Obedience to God is certainly important in the life of a Christian, but there’s a difference between obedience under the law and obedience by faith. Under the old covenant, obedience was required under threat of death, regardless of the state of people’s hearts. Under the present covenant of grace we obey, not because it is commanded of us, but because our thankfulness for what Jesus has done makes us want to obey.
The Law of Moses was based strictly on the people’s performance: they had to do good to get good. If, and only if, they were willing and obedient, would they eat the good of the land. In order to be set above all other nations and receive blessings, they had to obey, first; if not, they would be cursed. The people tried very hard to comply, but they always fell short on some detail.
The law was just too perfect for people to keep. God made it obsolete and established a new covenant. He sent His Son to demonstrate the perfect example of obedience, which went as far as dying on a cross to permanently cleanse us from all the sins we would ever commit. Jesus removed all the curses of the law, but left all the blessings.
When we meditate on the significance of what Jesus did for us, it’s hard not to want to obey. When we contemplate on the freedoms that He gives us, our grateful hearts can’t help but thank Him. Obedience to Christ liberates us from the burdensome yoke of religious requirements and lightens our load. We find true peace and rest in Him, because our obedience isn’t based on what we do, but on what He already did.
Lord, because of Your love for us, You sent Your Son to show us grace and enable us to truly obey You from our hearts. Because of Him, we now can do what we were unable to do before. In Jesus’ name, thank you. Amen.
- Isaiah 1:19
- Deuteronomy 28:1-68
- Hebrews 7:18, 19
- Hebrews 8:13
- Galatians 3:13
- Matthew 11:28-30
- Hebrews 4:9, 10