Is it possible for us to obey God’s law?

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By BibleAsk Team


The question of whether it is possible for humans to obey God’s law is one that has puzzled theologians and believers for centuries. On one hand, the Bible presents a standard of righteousness that seems unattainable for fallen humanity. On the other hand, it speaks of the transformative power of God’s grace, which enables believers to live in obedience. In this exploration, we will delve into the biblical teachings on this topic.

The Challenge of Obedience

A. The Law’s Perfect Standard:

  1. Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
  2. James 2:10 – “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

The Bible unequivocally declares that all humanity has fallen short of God’s perfect standard of righteousness.

B. The Depravity of the Human Heart:

  1. Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
  2. Romans 7:18-19 – “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”

The Bible teaches that the human heart is inherently sinful and inclined towards disobedience. Despite our best intentions, we find ourselves unable to consistently follow God’s commands due to the corrupt nature inherited from Adam.

C. The Consequences of Sin:

  1. Romans 6:23a – “For the wages of sin is death,”
  2. Galatians 5:19-21 – “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Sin not only separates us from God but also brings about spiritual and eternal death. The Bible paints a vivid picture of the destructive consequences of disobedience, both in this life and in the life to come.

The Power of God’s Grace

A. Redemption Through Christ:

  1. Romans 6:23b – “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  2. Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Despite our inability to fulfill the law’s demands, God provided a solution through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through faith in Christ, believers are justified and receive the gift of eternal life as a result of God’s grace, not their own merit.

B. The Power of the Holy Spirit for Victory over Sin:

  1. John 14:16-17 – “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
  2. Galatians 5:16 – “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Upon believing in Jesus, believers receive the Holy Spirit who dwells within them, empowering them to live lives pleasing to God. The Spirit enables believers to resist the desires of the flesh and walk in obedience to God’s commands.

C. Transformation of the Heart:

  1. Ezekiel 36:26-27 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Through regeneration and sanctification, God transforms the hearts of believers, enabling them to live in obedience to His will. The old sinful nature is crucified, and a new nature empowered by the Spirit emerges, leading to a life characterized by righteousness and holiness.

It Is Possible to Obey By God’s Power

A. Surrender and Dependence:

  1. Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
  2. Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Obedience begins with surrendering our lives to God and relying on His strength rather than our own. Through prayer, submission, and dependence on Christ, believers can overcome the temptations and challenges that hinder obedience. Thus, through God’s help, it becomes possible for the believer to obey God’s law.

B. Renewing the Mind:

  1. Romans 12:2 – “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
  2. Colossians 3:2 – “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Transformation also involves the renewal of the mind through the study of God’s Word, prayer, and meditation on His truth. By aligning our thoughts with God’s perspective and rejecting worldly influences, we can discern and follow His will more effectively.

C. Perseverance and Faithfulness:

  1. Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
  2. Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Obedience is a lifelong journey that requires perseverance and faithfulness. Despite the challenges and obstacles, believers are called to continue in obedience, trusting in God’s faithfulness to sustain them and bring about the fruit of righteousness in their lives.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, while the challenge of obedience may seem insurmountable in light of our human frailty and sinfulness, the Bible offers hope through the transformative power of God’s grace assuring that it is possible for the believers to obey God’s law. Through faith in Christ, believers are justified, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and empowered to live lives pleasing to God.

While obedience remains a lifelong pursuit marked by struggles and setbacks, believers can take comfort in the promise that God is certainly at work within them, enabling them to fulfill His will and have full victory over sin. As we yield ourselves to God and walk in dependence on His strength, may we experience the joy and fulfillment of a victorious life lived in obedience to His commands.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Categories Law

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