Quotes about Obedience-General


True obedience hath no lead at its heels.


Partial obedience is really only disobedience made to look acceptable.


If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.


Give me the grace [O Lord] to do as You command, and command me to do what You will!… O holy God…when Your commands are obeyed, it is from You that we receive the power to obey them.


Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.


If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth’s grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God’s will.


We are responsible to obey the will of God, but that we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit for the enabling power to do it.


God is worthy of my loving obedience because of who He is, not because of what He does.


There is no question that obedience to God’s commands prompted by fear or merit-seeking is not true obedience. The only obedience acceptable to God is constrained and impelled by love, because “love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10). God’s law as revealed in His Word prescribes our duty, but love provides the correct motive for obedience. We obey God’s law, not to be loved, but because we are loved in Christ.


Obedience to the revealed will of God is often just as much a step of faith as claiming a promise from God.


The daily experience of Christ’s love is linked to our obedience to Him. It is not that His love is conditioned on our obedience. That would be legalism. But our experience of His love is dependent upon our obedience.


He who obeys sincerely endeavors to obey thoroughly.


Where love is the compelling power, there is no sense of strain or conflict or bondage in doing what is right: the man or woman who is compelled by Jesus’ love and empowered by His Spirit does the will of God from the heart.


If I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly random circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God.


We should delight in God’s delight. Mere outward conformity to the law is not what God requires. The person who does what God says with a resentful heart and begrudging obedience does not bear the mark of the true child of light. The heart renewed by the Spirit desires to please God, is anxious to find out what He desires, and is motivated by the sense of bringing God pleasure.


God’s people [are] not redeemed by observing the law, but they were redeemed so they might obey the law.


The further you go in obedience, the more you see of God’s plan. God doesn’t often tell us the end from the beginning. He prefers to lead us on step-by-step in dependence upon Him.


This commitment to total obedience does not mean a mere negative avoidance of evil practices. It also means positively obeying God’s commands. We cannot say that someone is a true Christian just because he is not a thief, liar, blasphemer, drunkard, sexually immoral, arrogant, cruel or fierce. He also has to be positively God-fearing, humble, respectful, gentle, peaceful, forgiving, merciful and loving. Without these positive qualities, he is not obeying the laws of Christ.


Much sickness – physical, mental, and emotional – surely must come from disobedience. When the soul is confronted with an alternative of right or wrong and chooses to blur the distinction, making excuses for its bewilderment and frustration, it is exposed to infection. Evil is given the opportunity to invade the mind, the spirit, and the body and the sick person goes off to an expert who will diagnose his trouble. Sometimes the patient knows well what his trouble is and for this very reason has not consulted the Lord, fearing what He will say: Confess. Turn around. Quit that indulgence. Do not pity yourself. Forgive that person. Pay back what you owe. Apologize. Tell the truth. Deny yourself. Consider the other’s well-being. Lay down your life.


There is no such thing as genuine knowledge of God that does not show itself in obedience to His Word and will. The person who wants to know God but who has no heart to obey Him will never enter the sacred courts where God reveals Himself to the soul of man. God does not give divine knowledge to those who have no desire to glorify Him.


We must not think that obedience leads to an easier life, nor should we assume that when things fall apart it is always a sign of our specific disobedience – God’s ways with us in the Christian life are usually much more intricate and complex than that!


Sacrifice without obedience is sacrilege.


Our obedience to God’s commands is the expression of trusting Christ. It is not our words but our deeds that stand the test of Christ’s gaze. Love of Jesus is measured by obedience to what he commands (John 14:15 and 15:14). "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me" (John 14:21). Not even miracles can substitute for doing what God commands (Matt. 7:22).


By repenting of our hope in the promises of this world – the greatest of which become merely rusted metal and short-lived pleasures – and trusting in God’s promises, we develop a new lifestyle of growing obedience to God, rather than following the cadence of our culture. And as our hope in God increases, our obedience to his commands becomes more consistent. 


Trust in God’s promises comes to light in obedience to his commands… It is therefore a contradiction in terms to say that we acknowledge Christ’s rule in our lives if we do not submit to his word… There is no distinction in the Bible between knowing God or Jesus as our “Savior” and knowing him as our “Lord.” Saving faith always expresses itself in obedience (James 2:21-24).


