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Living Like Jesus L2: Obeying the Father

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Obedience under the Old Law

God covenant with the Israelites involved their part being obedience.
Exodus 19:
Exodus 19:5–6 ESV
Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
Q: What did God promise to do (His part) if they were obedient?
God promised to bless them and be with them to give them the promised land and all its goodness.
Q: The covenant was a good deal, why do you think that Israel had such a hard time being obedient to it?
For the same reason we struggle to follow the New Covenant: we struggle to obey and do God’s will before ours.
Q: What do you think of the statement, “Obedience is a learned behavior and comes only through practice?”
Submission is something that takes practice and the sacrificing of our own will to follow Him.
It takes practice because we have to learn to Obey and to discern in certain situations.
Hebrews 5:14 ESV
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Ephesians 5:10 ESV
and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
Obedience also takes practice because it a process of being humbled and disciplined by God.
Q: Do you believe that obedience to God is emphasized as much as it should be today?
There is the confusion that obedience and working for your salvation are the same thing and they are not.
“What God can do for you” is a much more popular topic than what you need to do for God in obedience.
Q: What is the difference between obedience and legalism?
Legalism puts so much emphasis on the law that there is no room to move about. What I mean is not that God gives us room to sin. What I mean is that God’s commands are solid but He also gives us room to move within those commands.
When we put so much emphasis on rules without love…we end up making rules where there are no rules to make sure we do not break the rules…we want explanations for every little detail of every little command…when this happens we end up making mistakes.
For example: (Class I sat through on can we give on another day rather than Sunday? Yes of course…but teacher said no. This should not have even been a question from the audience.)
We need to understand that God gives us room to move within the commandment…if we get the commandment done…in love ok then.
Q: Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of my Father,” do you believe that Jesus enjoyed follow His father’s commands?
Yes, I believe that the fulfillment that Jesus got from carrying out His heavenly Father’s commands was better than food to Him.
Do we enjoy eating food, yes. It might not have easy and Jesus did not enjoy dying on the cross but He obviously enjoyed doing God’s will.

Obedience to Christ

Q: Can you think of some of the final saying of Jesus? (trick question)
Jesus died on the cross but He came back to life so His final words were not on the cross but before He ascended into heaven.
Matthew 28:18–20 ESV
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20 ESV
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Q: What is the most emphasized part of these verses?
Typically the most emphasized part of this is that going into all the world to save the lost.
We emphasize the go part and the baptize part but do not get the weight of the “make disciples” part which implies so much more than just being saved at one point in time.
Q: What does making disciples imply that we do besides just teaching them the gospel?
Someone who is a disciple is a learner, a follower and imitator. Therefore making disciples implies that we help individuals grow and follow Christ.
Following Christ means obeying His commands. Jesus never preached a version of following Him that did not involved obedience (just as with the Old law) to His commands. We will not do this perfectly but we will not live in rebellion.
John 14:15 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Q: How can we effectively help people to become disciples?
Notice the last part of the previous verses “teaching them to observe ALL that I have commanded you.”
We need to teach ALL of Christ’s commands and we can teach with words and through example as Jesus did.
Q: In what ways did Jesus emphasize the importance of obedience to His words? One of the ways was that He that He talked about eternal life.
One of the ways was that He that He talked about eternal life.
John 8:51 ESV
Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
Q: What should our primary motivation for obedience to Christ commands be as we seek to follow Him?
John 14:15 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Obedience because of love

Q: Page 14 of our books states “For some people the word obey has a negative connotation,” why do think that is?
It is different for different people but some people may connect obedience only with fear and or punishment or hell.
(At least for some this may be because most of the lessons/sermons they heard on obedience compelled them through fear only.)
This is an incomplete approach. The balance that is in scripture should also be in our teachings…love/honor/fear/
Q: Is the motivation to obey Christ’s commands different than the motivation should have been to follow the Old Law?
No at least it should not have been. The command to love the Lord your God with all your heart is the heart of the Old and New Covenants.
We might mistakenly think that the Old Testament did not promote obedience out of love but that is not true. (Hence greatest commands)
Q: How could the religious leaders of Jesus day seem to obey God’s law but not really be pleasing to God?
Their hearts were not in it, Jesus even told them, you neglect the weightier matters of the law which involved mercy and justice which come from love
Matthew 23:23 ESV
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
Jesus frequently taught the importance of obedience out of love. He also lived it out in front of us in the gospels.
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