Obedience to God is certainly important in the life of a Christian; however, there’s a difference between obedience under the law and obedience by faith. Under the old covenant, obedience was required under threat of death, regardless of the state of people’s hearts. Under the present covenant of grace, we obey not because it’s commanded of us under threat of death, but because our thankfulness for what Jesus has done makes us want to obey.
The Law of Moses was conditional and based strictly on the people’s performance; they had to do good to get good. Only if they were obedient would they eat the good of the land. In order to be set above all other nations and receive blessings, they had to obey, first; if not, they would be cursed. The people tried hard to comply, but they always fell short on some detail.
The law was too perfect for people to keep; therefore, God made it obsolete, and established a new covenant. He sent His Son to demonstrate the perfect example of obedience, which went as far as hanging on a tree to redeem us from the curse of the law. By becoming a curse for us, Jesus removed all the curses of the law but left all the blessings. Because of His finished works, we’re forgiven of all our sins; all we need to do to receive this forgiveness is to accept His favor toward us.
Jesus did what He did because of His love for us; when we meditate on this, it’s hard not to want to obey. Contemplating the freedom that He gives makes our hearts thankful and joyful. Obedience to Christ liberates us from laboring under the yoke of religious requirements, and gives rest to our souls. As people of God, we find our peace and rest in Christ, because our obedience isn’t based on what we do, but on faith in what He already did.
Lord, because of Your love for us, You sent Your Son to teach us how to obey from the heart. Because of Him, we can now perfectly obey Your law of love. We’re thankful for this. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hebrews 8:13, NLT