Text: 1 Sam. 15:1-23
4 General Observations concerning this passage:
We cannot worship any way we choose - we must worship God in Spirit and in truth
The end does not justify the means - regardless of how religious or right the end may seem
Obedience is better than sacrifice
Fear is no excuse for obedience to God's law
Now back to the problem of today's church.
Today's church is like the religious leaders of Jesus' day, who could tell the difference between superficial things like pleasant and stormy weather, but not between truth and error (Matt. 16:1-3). So many churches have relinquished biblical ethics and doctrine, a deep reverence and worship of God, repentance over sin, humility toward God and fellow believers, and a profound understanding of God's character and work. All of that has resulted in a low-level commitment to holy living.
Obedience and holiness are linked together in 1 Peter 1:14-16
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 ? But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 ? Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
To obey is to live holy; to live holy is to obey.
The call to holiness
All true believers are to pursue perfect conformity to the absolute, holy standard of His Word.
Our call to holiness:
1 Pet. 1:15-16
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 Cor. 7:1
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Follow peace with all men , and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Our call to Obedience
It is what our Lord commanded us to do in the great commission:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
3 Observations concerning Obedience
Obedience is an outward proof of our relationship with Christ
1 John 3:24
Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
1 John 2:3,4
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
Obedience is the inward result of our love for Christ
If you love me, you will obey what I command.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
John 14:23, 24
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Obedience is our heartfelt response to the commands of Christ
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!"
Rev 3:3 (Church at Sardis)
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
The Whole Duty of Man
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 ? For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
There is only judgment and wrath for those who disobey our Lord
2 Thess. 1:7-10
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his ? mighty angels, 8 ? In flaming fire taking ? vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 ? Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 ? When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 ? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 ? Who 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,
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 ? A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28 ? And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.