Step 5: From the above chart I am able to discern a more complete understanding of “obedience.” The definitions below describe the various ways “obedience” is used in the NT. It should be noted that order of usage suggests an order of application. See step 6 for my summary and application.
1. Obedience to Truth (2x)
2. Obedience to Authority (5x)
3. Obedience is a Choice (1x)
4. Obedience is a Witness (3x)
5. Obedience is exercised faith (1x)
6. Obedience is proof of Love (6x)
7. Obedience is a Teacher (1x)
Step 6: Summary & Application
The first use of the word has to do with “truth” as a body information. This body of “truth” given by God, is to be given priority. Therefore, I am to focus my attention on God’s truth and commit myself to it to the end that God may be honored in daily living.
The second use of “Obedience” is referenced to authority. It is used in this way five times, thus emphasizing the proper respect I am to show God and those whom He has placed over me.
The third use of the subject is only used once, but its truth and application must not be overlooked. As Christ’s servant I am privileged to choose to serve Him in obedience. I am reminded that God will never drive me to do anything. He woos me by His love.
The fourth use is repeated three times, emphasizing its importance. I must keep reminding myself that my obedience as a Christian bears a testimony and witness to the character of God.
The fifth use of “obedience” reveals the act of obeying as an exercise of faith. Therefore, when I obey God, I am showing others my faith in God reality and truth.
The sixth use has to do with obedience as a means of proving love for God.
The seventh use is a direct reference to Jesus learning obedience through suffering. Here we see obedience as a teacher. Those who are obedient in the midst of suffering are taught the value of the exercise in a way one would never think possible, and yet this is exactly what our Savior did in obeying His Father.
The seven uses above become windows through which I may view the richness of obeying God in the life of the believer.