On Obedience… A Case In Point

Consider language like the following: “Your obedience means nothing because it accomplishes nothing.” Now, if this is aimed at unbelievers, those who have not been born from above, those who have not been saved by the finished work of Christ, then it is 100% spot on. However, if it is aimed at Christians, or if it is stated in an ambiguous manner that doesn’t distinguish between the quickened and the unquickened, then it is exceedingly dangerous. Why? Because it flies in the face of clear Scripture concerning the brethren. Consider, for instance,
 
Romans 6:15-19 “What then? shall we sin [i.e. transgress the law, practice lawlessness], because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to OBEY, his servants ye are to whom ye OBEY; whether of sin unto death, or of OBEDIENCE unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have OBEYED from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now YIELD YOUR MEMBERS SERVANTS to [i.e., that which is obedient to, subject to…] righteousness unto holiness.”
 
In light of the above, should any true Christian dare say concerning God’s people “Your obedience means nothing because it accomplishes nothing.”
 
What about…
Romans 16:17-19: “Now I beseech you, brethren, MARK THEM which cause divisions and offences CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE [e.g., including the doctrine of obedience] which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For YOUR OBEDIENCE is come abroad unto all [men]. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”
 
Again, in light of the above, should any true Christian dare say to fellow saints “Your obedience means nothing because it accomplishes nothing.” I think not, given that their obedience clearly meant enough to the Apostle Paul, operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit, to commend them for their obedience!
 
How about…
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the OBEDIENCE of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your OBEDIENCE is fulfilled.”
 
Is this passage any different? Should any true Christian dare say to the brethren “Your obedience means nothing because it accomplishes nothing” when the depths of that passage is seriously considered?
 
Should we say to our sisters in Christ: “Your obedience means nothing because it accomplishes nothing” — when we read in…
1 Corinthians 14:34 “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be UNDER OBEDIENCE, as also saith the law.
 
Should we say to born again servants: “Your obedience means nothing because it accomplishes nothing” — when we read in…
Colossians 3:22 “Servants, OBEY in all things [your] masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God…”
 
Is obedience deemed to be of such little value in…
1 Peter 1:13-16 “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As OBEDIENT children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so BE YE HOLY IN ALL MANNER OF CONVERSATION [i.e., obey God’s word as it relates to your character conduct, ever striving to improve in this area]; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”
I don’t think so. I believe this passage, and numerous others like it, make very clear the absolute importance, the absolute value, of obedience IN LIGHT OF the salvation (the perfect justification, righteousness, and sanctification) established, and procured, by the Lord — for His people.
 
Finally, notice the clear pattern in so many books of the New Testament. You will find the writers start off with the Gospel truth, the wonders of Christ, who He is, and what He has done, particularly as it relates to salvific matters. However, in light of the finished work of Christ, the writers often proceed to tell you how to live IN LIGHT OF Christ, His work, His Kingdom, and His glory. The Bible abounds with imperatives, exhortations, admonitions, and reproofs concerning our walk and warfare. The Bible abounds in instruction on character and conduct; commandment keeping; adorning the truth via our conversation/behaviour/etc.
 
Seeing this, knowing this, having so much evidence to this effect at our fingertips, why do so many “preachers of the word” feel the need to downplay such things, setting them at naught, and making it so easy for others to do the same? No one who seriously, and sincerely, cares about these things is putting human obedience (even the obedience of the saints in Christ) above the Obedience of Christ Himself (to the Father, in the fulfillment of all for which He was sent to accomplish)… No sincere believer is doing this, or even desires to do this. However, there is a demonic sentiment that seeks to ever slander, to ever impute false motives, to ever twist intents and purposes, and this should not be tolerated within faithful, Gospel circles — not even for a moment, and especially not when the Bible clearly instructs us, as follows:
Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider one another to PROVOKE [paroxysmos; G3948; literally to incite, contend, provoke, and even “irritate”] unto (agape) LOVE [which is the keeping of God’s commandments towards Him and others with an unfeigned heart] and to good works” [which is clearly synonymous with provoking one another unto obedience to the will of God, as revealed in Holy writ].
 
I think it is fair to say (without overstepping) that we ought to beware of, be wary of, and even be weary of (in a very real sense), all those who would repeatedly work to undermine godly provocation, incitement, and warning. We do not need mere soundbites; we do not need over-simplified memes; we do not need vain/vacuous/trite babblings… what we need is faithful instruction concerning God’s word, instruction that encompasses the whole counsel of God, and not just the hobby-horsing of the fundamentals (to the exclusion of all else). Of a truth, people love milk-men, they love those who will keep them ever as babes, ever encouraging them to avoid feasting on the meat of God’s word. Milk is for babes when milk is the exclusive meal. Truly, we need to encourage, even provoke, one another to grow up, to grow in grace, to grow in love (agape and phileo), and to grow in obedience, even unto a manifest sanctification that abounds, that truly abounds (saying this more to myself than to anyone else; it is a very real struggle). God help us.
 
To God be the glory,
 
Amen

  7 comments for “On Obedience… A Case In Point

  1. March 12, 2022 at 2:29 am

    POOF… and just like that, the quoted text is gone. Funny how that works.

