I’m reading Andrew Murray’s excellent book, The Life of Obedience.  This rings true to me:

The one thing God asked of Adam in the Garden was obedience.  The one thing by which a creature can glorify God or enjoy His favor and blessing is obedience.  The single cause of the power of sin in the world and the ruin it has caused is disobedience.  From Adam we have inherited a tendency to willfulness, to selfishness, to disobedience.  The whole curse of sin on us is due to Adam’s disobedience, which we, of course, have also chosen.  By our own choice we become the “children of disobedience.”  Clearly, the one work for which we needed Christ was to remove this disobedience – its curse, its dominion, its evil nature, and all its workings.  Disobedience is the root of all sin and misery. The first objective of His salvation was to cut away the evil root and restore man to his original destiny – a life of obedience to God. (page 24).


This was taken from a chapter which begins by citing Rom. 5:19:  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  

Murray exclaims:  To the obedience of Christ we owe everything!    

I concur.    


3 thoughts on “Obedience

  1. Reblogged this on Desire Mercy and commented:
    In order to be free from the bondage of habitual sin – whether that be addiction to pornography or anything else – one must learn the significance of obedience. It’s the key that makes the difference between a life of defeat and the life of those who are “more than conquerors” (Rom. 8:37).

  2. I think what grates at me about the word “obedience” is that the people who use the word most and are the most excited about it seem to be people who expect to *be obeyed*, usually white male spiritual authority figures. Paradoxically, it is my zeal for obedience to God that causes me to refuse to settle for what I perceive to be oversimplifications of scripture that allow people to substitute ideology for discipleship. When I wrestle against the dominant paradigms, it’s not because I want to get away with doing something sinful. It’s because I want to really get what God is saying and I honestly believe that the point is more sublime and beautiful than the common interpretation has allowed it to be. I don’t just want to do God’s will begrudgingly as a sacrifice that I can show off to other people; I want to love doing God’s will and consider it his mercy to me whenever I am able to live within it. So that’s where I’m coming from anyhow. I’m glad this book is helpful to you. I will try to look into it when I get through my move so I can understand where the author is coming from better.

    • Morgan,

      Don’t you ever get tired of defending God’s word against mean white guys?

      I hope you can find a way to look at the world and not see a Westboro Baptist behind every rock when you hear people pointing people to obey God’s word.

      Yes, there are people who distort and misuse all sorts of things but that is a heart problem – a heart unwilling to submit and be obedient to the will of God. In my experience the people who chafe most at obedience (or holiness or accountability) are those who have trouble being obedient themselves and therefore they can’t in good conscious ask or lead anyone else to obedience. I’m not saying this is you, but even a cursory glance at the Scriptures makes it clear that obedience is the hallmark of a Christian.

      A few examples:

      The Bible begins and ends with calls to obedience (Gen. 3:11; Rev. 22:14).

      Our salvation was wrought because of the 2nd Adam’s obedience triumphing over the 1st Adam’s disobedience (Rom. 5:19).

      Jesus became obedience to the point of death (Phil. 2:8-9) and we are to have that same mind of Christ.

      Though Christ was a Son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered (Heb. 5:8-9). If a Son, how much more so do we need to learn this?

      By faith Abraham obeyed (Heb. 11:8; Gen. 26:3,5)

      IF you will obey my voice and keep My covenant, you shall be a special treasure to me above all people (Ex. 19:5)

      God has set before us life and death, and IF we obey the commands of God we will have life, IF not, a curse (Deut. 11:26-28).

      God said “Obey my voice, and I shall be your God, and you shall be my people” (Jer. 7:22-23)

      Those who enter the kingdom, Jesus said, are those who “do” (obey) the will of the Father (Matt. 7:21)

      Jesus said if anyone loves Me, you will keep (obey) my word, and my Father will love him and make His home in them. (John. 14:15-16, 21, 23). Jesus said that those who are his friends obey his commands.

      In Acts Peter declared it is better to obey God better than man (5:29). And they said that God has given the Holy Spirit to “those who obey Him.” (5:32)

      The Bible teaches that those who say they know Him, yet do not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:4).

      Jesus’ commission to us, which to our shame as Methodists we left this part out of our mission statement, is: Go and make disciples of all nations…, teaching them to OBEY all that I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28).

      And the beauty of obedience is that it brings true joy – for Christ, it brought everlasting joy, even when it meant going to the cross and suffering greatly. When we know we are obeying God’s commands rather than man’s ideas we can have great assurance, peace, joy and hope that this momentary affliction will not be in vain.

      Andrew Murray writes,

      “Sin made us believe that it was humiliating to be always seeking to know and do God’s will. Christ came to show us how noble, how blessed, how pleasing to God a life of obedience is….And so He died to show us that full obedience is a readiness to obey to the uttermost, even to die for God.

      May God make us all to love obedience and pursue it, not be grated by it.

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