Jesus’ gospel of forgiveness is not unrelated to the Bible’s demand for holiness. Obedience is not a “second step” added to our faith, so that “accepting Jesus as Savior” must be supplemented by “accepting Jesus as Lord.” We are not saved by grace and then sanctified (made holy) by our own works. Being a Christian is not a matter of adding our will to God’s, our efforts to His. Rather…”putting away sin,” which is faith in action, is the means to persevering, which we do by depending on Jesus from beginning to end. In other words, repenting from the disobedience of disbelief, and the life of persevering faith that this brings about, which entails obeying God, are all one expression of “looking to Jesus.” One cannot exist without the other… There is only one thing, not two, that we must do to be saved: trust God with the needs of our lives. This one thing in God’s provision (now supremely manifested in Christ) will show itself, from beginning to end, in our many acts of repentance and obedience.


What our Lord said about cross-bearing and obedience is not in fine type. It is in bold print on the face of the contract.


Those that disobey the commandments of God do so foolishly for themselves. Sin is folly, and sinners are the greatest fools.


The proximate result of obedience to God is inward conformity to the Divine image


If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?


What does it mean to believe in Christ? It means more than accepting and affirming the truth of who He is – God in human flesh – and believing what He says. Real faith results in obedience… True faith is never seen as passive – it is always obedient.


Imputed righteousness makes practical righteousness possible, but only obedience to the Lord makes practical righteousness a possibility.


It’s amazing how people can affirm that God is a God of order and absolute precision in everything He does in the natural world, yet believe He unconcerned about the moral world. The scientist in the laboratory operates on the basis that his chemical mixtures are not going to violate a known truth and blow the building to bits. The astronauts who blast off into space count on the absolute immutability and accuracy of scientific laws. If God is a God of law and order in the natural realm, He’s not going to say, “Oh, just do your own thing. Believe anything you want.” Such inconsistency is absurd!


When a believer is in the place of obedience, no matter how severe the storm, he is as safe as if he were at home in his own bed, because the place of security is not the place of proper circumstances or of desirable circumstances. The place of security and safety, for the believer, is the place of obedience to the Lord. They were safe in the midst of a storm in obedience.


The most compelling motivation for faithful, obedient living should not be the threat of discipline or loss of reward but overflowing and unceasing gratitude for the marvelous mercies of God.


Important lessons are given by this alternation of the two ideas of faith and unbelief, obedience and disobedience. Disobedience is the root of unbelief. Unbelief is the mother of further disobedience. Faith is voluntary submission within a person’s own power. If faith is not exercised, the true cause lies deeper than all intellectual reasons. It lies in the moral aversion of human will and in the pride of independence, which says, “who is Lord over us? Why should we have to depend on Jesus Christ?” As faith is obedience and submission, so faith breeds obedience, but unbelief leads on to higher-handed rebellion. With dreadful reciprocity of influence, the less one trusts, the more he disobeys; the more he disobeys, the less he trusts.


For we do not keep the Law to be saved. But rather, in keeping the Law we show ourselves to already have gained salvation through the cross of Christ. In light of the cross of Christ and the liberation from the (sting) of sin we receive from it, we are now free to keep the Law (Gal. 4:31).


In His message of the kingdom, Jesus announced the overwhelming, amazing wonder of God’s sovereign grace reaching down to reclaim sinful people for Himself. But no one emphasized as strongly as Jesus the need for people touched by God’s grace to respond with radical, world-renouncing obedience. Both the gracious initiative of God and the grateful response of human beings are necessary aspects of the gospel.


God’s gracious acceptance of us does not end our obligation to obey Him; it sets it on a new footing. No longer is God’s law a threatening, confining burden. For the will of God now confronts us as a law of liberty [James 1:25] – an obligation we discharge in the joyful knowledge that God has both “liberated” us from the penalty of sin and given us, in His Spirit, the power to obey His will.


There is no conflict between the gratification of desire and the enhancement of man’s pleasure, on the one hand, and fulfillment of God’s command on the other… The tension that often exists within us between a sense of duty and wholehearted spontaneity is a tension that arises from sin and a disobedient will. No such tension would have invaded the heart of unfallen man. And the operations of saving grace are directed to the end of removing the tension so that there may be, as there was with man at the beginning, the perfect complementation of duty and pleasure, of commandment and love.


Obedience that doesn’t cost us anything may be more natural and glib than Christian. After all, self-righteousness “obeys” — and wonders impatiently what’s wrong with everyone else.


