Sermon quotes on obedience

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.

The Cost of Discipleship

Timothy Wilson

 One of the most enduring lessons of social psychology is that behavior change often precedes changes in attitude and feelings.

Oswald Chambers

One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it.


Francis Chan

What are you doing right now that requires faith?

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God


Jim Elliot

God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.


Steven Furtick

Great moves of God are usually preceded by simple acts of obedience.


Susan Hunt 

When God’s grace changes our status from rebel to redeemed, we are empowered by his Spirit to obey him. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2) into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). Joyful obedience is the evidence of our love for Jesus (John 14:15).

Women’s Devotional Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014): “From Empty to Full.”

Thomas a Kempis

Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience.

The Imitation of Christ

Abraham Lincoln

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.


Friedrich Nietzsche

The essential thing “in heaven and earth” is . . . that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living. 

Beyond Good and Evil

Eugene Peterson

When we submit our lives to what we read in scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.

David Platt

Jesus has not given us options to consider. He has given us commands to obey.

H.W. Robinson

This is salvation in the deeper and more spiritual sense of the Old Testament. . . . But even in the religion of the Law, . . . obedience to the revealed will of Yahweh is recognized as the supreme end of man and the supreme glory of God. The attitude of Jesus to the will of God and his emphasis on the absolute worth of obedience as the supreme ‘value’ of human life are the best illustrations of what the Old Testament indicates as the purposes of Yahweh in creation and providence.

The Religious Ideas of the Old Testament (London: Duckworth, 1913)

William Temple

Your religion is what you do with your solitude


Dallas Willard

Obedience is an essential outcome of Christian spiritual formation.

Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ


C.S. Lewis

The command “Be ye perfect” is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.

Mere Christianity

Ignatius of Loyola

There are very few men who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into His hands and let themselves be formed by His Grace.

Letter to Ascanio Colonna (Rome, April 25, 1543), quoted in “Abandoning Ourselves to His Hands,” Bishop Felipe J. Estévez, St. Augustine Catholic (September/October 2014), 7,  (accessed June 3, 2016).

Martin Luther

There is no justification without sanctification, no forgiveness without renewal of life, no real faith from which the fruits of new obedience do not grow.

John Calvin

We must be sure of the infinite good that is done to us by our Master, Jesus, the King, in order that we may be ravished in love with our God and inflamed with a right affection to obey Him, and keep ourselves strictly in awe of Him. 

Taken from William J. Bouwsma, John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 103.

H.G. Wells

The trouble with so many people is that the voice of their neighbors sounds louder in their ears than the voice of God.

Ronald Knox

Throughout two thousand years of history, Christians, both whole churches and individual believers, have consistently been able to ignore many of Jesus’ key commandments and invitations. We have either been too weak to follow his counsels or we have rationalized them away in some way.

Taken from Robert Barron, The Eucharist, p.10.

William Cowper

To see the Law by Christ fulfilled

And hear His pardoning voice,

Changes a slave into a child,

And duty into choice.

Love Constraining to Obedience, 1772.

A.M. Hunter

The New Testament makes it clear that the early Church’s message always …had two aspects—one theological, the other ethical: (i) the Gospel which the apostles preached; and (ii) the Commandment, growing out of the Gospel, which they taught to those who accepted the Gospel. The Gospel was a declaration of what God, in his grace, had done for men through Christ; the Commandment was a statement of what God required from men who had become the objects of his gracious action.’

Design for life: an exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (SCM, 1953; revised edition 1965).


Submission to God is eternal rest.

Against Heresies

Richard Foster

Joy, not grit, is the hallmark of holy obedience. We need to be light-hearted in what we do to avoid taking ourselves too seriously. It is a cheerful revolt against self and pride.

Thomas Watson

Be not only attentive in hearing, but retentive after hearing.

Mike Bickle

Our lives only have meaning as we understand them with respect to obedience to Christ Jesus who is seated at the Father’s right hand. If we lose our focus on Him, then we lose our connection with reality, purpose, and order. If we lose our vision of the throne of God as the center of everything we live for, then we lose our equilibrium and stability. We lose our reason for enduring hardships. We lose our motivation to bless our enemies. We lose the real reason why God gives us good things.


Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our illustrations page on Obedience. 

Follow us on social media: