In Matthew 25, Jesus Christ tells a parable about a man who gave three of his servants money to invest for him during the lengthy period that he would be traveling elsewhere.  When the man returned after his long absence, he commended two of the three servants, both of whom had done a good job of investing his money, stating to first one and then to the other, “Well done, good and faithful servant. . . .”

[Note:  When we quote Scripture in this article, we use the wording in the New King James Version of the Bible.  And, when bold print is shown in the scriptures that we quote in this article, it is to focus on certain words that we will be addressing in our subsequent discussion.]

The parable regarding the three servants apparently motivated someone to contrive a tale about a man whose faithful servant had been burned to death in a house fire a few days earlier.  The servant’s master wanted to honor this servant for being faithful, but he was having difficulty determining how to do so.  After much deliberation, the master decided to put the following inscription on the servant’s gravestone: “Herein lies a well-done good and faithful servant.”

Although this secular tale may cause some people to chuckle or even laugh, others may not appreciate the intended humor.  Nevertheless, the principle message of this secular tale, as well as the biblical parable, is that people who are faithful deserve to be honored.

Before continuing, we will define faithful and obedience to be sure that it is clear what we mean when we mention these two terms.

Webster’s Dictionary defines faithful as “keeping faith; maintaining allegiance; constant; loyal.” And, Webster defines obedience as “obeying or a willingness to obey; submission.”

These definitions suggest that if a person sincerely wants to be obedient to God, it is necessary for that person to faithfully conduct themselves according to God’s will (i.e., do what God wants them to do).  And, the more consistent that a person’s faithfulness is to God, the greater will be that person’s obedience to Him.

Now we will consider what the Bible says regarding being obedient to God or to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

In Matthew 10:38, Jesus Christ declares “[H]e who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”

This scripture indicates that a person who does not seek to conduct themselves according to what Jesus Christ taught demonstrates his (or her) lack of faithfulness to being obedient to Him and,  therefore, such a person is not worthy of having Jesus Christ as their Savior (i.e., that person does not deserve to be regarded as a true follower of Jesus).  However, even mature Christians (i.e., people who not only have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, but also demonstrate by their words and their deeds a sincere desire to be obedient to Him) do not always conduct themselves according to God’s will.

So, what can Christians do to more consistently be obedient to God?  We do not think there is a simple answer to this question.  However, in addition to having a genuine love for God, one of the most important traits necessary to more consistently be obedient to God is perseverance, which Webster indicates involves continuing “in some effort, course of action, etc., in spite of difficulty, opposition, etc.”

In other words, Christians who sincerely desire to be consistently obedient to God need to continually strive to do whatever is necessary and appropriate, regardless of the difficulty of attempting to do so.  However, even Christians who strive to be consistently obedient to God will still experience lapses in their obedience, because of the unceasing influence of their inherent human nature to do otherwise.

Nevertheless, there are benefits for those who consistently strive to be obedient to God.  The following scriptures allude to such benefits.

In Exodus 19:5, God tells the Israelites, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.”

Although this verse of scripture is directed toward the Israelites, whom the Old Testament refers to as God’s “chosen” people, it is reasonable to believe that this scripture is also applicable to Christians, whom a number of verses in the New Testament refer to as the “elect,”  which is a synonym for “chosen.” Therefore, it is likely that every Christian who earnestly strives to be obedient to God is regarded by Him as one of His special treasures who will be blessed by Him in some manner.

In Jeremiah 7:23, God informs the Israelites regarding what He told their ancestors,[T]his is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’”

This scripture verse, like the previous one, is directed toward the Israelites.  And, for the same reason as mentioned with regard to Exodus 19:5, it is reasonable to believe that what is stated in Jeremiah 7:23 is also applicable to Christians.  Thus, it is probable that when a Christian obeys God, that person’s life will be “well,” which seems to mean that person’s life will be blessed by God in special ways.

Acts 5:32b says that God has given the Holy Spirit “to those who obey Him.”

The Bible indicates that when a person becomes a genuine Christian (a person who sincerely trusts in Jesus Christ as their Savior), that person will be indwelled by the Holy Spirit, as indicated in our article entitled “Filling versus Indwelling by the Holy Spirit,” which can be accessed by clicking on its title.  Therefore, it can be inferred from Acts 5:32b that, by sincerely trusting in Jesus Christ as their Savior, every genuine Christian demonstrates their willingness to be obedient to God.

Hebrews 5:9b declares that Jesus Christ “became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. . . .”

Although this scripture seems to imply that everyone who earnestly attempts to obey Jesus Christ is entitled to receive eternal salvation by trusting in Him as their Savior, it may instead indicate that those who trust in Jesus will generally endeavor to obey His teachings.


Some people, or perhaps many people, who regard themselves as Christians are evidently not willing to faithfully obey God.  Such people want Jesus Christ to be their Savior, who will give them eternal salvation and bless them in other ways, but they are reluctant or unwilling to allow Jesus to be their Lord.  As a result, they do not endeavor to obey His teachings, which indicates that they have only a superficial commitment to Him.  Whether or not these people are truly Christians, only God knows for certain.  However, the Bible makes it clear that God desires that all Christians faithfully obey Him.

[For discussions regarding matters related to this article, click on Can Jesus Christ Be a Person’s Savior but Not Their Lord?” and “How Can We Demonstrate Genuine Love for God?]