A few years ago, Frank Sinatra recorded a song, which became extremely popular. The song was entitled, “I Did It My Way.”  This expressed a predominant attitude in society today. It is often expressed as “doing your own thing.”

F LaGard Smith in one of his books tells how he would begin his first class with first-year law students. He asked them if there are any absolutes in life? Most of them answer no. On one occasion he asked a Jewish girl what she thought about the Holocaust. Was it immorally wrong? She answered that given the circumstances and she had been living at that time she would not have opposed it.

In other words, what these and other students are saying is truth is relevant, there is no such thing as absolute truth. This is not anything new. It seems Pilate must have thought the same when he asked Jesus, “What is truth?” John 18:38.

Jesus said one time, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. Thus, Jesus declares there is absolute truth. Furthermore, only truth can set us free, John 1:17 / John 14:6.

Not only is there absolute truth but we must be willing to obey any truth that applies to us, 2 Corinthians 10:5. Even Jesus Himself had to be obedient to God, Hebrews 5:8-9.

With many today absolute truth may be difficult to accept. Yet God is absolute and so are His truths. Truth is irreversible. You can deny truth but eventually, we are brought to the realization that there is absolute truth. The great question for us then is, what is my responsibility to truth?

It Involves Obedience To The Complete Will Of God

‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.’ Matthew 7:21

There are many things men are willing to say, ‘Lord, Lord’ to, but there are some things they feel they can reject if they do not like them or if they do not fit into their lifestyle. A present-day example of this is the practice of living together unmarried.

There are certain things that God cannot do. He cannot go against His moral nature; therefore, He cannot compromise His law, 1 John 1:5-6.

The will of God is not an arbitrary thing. It is not a matter of choosing what we like and rejecting what we do not like. God is not going to change His will to suit us. If there is to be any change it will have to be on our part.

Obedience Involves The Undivided Will Of Man

‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.’ Matthew 6:24

Sometimes a speaker will rise before a crowd and say, “Please give me your undivided attention.” He knows if you are trying to listen to him while you are doing something else, you will not get much out of what he has to say.

In the same way, God wants our undivided allegiance. It is impossible to serve God and money with the same intensity. One will win over the other.

The word ‘money’ or ‘mammon’ is a word that means riches. We live in a very materialistic society where we seek money and the things it will provide us with.

It is extremely easy to put things before God. It seems that one of our lifetime battles is trying to change God, trying in some subtle way to pull him down to our level of thinking. We want Him to think as we think and to do things on our terms.

But it still remains a fact that God demands that we put him first. He must have first place in our hearts, Matthew 6:33. There is no way we can change or compromise this fact. Jesus wants the full allegiance of our hearts, Matthew 6:21.

Obedience Involves No Substitutes

Human pride of man always assumes that he can do certain things better than God. We have the audacity to think we can do it better than God has done.

Thus, man is guilty of substituting his ways for God’s ways. God in His wisdom is so superior to our intelligence that there is really no comparison between the two, Proverbs 3:5 / Isaiah 55:9.

It is a foolish assumption that any man can substitute something in place of what God requires and get by with it. God would not require a single  thing if he did not mean it. It is also good to remember that whatever God requires of man is best for him. God’s laws are always for our welfare.

Do you remember the story in 1 Samuel 15 of Saul king of Israel being told to utterly destroy the Amalekites? Saul carried out God’s command except he spared Agag the king and the best of the sheep, oxen and lambs, 1 Samuel 15:9. When he returned Samuel confronted him. His excuse sounded rather good, he was saving them to sacrifice, 1 Samuel 15:15 / 1 Samuel 15:21.

Notice Samuel’s reply, ‘Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.’ 1 Samuel 15:22.

Obedience Involves A Good Conscience Toward God

‘This water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.’ 1 Peter 3:21

Obedience reflects an attitude toward God. It reflects an attitude toward His word. It shows honour and respect. It shows faith. It shows we do not hesitate for one moment to accept His will without question or argument.

We may not understand why one has to be immersed in water. But we do not question His command. We do it because He wants us to do it, Matthew 28:19-20 / Acts 2:38.

Obedience Involves Love

‘If you love me, keep my commands.’ John 14:15

No one can really claim they love God if they don’t do what He says. No one can really claim they love God if they aren’t obedient to Him and His teaching, John 14:23.

We don’t keep His commandments because we have to but because we want to and we want to because we love Him, 1 John 5:3.

Obedience Is Seriously Important

‘He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.’ 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

Paul reflects on the seriousness of obedience. This statement should cause us to reflect seriously on our obedience to God. It may well cost some their soul if they don’t obey the Gospel.


In this lesson on obedience have we eliminated the grace of God? Certainly not. What we do can never repay God for what he has done for us.

God’s grace in sending His Son into the world to die for us is too great that we could ever repay Him. At the same time, we have no right to take advantage of God’s grace, Romans 6:1-4.

We are supposed to be changed as a result of His grace. If we do not change and obey Him, we demonstrate that we do not respect or appreciate Him for His love, mercy, and grace. Our obedience will never be perfect. But thank God that His grace takes this into account.

Still as imperfect as we may be in our obedience we keep trying and trying to be like Jesus. Motivated by love we strive to obey every command. To do the contrary indicates a poor attitude on our part.

It is a sign we have truly little love and appreciation for what Jesus did for us on the cross, amazing grace. God’s grace demands obedience. It is not a cheap grace which we can trample on or take advantage of, Hebrews 10:29.

Have you been obedient to the Lord?

‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But 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.’ James 1:22-25