Jim, are you saying that the obedience is fulfilled through Christ and if we let him work through us we will be obedient too. OR, is it just all about His obedience end of the story and that's the only obedience we need to be concerned with. Jack
Now Jack, you know you're asking a question of a guy who simply doesn't know how to give a simple answer without asking lots more questions in the process, don't you? hahaha! :) Your questions are very good, thanks for asking. I will do my best to be as succinct as possible and get right to the point. :)
Considering that I don't think God works through us because we LET Him you're not going to hear me suggest that we'll be obedient by doing so. It is indeed all about HIS obedience, and it is the ONLY obedience we need to be concerned with. Now, I don't mean this in a positional or legal sense as if Christ's obedience is merely something applied to our account and has no actual reality in our lives - because it does.
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18
This something that has taken place is nothing less than the miraculous writing of God's Spirit upon our heart.
"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD , "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Jeremiah 31:31-34
The center-most reality of the promised new covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is this miraculous working of God by which His Spirit changes EVERYTHING in our very beings. Whereas we used to be slaves of sin we are now slaves of righteousness. A slave is OBLIGATED to his master. He MUST obey ... and he is merely doing that which is fitting to his service.
As a slave to sin we were obligated to it. Hey, we didn't have any real choice in the matter - even though we may have thought so and tried hard to resist. The fact is that our choices were not much more than appearance ... and our resistance to sin was merely choosing between the lesser of evils.
I hope you're following the scenario. As a slave of righteousness the bottom-line reality is that we cannot help but to obey our master: righteousness (Christ). Oh, we try real hard to resist, and even almost convince ourselves that we have done so ... by those same methods we learned in the world by which also Christ was declared to be unrighteous.
EVEN THOUGH we were living in obligation to sin we somehow miraculously BECAME OBEDIENT FROM THE HEART. Obedience REEKS of the life of God. It is the appearance of this obedience that is so confusing because it is mistaken for something other even as God Himself has been credited as evil, and his son has been mistaken for a sinner ... and even we ourselves are considered in the same light, even by ourselves.
And I'm not suggesting in any way that we should be looking to determine our own or each other's obedience. No, it's more the realization of the miraculous in the everyday realities. After all, how is it that we see God in each other when the natural logic is so often demanding the opposite?
The truth of obedience causes us to laugh at the ridiculous and bogus attempts of the flesh to produce the life of God. It also causes us to marvel in wonder at the simplicity of the life of Christ that has taken place among those who didn't give a flip about God.
This may stir up more questions, but that would be par for the course, don't you think? :)