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OceanSide church of Christ

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Obey the Truth

Victor M. Eskew




A.    Thus far, we have examined four responsibilities to the truth.

1.      Hear the truth

2.      Learn the truth

3.      Believe the truth

4.      Love the truth


B.      When we fulfill these responsibilities, we will, then, be able to do the next responsibility, obey the truth.


I.                   THE NEED TO BE OBEDIENT


A.    Romans 6:17


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.


B.      Hebrews 5:9


And being made perfect, ye became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.


C.     I Peter 1:22


Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeign love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.




A.    The OT:  shama

1.      Strong (8085):  to hear intelligently with the implication to obey

2.      BDB:  to hear, listen, to yield, obey


B.      The NT:  peitharchea

1.      Strong (3980): 

a.      From two words “to be persuaded” and “ruler”

b.      To be persuaded by a ruler, to submit to authority

2.      Thayer;  to obey (a ruler or superior)


C.     The NT:  obey not (apeitheo)

1.      Strong (544):  to disbelieve

2.      Thayer:  to not allow one’s self to be persuaded, to refuse belief and obedience, not comply with


D.    NOTE:  These three words are closely tied to both hearing and believing.






A.    Full compliance to commands

1.      Example:  King Saul

a.      The Demand (I Sam. 15:3)


Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.


b.      The Disobedience (I Sam. 15:9)


But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them:  but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they utterly destoyred.


c.       The Deception (I Sam. 15:13)


And Samuel came to Saul:  and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord:  I have performed the commandment of the Lord.


d.      The Denunciation

1)      I Samuel 15:19a


Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord…


2)      I Samuel 15:22-23


And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because thou hast rejected the Word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.


2.      We must be very careful that we be not deceived as Saul was.  Partial obedience does not equal full obedience.


B.      Obedience involves difficult commands.

1.      God has given individuals difficult commands to obey.

a.      Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac (Gen.22:1-2).

b.      Moses was commanded to lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage (Exo. 3:10).

c.       Jesus was commanded to die on the cross of Calvary (John 6:38).

2.      Some difficult commands God has given us today.

a.      To maintain the marriage relationship (Rom. 7:1-3)

b.      To flee from youthful lusts (II Tim. 2:22)

c.       To teach the gospel to the lost (Matt. 28:19)

d.      To restore the erring (Gal. 6:1-2)

e.       To withdraw from the disorderly (II Thess.  3:6)

f.        To love our enemies (Matt. 5:44-45)


C.     Obedience involves doing things we may not understand.

1.      Several examples in the Bible:

a.      Marching around the walls of the city of Jericho (Josh. 6:3-5)

b.      Dipping seven times in the Jordan River (II Kings 5:10)

c.       Washing one’s eyes in the pool of Siloam (John 9:7)

2.      Some commands people may not understand today:

a.      Baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38)

b.      Partaking of the Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11:23-29)


D.    Obedience involves doing God’s will when it opposes the will of man.

1.      The apostles preached the Word of God in the temple area (Acts 4:1-3).

2.      They were commanded by the Jewish council to cease preaching in Jesus’ name (Acts 4:18).

3.      After performing more miracles, they were arrested and put in prison (Acts 5:17-18).

4.      They were released by an angel, and commanded to speak “all the words of this life” in the temple, which they did (Acts 5:19-21).

5.      They were brought before the council again, and asked why they defied the authorities (Acts 5:27-28).

6.      Peter’s answer (Acts 5:29)


Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.


7.      Rulers have, and will, oppose Christianity.  We must be willing to do what God wants us to do in opposition to the authorities.


E.      Obedience means being bothered with all the details.

1.      Some like to think that God is not concerned about the details of His commands.

2.      What about the details?

a.      The use of gopher wood in the building of the ark (Gen. 6:14)

b.      Speaking to the rock to bring forth water in the wilderness (Num. 20:8)

c.       The scarlet line in Rehab’s window (Josh. 2:18)

d.      Carrying the ark on the priest’s shoulders (I Chron. 15:13)

e.       Dipping 7 times in the Jordan River (II Kings 5:10)

f.        Washing in the pool of Siloam (John 9:7)

3.      God is just as concerned about the little things as He is the big things (Luke 16:10).


He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:  and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.




A.    Obedience brings the pleasure of God (Matt. 3:17).


And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.


B.      Obedience brings prosperity to God’s people (Deut. 28:2).


And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.


C.     Obedience brings purity to one’s soul (I Pet. 1:22).


Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeign love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.



D.    Obedience brings a place in the eternal city (Rev. 22:14).


Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.




A.    I purposely left out an entire section entitled:  “Examples of Obedience.”  We could have listed many from Abel to Paul who were examples of obedience.


B.      One stands head-and-shoulders above all others, Jesus Christ.

1.      He always obeyed the Father (John 8:29).


And he that sent me is with me:  the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.


2.      Jesus is our example.  We are to walk in His ways (I John 2:6).


He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.