“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Not only did God create the heavens and the earth, God also, “created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
Every person of the whole human race is loved mightily and tenderly by God our Creator. Whatever God has ever done for the human race, He has done out of genuine love, and with an intense desire to see man happy. In the Book, the Bible, our loving heavenly Father and Creator has revealed to the human race His divine will.
Everything God has ever said to us in His Holy Book has been said for our own good, and is conducive to our happiness here in this life, and in the life that is to come. Our obedience, therefore, to God’s holy will as revealed in the Bible, is for our own personal happiness and eternal welfare.
A study of the Bible and of human history reveals that man’s obedience to God’s will has always brought man happiness, and disobedience has always brought unhappiness. For this reason we have in the Bible an emphasis on obedience. God said, “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32). Again, “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19).
Christ himself set the example of obedience to the Father's will. “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:8-9). Christ said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Again Christ said, “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). The inspired Apostle John said, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).
Man must come to know God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3). We learn that eternal life depends on our knowing God. But how do we know that we know God? “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3). We cannot claim scripturally to know God, if we refuse to keep His commandments. Obedience shows we know God.
Man needs friendship with God and his Son. Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14). Obedience is an expression of our friendship with Jesus. What a marvelous friend we have in Him! Every human being needs this close friendship with our blessed Lord. Obedience shows our friendship. Faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son is essential to our salvation from sin. “So they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). But our faith is not a saving faith unless it expresses itself in obedience to God’s will. The inspired James said, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). Saving faith expresses itself in obedience to God’s will. Certainly we know that love for God on our part is indispensable. But love expresses itself in obedience. “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Vocal claims of love for God and His Son are empty sounds unless they come from the hearts of faith, finding expression in willing, loving obedience to God’s will and not our own will. Faithful obedience to God is what truly shows we love God. May God bless us richly in our obedience to His will.