Obedience: An Imperfect Analogy
There once was a rich and powerful father – the most powerful ever. He sent his son to redeem those condemned on death row, whose numbers were countless. The cost of redemption for the sins of the entire world was the death, burial and resurrection of the son. In that final sacrifice and victory over death, the son saved everybody who ever lived and who ever will live from eternal death.
The judicial exchange rule to finalize delivery of available grace to each lawless individual was simple: If the criminal himself believed that this sacrifice had occurred – even for his own iniquities, and that the result of that belief would be an eternal place in the kingdom of the father of the resurrected son, he would be released from bondage and cleared forever more from the death penalty for all his crimes – past, present and future. In other words, the death penalty for any crime was forever more, off the table. Would he face consequences for any future lawless actions – most certainly he would. But the death penalty for everyone had been paid in full and it was no longer a justifiable sentence to those who accepted the gift of grace.
His only commission once released from bondage was to 1) share the good news with other criminals about how to get off of death row and out of bondage – free and clear, and 2) abide by the will of the father and follow the basic rules of the estate and household, which could be summarized as common respect and common courtesy towards the father and to all other people on earth. There were 10 rules written by the father himself, which seemed to matter most of all.
Some criminals scoffed and mocked at such an absurd idea. Others had every intention of continuing to live a lawless life to the end, and so the very thought of any of this was too difficult to fathom. A few felt that they could do much better by hiring a lawyer and going down a more traditional route. Still others had money, influence and clout to get them out. A handful of remorseful criminals believed that by doing good in jail, they could get their sentence reduced or delayed and so relied on their own self righteousness. Several criminals thought they could game the system and find other potential saviors who demanded less of them, thinking if one guy could save them, there were certainly others.
Amongst the slew of unbelievers and reprobates, were a grateful remnant of criminals who put all their faith in the son to deliver them from the penalty of death and to bring them out of bondage and into the estate, household and kingdom of the father. They were so grateful that sharing the good news and following the will of the father and rules of the estate and household was not a burden, but instead was a true blessing!
Yes, obedience to the father at times was difficult, given a lifetime of traditions of man, socio-cultural beliefs, values, pressures and philosophies, temptations, desires, rebelliousness, willfulness and disobedience, but the son had sent a comforter to help remind each saved person and to guide them in the new ways to live and to be in the world, but not of the world. Through the love, patience, kindness and mercy of the father, son, and comforter, each redeemed person once again became as a child, glorifying the father, being grateful for every breath and blessing, and bringing all their trials, tribulations, worries, sins and difficulties to the father, in the name of the son, in contrition and repentance.
Yet, though they were saved forever from eternal death, some believers came up with a strange notion that because of the death, burial and resurrection of the son so they might have everlasting life with the father, the idea of obedience to the father and following the common rules of the estate and household was no longer a necessity. After all, their debt had been paid. What use was it for them to follow any rules at all? The son had paid for all their sins — past, present and future. The idea of following rules when there was no longer a death penalty made no sense to them. They were completely covered by the atoning blood of the son. Nothing they did or did not do would ever change the fact that they were free and clear. The idea of obedience to the Father was abhorrent to them, believing that nothing they did or did not do would or could ever matter.
They most errantly called it works salvation and filthy rags.
How wrong they were since the atoning blood by the son to deliver them from the penalty of sin (which is eternal death) had absolutely nothing at all to do with their obedience to the will of the father as a way to honor and respect him, and to follow the common rules of his estate and household and even beyond. To believe that they no longer needed to show respect and honor, through obedience to a father who sent his only son to die in their place for their iniquities was an ignorant slap in the face and an unintentional but profound betrayal.
In all humbleness, but it needs to be declared and shared in the season of these last days.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set
an example for the believers
and in purity.
— 1 Timothy 4:12
Make every effort to live in
peace with everyone and to
be holy; without holiness
no one will see the Lord.
Great peace have
those who love your
law; nothing can make
— Psalm 119:165
1 Peter 3:11
Let him turn away from evil,
and do good .
Let him seek peace,
and pursue it.
O faithless and perverse generation, how
long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer
you? —Matthew 17:17
…and what does the Lord require
of you but to do justice, and to love
kindness, and to walk humbly with
…There is only One
who is good;
but if you wish
to enter into life,
— Matthew 17:19
Your faith should not be in the wisdom of
men but in the power of God. —2 Cor 2:5
Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who carry out what he commands.
It may be that you will be concealed on
the day of the Lord’s anger.
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.