We have a dog called Chilly; he is 12 years old. Whenever food is ready to eat in his bowl, he cannot just simply go and get it. He sees there is food in the bowl, his nose smells it and his mouth automatically drools. And yet he knows he has to obey his master’s simple command – ‘EAT’. Until then he would patiently wait. Nice obedient doggy!
Ge 2:16,17 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,..”
Ge 3:11 And he said, “… Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ”
Obedience to the command was the only valid permit to live in the garden; not love, faith or even humility or fellowship. Obedience to what God says includes love, humility and other godly virtues.
You may say this is Old Testament; today, we live in the New Testament age. Jesus has done the job for us and we don’t have to do anything anymore than just sing worship songs and add the latest book to our shelves. Well then, while we still live in the NT age, let’s take a peep into the future age. And what will we find? There is still obedience in the future. Please read the chapters of Rev. 12 and 14, focusing on the issue of obedience, and you will see that
1. There is a war coming in the future age on those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev. 12:17b) and
2. The saints who obey God’s commandments will be persecuted by the Babylonian system so much so that it calls for patient endurance on their side, meaning, it is not going to be an easy life according to the pattern and structure of this word for those who obey God’s commandments. (Rev. 14:12)
Now turn the pages all the way to the end of the Book, Rev.22:14“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life. Those who have endured obeying God’s commandments and have not bowed their knees to the ways the world functions and have patiently washed their robes white, without any blemish, through sufferings and persecution may have the right to the tree of life.
Obedience was the single one condition that gave the right to stay in the garden in the OT. Mankind through his disobedience to the commandment of God lost the right to live there and thus lost the access to the tree of life. It is Jesus, through his obedience unto death, who has opened up a new entrance for mankind’s redemption from disobedience. Heb 5:8,9 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered, and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Repeat; Jesus became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. Jesus saved us from our disobedience and puts us back on the track of obedience; like originally intended in the OT garden. Jesus b(r)ought mankind back to the life of obedience through the cross! He obeyed his Father unto death and prepared for us a perfect track to follow him in obedience to his commands. Why? because a life of obedience to the commandments of God is the only way to gain access to the tree of life in the future age.
Just like our dog, who can see the food, smell it and lets his mouth drool but knows he has no right to his food until he obeys his master’s command.
2Jn 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
How to walk in love?
By walking in obedience to his commands.