Disobedience? Compliance? Obedience? Grace?
Do we know what disobedience is these days? Isn’t it choosing to do our own will instead of the will of God? What does scripture tell us about disobedience?
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
John 8:34-36 NLT
John 14:15 ESV
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Luke 6:46 ESV
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
Compliance is what the Pharisees were doing. They were stopping at outward compliance with the letter of the law, but they were not changed on the inside. They were doing it either out of obligation, in order to receive honor amongst men, or seeking reward for themselves. They did not love the Lord, nor were they seeking Him to receive honor and glory – it was outward, empty practice. They were hypocrites whose lives were a lie, rung to hide their cold, dark, hardened hearts.
“The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’
Matthew 23:2-7 NLT
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel! “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Matthew 23:23-28 NLT
Proverbs 21:2 ESV
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
True obedience starts in the heart, because it is not hidden rebellion, but it is loyalty to the commands and directions of one in a position of authority.
Jeremiah 7:23 ESV
But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’
1 Peter 1:14 ESV
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance
1 John 5:3 ESV
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
John 14:31 ESV
But I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
1 John 3:24 ESV
Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
The free and unmerited favor and love of God, as demonstrated on the cross by the sacrifice of God’s only Son as a payment – to bring salvation to sinners who were already condemned to death, so that through their belief, they might know repentance and reconciliation to a restored relationship with their creator God and life eternal.
Romans 5:8 ESV
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Romans 6:14 ESV
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
James 4:6 ESV
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Romans 3:20-24 ESV
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
Let’s just be sure that we do not hear of grace and forget about disobedience, compliance, and obedience – for Christ did not come to do away with the law, He came to fulfill it, and He asks us to follow Him – not in disobedience, not in compliance, but in faith which results in obedience.
If you say you have faith, but are not obedient, if you have no fruit, if you have no good works, if you have no love for your neighbors, what fruit of nourishment or leaves of healing does your tree have to offer the lost of this world? What testimony does your life offer as a living sacrifice to the Lord you say you love?
I do not say this to crush you, friend. I do not say this to lead you to guilt or shame, but that through the Word of God, you might seek the same, continual and ongoing conviction, discipline, change and growth of a life tapped into the vine of life.
God bless you dear friend.
I encourage you to open your eyes to the seasons of growth. See the purpose of light of grace being shined on your disobedience and compliance (sin) – so that through faith in Christ, demonstrated during our fiery trials, that sin can be cast out and replaced with obedience. This is repentance, a life turned to Christ.
When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
Luke 3:7-9 NLT