“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).
The stamp of Adam is on all his seed; disobedience to God is the distinguishing characteristic of all who are of Adam; it is the singular family resemblance that abides in all of Adam’s children.
In the same way, the one mark of resemblance, the bond of union, in those who are of the seed of Chris,t is obedience to God. Jesus Himself defined the parameters of what family means;
“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50). Obedience to God, then, is the defining feature and mark of resemblance in God’s own family.
Obedience to God is the quality that marks us out as belonging to Christ; it is the silent testimony as to the true nature of our faith. Obedience is not episodic or a once only act; a life of broken and irregular fellowship with God is an unhealthy and defective life; obedience is a life principle, a way of life. The natural man is naturally disobedient; his disobedience becomes a habit; but in the spiritual man obedience to God must replace obedience to self.
It was only through His obedience to the Father that Jesus was able to purchase our salvation; it is only through our obedience to Him that we are able to inherit that salvation.
“Though He was a Son, He learned obedience from that which He suffered, and being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all those obeying Him” (Hebrews 5:8-9).
If we can grasp the significance of obedience to God as presented in the scriptures and witnessed in the life of Christ, and know that this is what we are truly called to, it becomes a burning desire in the heart of the believer, a passion that will overcome the hesitancy and weakness of the human condition. It is only as we are obedient to God that He can open our ears to hear His voice;
“Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired; My ears Thou hast opened” (Psalm 40:6).
It is only obedience that will open our ears. Moreover, Jesus has promised us that;
“If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching” (John 7:17).
Obedience and hearing God, then, are inextricably linked.
The root of obedience is humility and its fruit is power with God.
This is most vividly evidenced in the life of Jesus, “Who, although being in nature God, emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant and humbled Himself, being obedient unto the point of death and death on a Cross. Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name above all other names, so that every knee would bow to Him” (Philippians 2:5-10).
His obedience is the treasury from which not only the penalty for our past disobedience is paid, but out of which the grace for our present obedience is to be supplied.