Learning Obedience
(week 03/06)
Olubi Johnson

Hebrews 5:8 NKJV: though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

Here, we are told that Jesus learned obedience.

How do you learn anything?

By receiving instruction about it and by practicing it.

So Jesus learned obedience by receiving instruction on how to obey God from the Holy Spirit through the written Word and by then acting on those instructions. This is spoken of prophetically in the Messianic psalm:

Psalms 119:97-102 NKJV: Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. 102 I have not departed from Your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me.

He grew in obedience by gradually receiving higher and higher levels of instructions and acting on them until He completed or perfected His obedience by going to the cross:

Philippians 2:8 NKJV: And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Hebrews 5:9 NKJV: And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him

So we are to learn obedience the same way: by receiving instructions from the Holy Spirit through the written Word and acting on those instructions. When we fail: we are to be honest about it, find out why we failed, correct it and so by instruction and practice gradually, like Christ, perfect obedience in our lives.

Now, why is there suffering in obeying God?

This is because there is satanic opposition to obeying God. Satan causes persecution and affliction to arise for the Word’s sake to discourage and force us by spiritual power to disobey God:

Mark 4:13-20 NKJV: The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 but these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

Romans 7:15-23 NIV: And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

Galatians 5:16-18 NIV: So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

So, you can only successfully learn obedience by learning and practicing the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus:

Romans 8:2-3 NKJV: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:9-13 NKJV: And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Why should we learn obedience?

Firstly, to love and please God.

John 15:9-10 NIV: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

Secondly, to be able to receive answers to our prayers.

1 John 3:22 NKJV: And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

So, by using the life of God, the written Word and the power of Holy Spirit to frequently, during the course of every day, spiritually anesthetize and flush out the sin nature seeking to operate in or through our souls and bodies we can learn and gradually perfect obedience:

2 Corinthians 4:10-13 NKJV: always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,

Romans 8:13 NIV: For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

Jude 20-21 NKJV: but you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1 Corinthians 14:18 NIV: I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.

So, frequently throughout each day say,

‘Father I confess my sins.’

‘In Jesus name I have life’

Then pray in tongues fervently saying in your heart: ‘ I am obedient unto death by the spirit using joy, peace and longsuffering; abstaining from all appearances of evil.