Christian Churches of God
(Edition 2.0 19970809-20060921)
God tells us He wants obedience or mercy more than sacrifice. In fact, obedience to the Law produces loving kindness or mercy and, hence, is a sacrifice.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1997, 2006 CCG, ed. Wade Cox)
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Children don’t like to obey parents, teachers, or policemen. Adults don’t always obey traffic laws.
Sometimes, the leaders of government make up their own rules, change laws, alter constitutions, and then cheat on these laws they have made. Leaders don’t always obey the laws of the land.
So we see there is disobedience everywhere. About the people in the days of the Judges of Israel the Bible says: Every man does what is right in his own eyes (Jdgs. 17:6).
God tells us He wants mercy more than sacrifice. In fact, as we will see, obedience to the law produces loving kindness or mercy and, hence, is a sacrifice (Hos. 6:6; Mat. 9:13; Mat. 12:7).
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them His set of laws and commanded obedience. Why would God command us to keep the laws? Why not suggest that keeping them might be a good thing to do? Deuteronomy 6:24 tells us why:
And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. (KJV)
God gave the laws to us for our good, and to save our lives. His Laws are an extension of His nature. So God and His Law are:
Righteous: Ezra 9:15, Psalm 119:172;
Perfect: Matthew 5:48; Psalm 19:7;
Holy: Leviticus 19:2; Romans 7:12;
Good: Psalm 34:8; Romans 7:12;
Truth: Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 119:142.
Because Abraham was obedient, God gave great promises to Abraham and to his descendants.
Genesis 12:1-3Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)
He then renewed the promises to Isaac.
Genesis 26:4-5And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (KJV)
God further extended these promises to Jacob (who was renamed Israel, and who became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel).
Genesis 35:11-12And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; 12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. (KJV)
We see, therefore, that the birthright is the fruit of obedience.
When Israel entered into the Promised Land God told Joshua to be careful in his regard to the laws (Josh. 1:5-9). God tells us that prosperity and success will be ours upon obedience.
Over time, Israel forgot to be obedient and, after a period of many years of being ruled by both righteous and unrighteous judges and kings, Israel went into captivity. Judah did not listen to the pleading of the prophets of God to be obedient, and they were sent into exile. Israel’s captivity is recorded in 2Kings 17:5-23. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and carried Judah away in 587 BCE (2Kgs. 24:17-20; 2Kgs. 25).
"Righteousness" is the biblical term to cover God’s Laws.
Psalm 119:172My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. (KJV)
Righteousness and justice are the same word in Hebrew (i.e. tsedek). The man who obeys God’s Laws is praised in Psalm 15:1-2.
Psalm 15:1-2A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. (KJV)
It is the "doers" of the law who are pleasing in God’s sight.
James 1:25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (KJV)
A household of God-fearing and obedient people is likened to a house built on a rock.
Matthew 7:24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (KJV)
Parents are instructed to teach the laws of God to their children.
Deuteronomy 6:1-2Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: 2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (KJV)
Teaching of the children will lead to a peaceful and happy home atmosphere, and long life to those involved.
Children need to be taught this commandment from a very early age, because learning to obey this commandment helps them to begin a lifetime habit of respecting authority, rules and laws – both God’s and man’s laws. Then, as they get older, children will have no problem transferring the love, obedience and respect they have for their parents to their heavenly Father.
When Solomon was consecrated as King of Israel, God asked him what he wanted. Solomon did not ask for wealth or power or recognition (though God did give him those) but he asked for wisdom.
2Chronicles 1:10Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? (KJV)
The Bible has much to say about obedience and wisdom – and the opposite attribute, foolishness.
Proverbs 1:7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (KJV)
There is a negative result in the lives of people who hate God and His Laws.
Proverbs 1:29-32For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. (KJV)
Proverbs 3:1-2My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. (KJV)
Proverbs 3:35The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools. (KJV)
We are told: Listen to counsel and receive instruction that you may be wise in your latter days (Pro. 19:20).
Parents are warned by God, and should make their children aware of the consequences of disobedience.
Proverbs 19:27Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. (KJV)
God gave man a mind to reason with; to be able to choose the way he would go. The potential to disobey was there. The power to choose lifts man well above an animal that is programmed in its responses. So man is responsible for his choices.
God’s way leads to life, but there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Pro. 14:12).
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (KJV)
We have a choice. Without obedience we cannot draw close to God – for the carnal mind is enmity towards God. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1Sam. 15:23) as it establishes a will contrary to, or at odds with God.
In Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26, God tells us about the blessings for obedience to His Law and the curses for disobedience (see the paper The Blessings and the Curses (No. 75)).
The clear words of this are found in Deuteronomy 30:19-20:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (KJV)
There is a spiritual application also to be derived from the above text. What is the word that defines disobedience to the law of God?
1John 3:4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (KJV)
The apostle Paul teaches further, for our understanding.
Romans 6:12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. (KJV)
Romans 6:16-23Know 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 righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
Paul also clearly tells us about the benefits of "obedience" leading to "eternal life", and the opposite, "wrath" and anger" to those who "reject the truth and follow evil".
Romans 2:6-11Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. (KJV)
The works of Paul have been misused to negate the law even at the time of the apostles and the early Church (2Pet. 3:15-16). Many have wrongly held that the law was done away through ignorance of the terms involved.
There is a specific injunction in Romans 1:18 to another group of wicked men "who suppress the truth by their wickedness".
Romans 1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (KJV)
God always commands that we be "doers" of His word, i.e. obey Him, so we can gain eternal life in the coming Kingdom of God.
OBEY – that hated word – and yet, when applied to the right law-order employed in humanity before God, from the least to the greatest, from the poorest to the richest, from humble parents to kings and priests, would produce a paradise on earth, a preliminary to the coming Kingdom of God.
You children of God.
We are given salvation and eternal life by grace but we retain it by obedience.
God desires our obedience above all else. He says that is how to show love to Him.