:

Naaman the Syrian and His Leprosy:
Naaman's story in the Old Testament suggests that obeying in little things can be a stumbling block, even if someone is obedient in big things. Naaman was a great man in Syria, but he was also a leper. A servant to Naaman's wife told him of a prophet in Samaria that could heal him of his leprosy. Naaman appealed to the king of Syria, who appealed to the king of Israel, to have Naaman healed. When the prophet Elisha heard of it, he proposed that Naaman should come to him and he would heal him. When Naaman and his entourage reached Elisha's home. Elisha sent a servant out to Naaman with instructions to wash seven times in the Jordan River. Insulted that Elisha did not meet with Naaman, himself, Naaman went off in a rage. However, his servants reasoned with him: ... My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Naaman had gone to a great deal of trouble already. It is likely that he had spent much of his life doing great things. He was not happy about Elisha's cure being so simple. Luckily, his servants prevailed and Naaman obeyed Elisha's instructions and was healed. He even went back to express his gratitude to Elisha.

Moses and the Brazen Serpent Solution to Snake Bite:
The story of the brazen serpent that Moses constructed in order to heal people from poisonous snake bites also illustrates that little things can be overlooked or dismissed too easily.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
The Old Testament ends the story here.  ... and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.

Obedience to our Heavenly Father and all His commandments is important for anyone that professes to believe in Him.

Ask Yourself Why You Obey:

Why do you obey the Heavenly Father's commandments? Usually, it is one of these reasons:

You fear punishment.
You know you should.
You want a reward or blessing.
You want to demonstrate your faith in Father.
You want to demonstrate your love for Father.

Where do your answers fit? Obeying because you fear punishment is better than nothing, but is not the best reason to obey. Knowing you should obey is proof you are convinced of the principle, but it suggests you are not obeying for the right reasons.

Only the last two are good reasons to obey, because you exercise your faith and love in Father.
Jesus Christ told us that the first and great commandment is to love Heavenly Father. People that truly love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ obey all the commandments. We demonstrate our love through obedience.

Ask Yourself Why You Do Not Obey:
So, what keeps you from obeying Heavenly Father's commandments? Your answer likely fits into one or more of the following. You do not want to. It is too hard. It takes too much time and trouble. You are not convinced you should. You did not know it is a commandment.
The first three answers condemn you as a hypocrite, because you know what you should do, but you simply do not do it. The last two suggest you are slothful. It is your responsibility to be convinced of the commandment by practicing it. Knowledge comes after your faith has been tried, not before. Not knowing something is a commandment is simply a commentary on your negligence in learning the gospel, unless you are a recent convert. If you are a convert, it is still your responsibility to sleuth out all the commandments and attempt to live them as soon as you find them.

Informed Obedience is Different than Blind Obedience:
Father knows everything. In comparison, we know almost nothing about anything. We can trust Him to guide us properly. He has promised we will not stray, if we choose to follow Him. We exercise faith by accepting and trusting in His superior knowledge. We will eventually discover the reasons for all the commandments and be convinced of their truthfulness. However, it will happen little bit by little bit. We simply do not know when, so again we must trust in God’s superior knowledge and skills. Informed obedience will foster confidence; because we know we are doing the rights things, we just do not fully appreciate why yet. Obedience shows that we love and trust in God the Father. Disobedience suggests otherwise. Following something other than an omniscient being results in the blind leading the blind!

When We Are Told to Obey There is a Way!
When our Father commands us to do something, He always provides a way for us to do it.
... I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. If our Father has commanded us to do something, there is a way to obey Him. He will help us find it. We have to actively search. It may not be easy, but it will be possible. Adam and Eve were commanded to offer sacrifices to God the Creator. When an angel asked Adam why he sacrificed, Adam responded by saying he did not know. He was commanded to, so he did it. Adam's obedience to a commandment he did not initially understand, but was faithful in keeping, resulted in blessings and finally the reason for the commandment.

How Should Knowing All of this Change My Life?
You should be able to articulate why you obey, or why you do not. You should change, if you need to. You should understand why you should obey, regardless of whether you know the reason for the commandment. You should feel confident that the Heavenly Father will assist you in obeying commandments.
Week # 1
Weekly Obedient Question:              Does the verse that Jesus “learned obedience” sound strange to you? Why?
Weekly Application Question:         How is obedience to God real freedom to you?
Obedience Bible Quiz:           True or False  Week # 1
1. If we love the Lord we will obey His Word.
2. Christians are to obey the Word of God.
3. People were amazed that unclean spirits had to obey Jesus.
Prayer:
Father, thank You for working within us and giving us an obedient heart.  We are grateful for the way You took pain away and restored wholeness to our life. We have found love within the community of faith. Thank You for helping us do what You want us to do towards one another. In everything we do, we purpose to stay away from complaining and arguing. We will live a clean life as a child of God in this dark world. May our life shine out among the inhabitants of this world like a beacon light as we hold out to them the same Word of life You used to heal our broken hearts.  In the name of Jesus, AMEN.

Memory Verse: Matthew 26:39
Going a little farther, He threw Himself down with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Weekly Reading Assignments:           Week # 1         Romans 1-7

Prayer Time

Prayer Time
Praying for Peace