Finally, a closer relationship with God is built upon a life of obedience. Jesus told His disciples in the upper room, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Then we see how Jesus himself was obedient to the point of death on the cross. James tells us that as we submit ourselves to God through obedience, resist the devil, and draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Paul tells us in Romans that our obedience is our “living sacrifice” of thanksgiving to God.
We must keep in mind that all biblical exhortations to obedience are presented as our response to the grace of God we receive in salvation. We don’t earn salvation through our obedience; rather, it is the way we show our love and gratitude toward God. The power to have faith and walk in obedience is found in the grace of the Gospel. Focusing on our salvation and the Gospel message is how we become more obedient and we do so because we love God.