Lessons of Obedience (Part II of Obedience is Better)
Pastor Ramona Brown Message Notes
Feb. 10, 2019
Definition of Obedience in the Bible
The general concept of obedience both in the Old and New Testament relates to hearing or giving attention to a higher authority. One of the Greek terms for obedience conveys the idea of positioning oneself under by submitting to their authority and command. Another Greek word for obey in the New Testament means "to trust."
Lessons of obedience – from the Life of Saul
- Seek the Lord wholeheartedly is the first lesson of obedience – Saul did not continue to seek the Lord wholeheartedly after he became king.
- Aligning your will to the Lord’s will – so that what you do is God honoring and not pleasing yourself or other people. Saul choose to do things that what make him look good to the people and things to make him happy.
- Being a person of honesty and integrity by keeping your word – not manipulating a situation to do what you want and then saying it was what God told you to do. When he was trying to kill David he would lie and say he wasn’t trying to kill him and then after Jonathan told David to not come to the dinner Saul turned against Jonathan.
- Be faithful to your own assignment and do your best to respect those who are over you. He tried to do Samuel’s role by burning sacrifices because Samuel was delayed to come and do them at Gilgal in 1 Sam 13.
- Don’t allow pride to cause you to misuse the power delegated to you. He killed 70 plus priest trying to get David and misused his power as king 1 Samuel 22.
- Lead the way God wants you to lead 1 Peter 5:2 – 10 – Saul constantly made decision that hurt his army and those who followed him. He did not lead the way God told him to lead.
- Learn to acknowledge when you’ve sinned or made a mistake, and ask for forgiveness change your behavior and your way of doing things. Saul pride kept him from repenting and he eventually totally backslid and sought out a person who was a medium trying to speak with Samuel after Samuel died.
Lessons of obedience – from the life of Samuel
- Samuel learned early to respect, submit and follow those who were over him (parents & Eli)
- Samuel learned how to hear the voice of the Lord at an early age, and learn to listen for God to speak to him.
- Samuel was honest with Eli when he asked him what the Lord said, and it showed that he had allegiance to God and he had a relationship with God as priority.
- Even though Samuel was disappointed at the request of Isarel for a king (the elders told him he was too old and his sons (who were appointed judges) did not walk in his ways – he agreed to follow God instruction (even if it was not what he desired) and did not take offense because the people rejected his leadership.
- He was not jealous when Saul was chosen and loved and mentored him even though he knew that choosing a king was not what the people needed.
- When Samuel was told that God had rejected Saul because of his disobedience he warned Saul and when Saul continued to disobey he denounced him as king.
- Samuel was considered a great intercessor like Moses who God would answer his prayers in Jer. 15:1.
- Samuel understood the power in obedience that it was better to obey than to even follow a tradition or law. He understood that disobedience was rebellion and stubbornness was idolatry and never allowed himself to do these two things.
Samuel had a lot of responsibility – because of his obedience, he was a circuit judge that traveled cities to judge and dispense God law; He was a prophet that anointed Israel first two kings; he managed the army and its wars; he trained upcoming prophets; he developed legislation of religious systems and the civic life of the nation. Samuel died in his hometown Ramah and was mourned by the nation 1 Sam 25:1.
8 Reasons Why Obedience in Important to God
- Obedience is what God requires and Jesus is the model of obedience. As his disciples we must follow his example and it must be motivated out of love (John 14:15).
- Obedience is an act of worship – Salvation is free but true Christian obedience flows from the heart with gratitude (Roman 12:1).
- God rewards obedience James 1:22 – 25 says “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 & 2 John tells us that obedience to God demonstrates our love for God. 1 John 5:2-3; 2 John 6.
- Obedience to God demonstrates our faith in God - 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. (1 John 2:3–6, NLT)
- Obedience is better than sacrifice - The phrase "obedience is better than sacrifice," has often perplexed Christians. It can only be understood from an Old Testament perspective. The law required the Israelite people to offer sacrifices to God, but those sacrifices and offerings were never intended to take the place of obedience.
- Disobedience leads to sin and death - The disobedience of Adambrought sin and death into the world. This is the basis of the term "original sin." But Christ's perfect obedience restores fellowship with God for everyone who believes in him: 1 Cor. 15:22.
- Through obedience we experience the blessing of Holy living - Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God. (2 Corinthians 7:1, NLT)