One of our members asked the following:
I’m trying to get my mind around God’s blessings and our obedience.
Is God’s blessing contingent on our obedience?
Does He bless us because of our obedience?
It seems some people believe that God is expected to come through for them if they are obedient.
Can you clarify?
A humorous illustration
A tele-evangelist said that if I give him $100 in seed money, then God will give me $1,000. I called his hotline and asked him to give me $1,000 in seed money and if he did then God would give him $10,000.
The TV evangelist illustration points to some of the confusion and absurdities in our Christian culture regarding obedience and blessings.
My member friend was essentially asking if I could shed some light on this confusion.
I’ll try to do this by elaborating on these four essential points:
(1) Does your obedience gain favor from God? (2) What is obedience? (3) What is a blessing? (4) What is your motive for being blessed?
Does your obedience gain favor from God?
It is important that we separate our obedience from the obedience of Christ. There is a place for our obedience and there is a place for Christ’s obedience. How we view both of them is the difference between being a Christian or not.
We are justified before God because of the obedience of Christ–not our own obedience. To be justified is to be declared not guilty before God. Justification is what happens when we are born again. The only way you can become a Christian is through the obedience of Christ. Our best works are filthy before God Almighty.
Our obedience does not merit any favor with God as though we can become more righteous by doing good. That is not the purpose and point of our obedience. Some Christians believe that if they do good, they can earn more of God’s favor. This is problematic on many levels.
While there is a place for obedience, it is not in how we think or work in order to be positionally right before God. The only way we can be righteous before God is to be clothed in a righteousness that
-  My pastor preached a sermon on this topic. You can click The Blessing of Generosity from 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 to listen to his sermon. During the sermon he used the “TV evangelist illustration” that I used in this article. ↩