Do Contemporary Christians Have to Obey God?

What do you think about this title?

Some of you answered it before you even clicked to read more.

Consider a few more questions.

Doesn’t biblical grace assure God’s people of His forgiveness? Yes! “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (click here to read the context of this verse).

Isn’t God’s love for His people steadfast regardless of their ability to keep His commands? Yes. God’s love is everlasting. As a matter of fact, He made the first move in this love affair.

If God’s forgiveness and love are guaranteed grace for us, then why do we have to worry about obeying Him?

It’s really quite simple.

He is God. I am not.

I am His child. He insists upon my obedience.

God’s love, grace, and forgiveness do not excuse His children from obeying His Word.

You need to know these 6 overarching Bible principles about obedience. They’re listed in their order of appearance in our Holy Scriptures.

  1. Obeying God’s voice is what’s best for your life. (1 Samuel 15:22) For “obedience is better than sacrifice.” There is no substitute for obedience.
  2. Obedience is a necessity for growing disciples. (Matthew 28:20) Jesus commissioned, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Jesus never shied away from using commandments.
  3. Obedience comes from a loving relationship. (John 14:15) Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
  4. Obedience to God’s Word, rightly divided, is our highest authority. (Acts 5:29) “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
  5. Obedience is the first life lesson we should learn. (Ephesians 6:1) “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
  6. Obedience to God is shown toward spiritual authority. (Hebrews 13:17) “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.”

Modern ministers of the Bible should rightly discern and convey the will of God. We’re actually commanded by Scripture.

As a student of the Bible, I find God’s Book is filled with principles and boundaries. These are designed for the protection and guidance of God’s people.

The question then becomes how do you respond to God’s clearly revealed will? Once you know it, you should obey it.

You can know the perfect will of God for your life and obey it with the help of the Holy Spirit. But the process begins with making sure you are following the general will of God as it is revealed in the Bible.

If memory serves me correctly, I picked up this handy BAGS acronym from the writing ministry of Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs. This handy four-point list has been included in our church membership covenant, and in every ministry description I’ve written for the last few years.

I’ll end this teaching session with the titled question.

Do contemporary Christians have to obey God?

Of course they do! Regardless of the times in which we live, God’s love, grace, and forgiveness do not excuse His children from obeying His Word.

5 thoughts on “Do Contemporary Christians Have to Obey God?

    • Great question. It absolutely could be written that way.

      If memory serves me correctly, Dr. Eggerich’s focus was on the phrasing “this is the will of God” (1 Thess. 4:3). My observation is that too many modern people are hindered from knowing God’s specific will for their lives because they ignore the general will of God. Once we are in line with His known will, His specific guidance becomes more apparent in matters such as choosing a vocation, place to live, spouse to marry… This area of sexual integrity does need to be often addressed in our disciple-making efforts.


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