We are justified by faith alone, as the Reformers taught, but not by a faith that is alone. To truly receive the words of God is to intentionally, through a joyous faith in our crucified and resurrected Lord and active reliance upon His Spirit, obey them. Consider that if exposure to God’s word in the spoken gospel and the written Scriptures doesn’t soon change your behavior (even if slower than you might hope), if the transformation of your inner person does not extend to your outer life, you may well be wandering in the dream of those who never knew Him (Greg Morse).


The truth is that, though we were justified by faith alone, the faith that justifies is never alone [it always produces fruit, “good works,”…a transformed life].


When did the servant have the right to give orders to his master? When did the bondslave have a right to question the commands of his Lord? By what right do you who know Jesus Christ as a personal Savior sit in judgment on the Word of God and the will of God when God demands absolute obedience to it?


Not only is disinterested morality (doing good “for its own sake”) impossible; it is undesirable. That is, it is unbiblical because it would mean that the better a man became the harder it would be for him to act morally. The closer he came to true goodness the more naturally and happily he would do what is good. A good man in Scripture is not the man who dislikes doing good but toughs it out for the sake of duty. A good man loves kindness (Mic. 6:8) and delights in the law of the Lord (Ps. 1:2) and the will of the Lord (Ps. 40:8). But how shall such a man do an act of kindness disinterestedly? The better the man, the more joy in obedience.


Obedience is the evidence of faith that alone unites us to Christ who is our justifying righteousness.


God’s delight in obedience is good news because it means He is praiseworthy and reliable. If He did not delight in obedience, He would be a living contradiction: loving His glory above all things and yet not pleased by the acts that make His glory known. He would be two-faced and double-tongued. His beauty would vanish and with it all our delight! And He would be unreliable because you can’t trust a God whose values are so fickle that He exalts Himself one minute and approves of insults the next.


God’s delight in obedience is good news because it shows that God’s grace is a glorious power and not just a flimsy tolerance of sin.


It is impossible to be a follower of Christ while denying, disregarding, discrediting and disbelieving the words of Christ.


The best evidence that a Christian desires (loves) something more than he desires (loves) God is his willingness to sin against God either in order to acquire that desire. “If you love Me keep My commandments,” Jesus said (Jn. 14:15). 


Obedience is the only reality. It is faith visible, faith acting, and faith manifest. It is the test of real discipleship among the Lord’s people.


How many blessings do we forego because the obedient faith necessary to receive them is never demonstrated?


If we are not following our Lord’s commands, it’s impossible to say He is our Lord. And if He is not our Lord, it’s impossible to say He’s our Savior.


For the Christian, it’s all about understanding God’s amazing grace and then responding with an eternal attitude of gratitude. It’s God’s grace that motivates us and it’s God’s grace that empowers us to obey Him – obedience not to earn His grace, but obedience that flows from His grace and demonstrates His grace to ourselves and others.



There is a foundation for all of God’s commands – His good character. For example: Why do we tell the truth? Because Jesus is the truth (Jn. 14:6) and Satan is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). Why is marriage between one man and one woman? Because God created marriage to reflect and promote His marriage between Christ and His bride (the church) – (Eph. 5:32). The Christian life is not about keeping “outdated and arbitrary rules” (as portrayed by society). It’s not about “following my religion.” It’s about following a Person. We follow that Person by acting like Him. The commands in the Bible tell us how to act like God, as opposed to acting like those who oppose Him.



Friends, if we cannot, or maybe I should say desire not, to do as Jesus says in Scripture; we short-circuit the whole process by failing to show Christ to the world, by failing to acknowledge Him as our Lord and frankly by showing less reverence and faith than the demons. Will we submit to His authority in all things, despite the personal cost, to reveal to this world that Jesus is truly Lord? The Kingdom will come for all to see and acknowledge, but it has begun and is shown to all by Him ruling in the hearts of His children.


Oftentimes we do not know where the path leads, but when we obey we trust the One who leads.


I wonder how many blessings I have missed out on in life because I have refused to obey the Lord?


Is Jesus your Master? Is He your Lord? The answer for every human being is “yes” to that question. However, the real question is do we acknowledge Him as such? He is God and when God commands we honor Him by trusting Him shown in our obedience to Him.


We know our sin brings personal consequences, but let’s remember it also affects others. You are part of a body. You sin, others in the church are hurt. Yet most of all, it affects how other people think about Christ. The stakes cannot be higher regarding the need for your personal moral integrity. Our entire life must be seen in the light of the Gospel’s proclamation through Christlike personal transformation. 