    Like

    • Cindy Earnshaw
      March 12, 2022 at 3:01 am

      It is still on Facebook. You did not quote him fully.

      https://www.facebook.com/james.n.guyo

      James Nyahuye Guyo

      People who want to talk about their own obedience when we are busy talking about the obedience of Christ are deceived…

      Your obedience means nothing because it accomplishes nothing..

      Only the obedience of Christ is what God honors, that is why Christ has been exalted…

      And don’t think I don’t agree with the exhortations and instructions in the scriptures towards believers…
      I 100% believe in them and would wish everyone who names Christ would endeavor to obey them ..

      But don’t make your attempts to obey them your righteousness, because that is not what God uses to bestow eternal blessing..
      Your obedience of the New Testament commands still leaves you with a huge deficit apart from Christ’s imputed righteousness…

      Like

      • March 12, 2022 at 4:14 am

        Please be so kind as to enquire of him whether a portion of the text was added after the posting of my article since, when I went back to view it again a second time, I could not find it despite multiple searches and pain-staking attempts. Although there is always the chance that I am mistaken, misremembering, I am exceedingly confident that the “And don’t think I don’t agree with the exhortations and instructions in the scriptures towards believers… I 100% believe in them and would wish everyone who names Christ would endeavor to obey them ..” was added after the fact…. in light of my post. If you do not believe this to be the case, again, please enquire of him.

        ADDITION: — Also, that link doesn’t work… it states I was temporarily blocked…. Perhaps that’s why I could not find it when I went back to look for it.

        Like

      • william meeks
        March 13, 2022 at 9:48 pm

        He don’t get it, man adds nothing, teaching or believing he does means he’s still dead without repentance

        Like

    • James
      March 12, 2022 at 3:15 am

      I don’t know who you are, but I saw that you quoted one of my quotes from Facebook..

      Yes, I am James Guyo..

      You didn’t understand the post at all and so you read what you wanted to read into it and then made a false deduction of what I meant…

      The whole point of the post is that your obedience to the precepts of New Testament is not the basis of salvation and in that regard, it accomplishes NOTHING..

      Also, even one’s best attempts to the imperatives still falls short and so their hope still remains Christ’s righteousness, freely imputed..

      I know about all the verses that you quoted, and none of them UNDO my point..

      You can email me Jamesguyo@gmail.com or call 937 838 0353 (cell) and message me on Messenger…

      Like

      • March 12, 2022 at 4:34 am

        We go way back James, I am thoroughly familiar with your stance and writings, and nothing has changed. It is my belief that you edited the post at issue, after the fact. If I am wrong, and I could very well be, then I am mistaken, having no desire to impute things to you that are not accurate. However, I never would have stated “However, if it is aimed at Christians, or if it is stated in an ambiguous manner that doesn’t distinguish between the quickened and the unquickened, then it is exceedingly dangerous” *IF* the following portion of your text, now present, was visibly part of your original post when I reviewed it:

        “And don’t think I don’t agree with the exhortations and instructions in the scriptures towards believers…
        I 100% believe in them and would wish everyone who names Christ would endeavor to obey them ..”

        Also, you state that “[I] didn’t understand the post at all and so [I] read what [I] wanted to read into it and then made a false deduction of what [You] meant…” — that isn’t quite accurate. I read your words, and understood from it what most everyone would have understood based upon your word choice — at the time — as it pertained to what was visible to me. Now, your additional language, made your ‘real intent’ known. However, for years now, your language has been both ambiguous, and wrong (we’ve been over this before). Take even the following:

        “The just shall live by faith is not an anti-nomian (anti-Law) teaching… It is the gospel.. The Law is not of faith and that which is not of faith is sin and cannot please God.. The Law is NOT sin, but YOUR ATTEMPTS TO DO THE LAW IS SIN, because it is unbelief…” — You use such language, but so often fail to define things. What law is in view James? The Spiritual law, the Mosaic law, the Law as a synonym for the books of Moses, the law as a synonym for the entirety of the word of God (all common uses of the term “law” — context is key). When you say “your attempts to do the law” is sin… what does that mean James? In what context? Who is the pronoun “Your” associated with? To what audience or people set is it directed? Believers, unbelievers? Both? Are you saying that a Christian’s attempts to “do the law” is sin? Is a Christian’s attempts to obey the law, keep the law, serve the law sin? If so, on what ground or basis do you make such a determination? If you did not mean Christians, why not make it clear in the first place to remove such needless ambiguity/confusion?

        What of “If the Law is the believer’s rule of life , then Moses is your mediator before God.. and you are still in your sins” — really James? How are you defining the word rule? Why do you presume that Moses’ law is the one in view (the Mosaic law or law of ordinances)? What is your take on this? https://spiritualwrestlings.com/2018/01/27/progressive-sanctification-rule-of-life-and-antinomianism-revisited/ — When one takes the time to define terms, to tread carefully with terms, to abstain from soundbite evangelism, ambiguities are cleared up. If you are wrong about your “rule of life” point of view, then you are needlessly slandering many a true Christian.

        If you wish to go over some of the other haphazard statements of yours, presuming they remain visible, I will be glad to do so.

        Like

      • william meeks
        March 13, 2022 at 9:48 pm

        Amen

        Like

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