Overcoming Sin through Christ: Disobedience

Overcoming Sin through Christ

A Comprehensive List of Sins

(Alphabetically Arranged)

Richard Hollerman

The plan of this study is simple.  We will look at a large number of sins, one by one, alphabetically.  We will define the sin, describe it, and comment on it, along with noticing Scripture references on the particular entry.  Some illustrations will be offered along with the description.



Why is it that some people seem to ridicule our desire to obey the Lord?  Some go so far as to call this effort toward obedience “legalism” or “works righteousness.”  Yes, there is such a condition as legalism and works righteousness, but often this merely is an effort to put down careful obedience to God’s revealed will.  Extensive obedience just isn’t popular in our age even among those who profess to follow Jesus!  Some professing “Christians” just refuse to submit themselves to the Word of God. They refuse to obey His instructions.  And they manifest a careless attitude toward what God wants them to do.

Disobedience is an unwillingness to obey God or failure to obey God because of ignorance.  From Genesis to Revelation, we can see how utterly essential it is to have a heart of obedience toward God.  This was stressed in the Mosaic Law, but it is likewise emphasized in the teachings of Christ and the apostles.  Jesus linked obedience to love when He said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).  To keep His commands is to obey Him.  He went on to declare, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him” (v. 21). The one who loves Jesus is the one who obeys Him.

The Lord further said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (v. 23).  What about the one who disobeys the Lord?  Christ answers this when He says, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me” (v. 24).  If you fail to obey the Lord and go your own self-chosen way, don’t claim to have a love for Jesus.  Love is expressed in obedience and obedience manifests love (see also 15:10; 1 John 5:2-3; 2 John 6).

Disobedience has many consequences.  Jesus asked, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).  He shows the inconsistency of claiming to accept Jesus’ Lordship and still refusing to obey Him and His teachings.  Christ also said, “You are My friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14).  If we fail to obey the Lord Jesus, we cannot be His intimate “friends”!  Jesus further spoke of the judgment scene, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).  Do we want to enter God’s kingdom?  We must be willing to obey the King!  The Lord added, “Then I will declare to them [the disobedient and unfaithful], ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’” (v. 23).

There will be serious consequences when the disobedient person appears before the Lord for judgment.  So serious is this that Jesus said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).  God’s wrath will remain on the one who disobeys the Son!  We can see why the Hebrew writer said, “[Jesus] became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (5:9).

Some claim that they believe in Christ and yet live a disobedient life.  They like to emphasize the many verses that say we are saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and receive eternal life if we believe (John 3:16-17, 36).  This is true, but so are the passages that say that “the one who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).  The one who has done “the will of God” is the one who will “receive what was promised” by God the Father (Hebrews 10:36).  Disobedience is a dreadful sin that encompasses many individual sins.  Probably the majority of those who profess to be Christians are presently living lives of known disobedience.  They must not deceive themselves into thinking they are right with God as long as they remain apathetically disobedient to His will.

If we are obedient to God, we will also be obedient to human authorities.  Paul says that the pagans are “disobedient to parents”—a sin that is “worthy of death” (Romans 1:30).  He also says that during the “last days” difficult times will be present, and people will be “disobedient to parents” (2 Timothy 3:1-2).  In contrast, Scripture says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).  “Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord” (Colossians 3:20).

Paul also writes, “Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth” (Colossians 3:22; cf. Ephesians 6:5; Titus 2:9-10; 1 Peter 2:18-20; 1 Timothy 6:1). Wives are also to be submissive to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1), and Sarah is given as an example of this, for “Sarah obeyed Abraham” (1 Peter 3:6).  We know that people in all of these rightful relationships may be disobedient, just as people are disobedient to God and Christ.

When one disobeys the Lord, he manifests a careless attitude toward Him—or even a rebellious attitude toward Him.  When there is deliberate disobedience of the known will of God (cf. Hebrews 10:26ff), this constitutes high treason against the Creator of all things, the King of heaven and earth, the Ruler of all people!

Some may plead ignorance of God’s will and think that this will excuse them on the Day of Judgment.  However, God not only requires us to obey Him in all that we know, He also will hold us accountable for what we could know if we only had the interest and initiative to seek for God’s will so we could obey it.




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