So why don’t we obey as professing Christians? It really comes down to a lack of faith. For some reason, we believe we’ll be happier if we pursue a life contrary to Scripture. But in doing so, we not only bring needless pain into our own lives, but we also commit treason against the one we call our Lord and give Him a vote of no confidence. We are all guilty to some degree, but the mark of a true believer is a desire and ability to obey.


The Antinomian heresy is the view that the law of God revealed in the Old Testament has nothing to do with the New Testament church; that the New Testament church is a church without law, a church that lives and breathes exclusively on the basis of grace… But the New Testament is far from abolishing God’s moral law. Jesus calls His disciples to obedience. He says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).


[Obedience] is not to be done slavishly, out of servile fear or out of some rigid, stoical desire for rule-keeping, but rather from a profound desire to express our love for the Father.


I cannot conceive it possible for anyone truly to receive Christ as Savior and yet not to receive him as Lord. A man who is really saved by grace does not need to be told that he is under solemn obligations to serve Christ. The new life within him tells him that. Instead of regarding it as a burden, he gladly surrenders himself – body, soul, and spirit- to the Lord who has redeemed him, reckoning this to be his reasonable service.


Faith and works are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God trusts God; and he that trusts God obeys God. He that is without faith is without works; and he that is without works is without faith.


Obedience rendered without delight in rendering it is only half obedience.


Every syllable of every statute, every clause of every commandment that ever proceeded from the mouth of God was divinely designed to bring those who would obey into the greatest imaginable happiness of heart. Don’t swallow God’s law like castor oil. For when you understand His intent, it will be like honey on your lips and sweetness to your soul.


God takes pleasure in your obedience because everything He commands is for your good. All of God’s commands are like a doctor’s prescription or a physician’s therapy. They may not always be immediately pleasant, but they are intended and designed for your health and happiness. If occasionally there are painful side effects, it is because the disease is so bad that severe medication may be required. God, our spiritual physician, takes pleasure in our obedience to His commands because the doctor really does care whether or not we get well.


The reason we resist God’s laws and pursue our own sinful strategies is because we believe that we can do better at securing our happiness than God can.


[Are we] so much in love with Jesus, so utterly enthralled with the transcendent beauties of [our] Savior, so swallowed up in the adequacy of the Son of God in all things that nothing appear[s] so sweet to [us] as obedience to His commands?


Moral guidelines are oppressive and legalistic only to those who still love their sin. For example, the only reason integrity should be a burden to you is if you enjoy being dishonest. Righteous deeds will be bothersome only because you prefer unrighteous ones. Speaking the truth will hurt only because it feels good to lie. Obedience to the righteous commands of God is easy for those whose hearts have been gripped by grace and whose lives are empowered by grace (Dt. 30:11; Mt. 11:29-30; 1 Jn. 5:3).


To obey God as though it were a matter of works is to obey out of your own strength with a view to your own merit. To obey God as though it were a matter of faith is to obey out of His own strength with a view to his glory.


Greatness in the kingdom of God is measured in terms of obedience.


Love can grow only if it is rooted in the soil of true obedience.


True faith produces obedience, and obedience proves that faith is valid [James 2:21-22].



Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience.


It is altogether doubtful whether any man can be saved who comes to Christ for His help with no intention to obey Him.


Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.


Salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred Scriptures… Apart from obedience there can be no salvation, for salvation without obedience is a self-contradictory impossibility.


The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith. The two are at opposite sides of the same coin


Our Lord told His disciples that love and obedience were organically united. The final test of love is obedience.


Obedience is out of vogue in our culture. You can find classes that provide assertiveness training. Try to find classes in submissiveness training! Obedience is the willing submission of one person to the authority of another. It means more than a child doing what he is told. It means doing what he is told; Without Challenge, Without Excuse, and Without Delay.


Obeying when you see the sense in it is not submission; it is agreement. Submission necessarily means doing what you do not wish to do. It is never easy or painless. True biblical submission must be found in knowing Christ and His grace.


Only the internal work of God’s Spirit can transform a person’s predisposition so that he or she willingly and cheerfully observes the commands of God.


The straightest line between me and satisfaction in life is obedience to God.


The cost of obedience is nothing compared to the cost of disobedience.


Obedience to God is always for our good and His glory.

Recommended Books

The Pursuit of God

A.W. Tozer

The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness

Kevin DeYoung

Think Biblically! Recovering a Christian Worldview

John MacArthur

The Pursuit of Holiness

Jerry Bridges

The Gospel According to Jesus

John MacArthur