Obedience. John 15:10

Posted on February 23, 2012 by

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“If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love.”

Obedience is a tough subject to blog about since it is very easy to fall off of the truth of the Gospel in two different ways.  First, we wrongly think that our salvation is dependent on our perfect obedience so we are crushed when we fail and wonder if our standing with God is in jeopardy.  But secondly, we can have success in obedience which can end in self-righteousness and pride.  The Pharisees did a pretty good job in obeying the commands of Moses, but look at how completely they missed Jesus when He lived among them!

Self-righteousness or despair- which one do you want to characterize you?  Neither, right?  So how do we understand obedience correctly and walk in line with the Gospel? Three thoughts.

  1. Jesus is our model in obedience. He showed us what true obedience is and we see what a life fully devoted to His Father looks like.  Jesus had an unbelievably full and difficult life, with moments of great joy and sadness, laughter, pain and loneliness. 2000 years later, He is still the central figure of human history, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and our example of what a yielded life looks like.  But be careful here.  Often times we look at Jesus’ perfect obedience and think that we must make Him our example.  After all, what would Jesus do?  But look at Mark 10, when the disciples were fighting over being the greatest and sitting at His right and left in Glory.  As Tim Keller said at the YL Celebration, when the disciples only had Jesus as their example, they were real jerks!
  2. Jesus was perfectly obedient to His Father on our behalf!  Jesus left Heaven and came to earth at His Father’s command.  He suffered and died at the hands of sinful men because the Father asked Him to do so.  Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, saying, “Please let this cup (of the Father’s wrath) pass from me.”  But in perhaps the most important submission in history, Jesus said to the Father, “Not my will, but yours be done.”  Jesus perfect obedience accomplished our salvation, since He paid our debt while on the Cross.  He actually absorbed God’s righteous wrath into Himself on the Cross, and our debt was paid!
  3. Jesus lives in us to help us obey!  Before his departure, Jesus told the disciples that when He was gone he would send His Spirit to live in us.  The Apostle Paul tells us that the Spirit intercedes for us before His Father.  Jesus knows what it means to be tempted and to suffer, but only He was fully obedient to His Father.  In Hebrews it says, “Because He suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.”  Jesus, by His Spirit, lives in us and helps us to be obedient to our Father’s perfect will for us.  When we are successful in obedience, we can thank the Lord Jesus for His power within us to obey.  When we fail, we can know that His obedient death purchased for us forgiveness and grace upon grace.

Because Jesus was obedient on our behalf, we can know that when our Father looks at us, he sees a perfect son our daughter, because He sees Jesus living within us!

“God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  2 Cor 5:21

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