What you need to know:
- Exact obedience is required of every Christian, and those who say it is not possible to live a perfect life throw upon God the imputation of injustice and untruth.
- Concerning this, Ellen White in her book The Desire of Ages wrote, “The Lord desires through His people to answer Satan’s charges by showing the results of obedience to right principles.” “The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.”
There are many Christians who say that it is impossible to live a victorious life over sin in obedience to God’s law. They may not realize it, but they are actually agreeing with Satan and placing injustice and falsehood on God. They have accepted Satan’s lie that obedience to God’s law is impossible.
As long as the church has the attitude that living a victorious life in obedience to God’s law is not possible, she will not come out of her Laodicean condition, the full gospel of deliverance from all sin will not be experienced or proclaimed, and Jesus will not come.
From the very time of creation of man, God required obedience to His command. His instruction was and still is, “Obey and live.” In the Garden of Eden, God commanded Adam, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16, 17).
Satan, on the other hand, has always taught that obedience is not necessary. In the Garden of Eden, he tempted Eve to disobey God’s command.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” And the woman said unto the serpent, “we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said. Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” And the serpent said unto the woman. Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5).
Satan has also taught that obedience to God’s law is impossible. Concerning this, Ellen White in The Desire of Ages writes, “Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts” .
From the beginning of the great controversy in Heaven, it has been Satan’s purpose to overthrow the law of God. It was to accomplish this that he entered upon his rebellion against the Creator, and though he was cast out of Heaven he has continued the same warfare upon the earth” (The Great Controversy, p. 582).
In Christ’s days, the very ones who were to uphold God’s law taught Satan’s lie. “The rabbis virtually represented God as giving laws which were impossible for men to obey” (The Desire of Ages, p. 284). In doing so, they were leading the people away from the obedience to God’s law.
God commands obedience in both the Old and New Testaments. To Israel in the Old Testament, God said, “And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day’ (Deuteronomy 30:8).
In the New Testament, Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Paul confirmed the importance of obedience to God’s law when he wrote, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof (Romans 6:12). Remember, sin is “the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Therefore, Paul was instructing believers to obey God’s law instead of yielding to their sinful nature, which is rebellious toward God’s law, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
On the place of obedience in the new covenant, Andrew Murray writes, “They [men who abuse the free grace of God] boast of the higher privileges of the New Covenant, while its chief blessing—the power of a holy life, a heart delighting in God’s law, and a life in which God causes and enables us by His indwelling Spirit to keep His commandments—is neglected. If there is one thing we need to know well, it is the place obedience takes in the New Covenant. ...The New Covenant was expressly made to provide for obedience. To a life in the fall experience of the New Covenant blessing, obedience is essential” (The Two Covenants, p. 71).
Exact obedience is required of every Christian, and those who say it is not possible to live a perfect life throw upon God the imputation of injustice and untruth.
Ellen White says, “The Lord desires through His people to answer Satan’s charges by showing the results of obedience to right principles.” “The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honour of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.”
This is what the new covenant is all about. God makes it possible for His people to obey His law from the heart as a result of Jesus living out His obedience in their lives via the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The new covenant and obedience to God’s law go hand in hand. God will have a holy, obedient remnant of people ready to meet their Lord when He returns.
It is therefore important that as Christians, we must daily have a personal reflection about what Satan has always lied about God’s law by a daily study of the word of God. Also, reflect on how the new covenant has to do with God’s law and pray every day for God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, revive the church and lead you to be among God’s holy obedient people when Jesus returns.