Obedience Versus Commitment

By Tim Greenwood

Believe it or not, God is not seeking your obedience as it relates to compliance and submission to His authority.

Now the Old Testament is ALL ABOUT legislated obedience, compliance and submission.  The mandatory sentence for disobedience and noncompliance was death by stoning.  But all that changed under the New Testament.

The word obedience is used eleven times in the New Testament.  In every case it is the Greek word hupakoe  (G5218) attentive hearkening, or possibly, (by implication) compliance or submission: - obedience, (make) obedient, obey (-ing).

Twice, in 2 Corinthians 7:15 and Philemon 1:21 the words compliance and or submission best fit the context referring to being submissive or compliant to Paul through his positional authority.

Three times, in Romans 5:19, Hebrews 5:8 and 1 Peter 1:2 the words compliance and submission best fit the context due to the fact that Jesus had to be 100% legally compliant to the Old Testament to qualify to be our Savior and had to submit Himself being beaten, broken and brutalized to qualify to be our Redeemer.

But in the remaining six locations where the word is used, (Romans 1:5, 6:16, 16:19; 2 Corinthians 10:5-6), the word attentiveness best fits the context referring to being attentive to Good Faith and to the teachings of Paul.
God wants you to line up your will with His will, come into agreement and voluntarily commit to that agreement by signing on the dotted line. 

That is actually how you got saved!  You read His Word as recorded in the Bible or heard that Word preached from the Bible.  You heard that God, in good faith, was offering to set aside all past acts of bad faith (sins) and to legally expunge (remit) your entire record of wrongs done.  You heard that all you had to do was to make Jesus your Lord and King and that you would be saved.  And by publicly saying so, you voluntarily committed to enter in to a legally binding contract between you and God.  This mutual good faith contract is the basis of the relationship between you and God.

Voluntary commitment is not just what God wants.  It is what everyone really wants.  Your spouse wants it, your kids want it, your Pastor wants it, your employer wants it and if someone makes you a promise, you want it too.

Compliance to most people means just getting by, living on the edge, compromising your integrity but not enough to get caught.  It's doing just enough to keep your job or keep from being yelled at.  Compliance is a step in the right direction, but it does not often reach the goal.  No one desires a noncommittal spouse or a noncommittal employee.

Commitment means reading and understanding that you are legally accountable to fulfill all the responsibilities of the contract before signing your name on the dotted line, signing it in Good Faith and then keeping your word and fulfilling your part, no matter what circumstances arise.

The Bible is filled with thousands of promises but each one is a contract that God wants you to voluntarily commit to fulfilling your part of.  

God is no longer seeking man's legally legislated obedience or compliance.  It is just not enough.  What He is looking for is your voluntary commitment to keep your promises, to keep your word and to act in Good Faith, no matter what.