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[to "listen to" what is said... and then to act accordingly]
People Obeying [Or Not Obeying] God / Jesus Christ
People Obeying [Or Not Obeying] People
Things Obeying Jesus
Things Obeying People
People Obeying Sinful Desires [& Application of a Basic Principle]
Obedience [Or Lack of Obedience] to the Message / the Way of God
Obedience [Or Lack Thereof] to Teaching / Instructions / Requests
"To Listen To" Someone
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Obedience/Submission Title Page
Romans 5:19 - Many will be made righteous because of his obedience.
Philippians 2:8 - He humbled himself and became obedient, to the extent that he was even willing to die on a cross!
Hebrews 5:8 - He learned obedience through what he suffered.
How important was obedience to Jesus? In what ways is he to be an example for you?
How important is/was his obedience to you (and to your future)?
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Hebrews 11:8 - By faith Abraham... obeyed God and went to a land he did not know anything about.
1 Peter 1:2 - God's elect [those who are truly saved] have been chosen ... for obedience to Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:14 - [More said about God's elect:] As obedient children, they must not conform to the evil desires they had when they lived in ignorance (i.e., before they knew the truth). Rather, they must be holy.
Hebrews 5:9 - Jesus is the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Romans 16:19 - Everyone has heard about your obedience to Jesus. (see v. 18)
Romans 15:18 - Christ worked through Paul, to lead the Gentiles to obey God.
Romans 16:26 - The gospel message (etc.) was revealed so that all nations would have the opportunity to believe and obey God.
Romans 1:5 - The purpose for which God gave us the apostles: so that they could call people out from among all the Gentiles so that they could have the obedience that comes from faith.
Romans 5:9 - Many people [the entire human race - all the offspring of Adam] were made sinners because of one man's [Adam's] disobedience. [Contrast with the second half of the verse, mentioned in Section 1, above.]
2 Corinthians 10:5-6 - How Paul planned to deal with the false perceptions (etc.) present among the Corinthians: use "spiritual weapons" (rather than the world's methods of fighting such things) to "capture" every thought and make it obedient to Christ. And then (after their obedience was completed) deal with those who were determined to remain disobedient. [Note: It may be that the majority of the Corinthians were not being disobedient, as much as not being actively obedient. (The absence of disobedience is not the same as the presence of obedience.) Or, it may be that they were disobedient, but that it was more out of ignorance, than out of a rejection of the truth. Perhaps their obedience needed simply to grow, so that a distinction could be made between those who were truly disobedient and those who were not.]
Do you consider holiness an obligation, or just one option among many that you could choose?
Do you obey Jesus? What does your answer reveal about you? [Note that a weak, but growing/increasing obedience is not the same as the absence of obedience. Note also that obedience is more than merely the absence of disobedience; it is active, rather than passive.]
How is the gospel message related to obedience? How did it affect the lives of those who received it?
How serious is disobedience? Why?
What are some of the contrasts between Adam's disobedience and Jesus' obedience (previous section)? [In 1 Corinthians 15:45+, the Bible describes Jesus as the "last Adam"!]
In what ways should our thinking be made obedient to Christ? What must be done about the way we think, if our thinking is distorted? (Also, how can we find out whether or not our thinking is distorted?)
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Acts 7:39 - Our forefathers refused to obey Moses. (Result: God turned away from them.)
1 Peter 3:6 - Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him her master. [The pattern for godly wives - the "daughters" of Sarah.]
Ephesians 6:1 - Children: obey your parents in the Lord. It is right to do this. [Also: A promise is attached to this command: an increased likelihood of having a long life.]
Colossians 3:20 - Children: obey your parents in everything. This pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 6:5 - Slaves: obey your earthly masters just as you would obey Christ, your "heavenly master": with respect, fear, and sincerity of heart.
Colossians 3:22 - Slaves: obey your earthly masters in everything.
In these passages, what reasons are given for obedience? Do any of these reasons apply to you? If so, how?
What are the "complementary" concepts given in these passages (most of them), which pertain to those who have positions of leadership? (This question is primarily for "balance" - so that there will be less tendency for someone to conclude that all the responsibility falls on the heads of those who are told to obey.)
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Mark 1:27 - Evil spirits obey him.
Matthew 8:27 - The winds and the waves obey him.
2 Corinthians 10:5 - Our thoughts need to be made obedient to Christ.
Inanimate things and evil things obey Jesus. What does this tell us about Jesus' worthiness of being obeyed? In what ways should this truth influence our views about Jesus and the way we relate to him?
How did the Corinthians have to make their thoughts obedient? [Example: What are some of the attitudes they had about various issues that Paul mentions in 1 and 2 Corinthians?] Are there some ways you need to make your thoughts obedient to Christ?
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Luke 17:6 - If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can tell this mulberry tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea. It will obey you!
What is the nature of this "faith"? Faith in what? and for what purpose? (For instance, is it for entertainment - to see trees moving from one location to another?) What is Jesus teaching us in this passage?
Is it mulberry trees that God is concerned about, in this passage? Are there things more important to trust God for, than moving trees around? Most - if not all - people will not really have a good reason for commanding trees to move around. After all, miracles were not intended to get people out of hard work (such as using a shovel to dig-up the tree) or to entertain people. So if you have no legitimate reason to command trees to move around, is there any principle in this passage that will still be applicable to you? [Remember that many of Jesus miracles were given as signs, to point to more important spiritual matters. And many of his teachings - especially the parables - used physical things to teach spiritual principles.]
