Does not the biblical emphasis on obedience lend itself to legalism (e.g., Deut. 4:1)?
The biblical emphasis on obedience goes against the grain of our fallen human nature. Obedience is often perceived as a curtailment of one’s freedom. We tend to associate it with subjection to someone or some law. But in the Bible obedience is something positive.
1. Obedience and Hearing/Listening: Biblical religion is a religion of the ear. It is based on the fact that God addressed humans through His Word, revealing to them His person and will. This divine speaking lies at the very foundation of human obedience. This explains the fact that in the Bible the verb “to hear/listen” often means “to obey” (e.g., Heb. shama‘, “to hear, obey” [Ex. 24:7; Isa. 42:24]; ’azan, “to hear” [Ex. 15:26]; Gr. akouō, “to hear, obey” [Mark 9:7]). We could not properly speak about obedience without a previous divine…
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