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Romans 6:12 - Do not let sin be the ruler of your mortal body, so that you end up obeying its evil desires.
Romans 6:16 - [The principle stated:] When you give yourself to someone, to obey him as a slave, you are a slave to the one you have chosen to obey. [The application to this present topic:] You are either a slave to sin (this will lead to death), or to obedience (this will lead to righteousness).
How serious is it, when you choose to give-in to sin? If this is characteristic of your life, what does Scripture say about you? It may be good for you to seriously study this passage, if you find yourself characteristically living a life of sin. [Don't forget this: Sin includes not only the bad things we do, but also the good things we don't do. (James 4:17.) It also includes the doing of things that are of secondary importance, while at the same time neglecting things of primary importance. (Compare with Matthew 23:23-24.)]
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1. THE "FAITH"
Acts 6:7 - The message about God spread. In Jerusalem, many people were becoming disciples. Many priests became obedient to the faith.
[Romans 1:5 - ... obedience that comes from faith. (see Section 2, above)]
What is the relationship between faith and obedience? [Other verses in this study may also help in answering this question.]
Examine your life: Does this relationship between faith and obedience exist in you? What does your answer indicate (about your spiritual condition)?
1 Peter 1:22 - ... you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth ...
What is the relationship between purity and obedience? Read the context of this verse, to find out what else you can learn about these issues (and the effect they are to have in your life).
Examine your life: Does this relationship between purity and obedience exist in you? What does your answer indicate (about your spiritual condition)?
3. THE GOOD NEWS [= "GOSPEL"]
Romans 10:16 - Many of the Israelites did not accept/obey the good news.
2 Thessalonians 1:8 - God will punish those who do not know (acknowledge) God and are unwilling to obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.
What is the relationship between the "gospel" [good news] and obedience? The good news is free [it cost us nothing], but it is also priceless beyond comparison [it cost Jesus his life]. Salvation is free [it is a gift given by God]. But does that leave us free to sin... or to not sin? [Remember what the Word says about "slavery to sin" (examined in a previous section)?]
Again, examine your life, to see the extent to which this relationship is present in you. Are there any issues you must deal with... perhaps even at this very moment?
4. THE MESSAGE GIVEN BY MOSES VS. THE MESSAGE/SALVATION GIVEN BY JESUS
Hebrews 2:3 [examine the context] - (Moses' message) - given through angels - every act of disobedience was properly punished. [If this is so - and it is - then how much worse punishment do people deserve, who reject the message of Jesus himself!]
How great is the message of salvation? How serious is it to refuse/reject it? [You may want to include a comparison of Moses' message (which had a focus on external conduct) with Jesus' message (which focused on the heart). This is one of the themes of the book of Hebrews.]
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2 Thessalonians 3:14 - Concerning those who do not obey the instructions in 2 Thessalonians: Take note of who they are. Do not associate with them, so that they may feel ashamed [of their disobedience].
Romans 6:16-17 - [A principle stated:] When you give yourself to someone, to obey him as a slave, you are a slave to the one you have chosen to obey. [The application to what Paul was teaching:] You are either a slave to sin (this will lead to death), or to obedience (this will lead to righteousness). But thanks be to God! Once you were slaves to sin; but now you have wholeheartedly obeyed the teachings to which you were entrusted.
2 Corinthians 2:9 - I wrote you for this reason: to test you, to see if you would be obedient in everything. [Obedient in what? Refer to 1 Corinthians! (The immediate context suggests the things mentioned in 1 Cor. 5-6.)]
2 Corinthians 7:15 - Titus' affection goes out for you, all the more, as he remembers your obedience, and the way you received him with fear and trembling.
Philippians 2:12 - Dear friends, you have always obeyed, not only when I was present, but even more so when I was away. So, as you have done so in the past, continue to do so now: work out your salvation with fear and trembling. [Verse 13 - After all, it is God who is working in you, not only enabling you to obey, but also enabling you to have the desire to obey!]
Philemon 1:21 - I am confident that you will obey. So I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than what I have asked you to do.
Examine the obedience of these different people. What are the similarities/differences between these different examples? What principles can we learn from these examples - principles that show us how we ourselves should live?
How are you going to put into practice the principles you discovered (to whatever extent they apply to you)?
What is the relationship between your actions and God's work in your heart? (Don't expect to comprehend everything about such issues, especially in just a few verses! We have all our lives - including all eternity - to grow in our understanding of the ways God works in our lives!)
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Acts 12:13 - Peter knocked at the outer door. A servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door [i.e., to "obey" the knocking for the door to be opened]. (Note that when she saw Peter, she was so overjoyed that she momentarily forgot to "obey" the knocking!)
This verse describes a servant girl who was simply doing her job as a servant. It was not intended to be a "deep theological statement" about anything, so we do not need to "discover" some type of "super-spiritual principle" in the passage! However, maybe it would be a good time for us to reflect on our own willingness to do the things we know we should be doing. After all, if we are genuine Christians, aren't we God's servants?
Sometimes unexpected blessings occur as we are simply doing what we know we're supposed to be doing! (You do not need to pursue this type of blessing. God gives it without warning; we need only to be willing to see - to not be ignorant and blind about the way God works in our lives.) Can you think of any instances in which this has happened to you, or to someone else you know?
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Dennis Hinks © 1990, 1999