OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL
repeated commands to believe in Christ that use the imperitive mood require
a specific positive response of obedience in order to be saved and become
children of God.
That positive response to the gospel first requires a change of mind about
God and one's belief system.
Jesus did not mince words with the commands at Mark 1:15. "Change the mind (metanoeō)
and believe (pisteuō) the gospel.
These commands are in the present active imperative.
They indicate the faith-command of the gospel that must be obeyed in order
to possess the promised benefit of the gospel which is everlasting life. "He
who believes in Him has everlasting life." John 3:15.
THE ONE MOMENT IN TIME FAITH OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL
Many times the faith-command of the gospel is given in the present tense of
the verb. But the present tense should not be viewed as a continuous idea as
in "keep on believing." It is rather, a RIGHT NOW idea.
This can be seen at John 12:36, "while you have the light believe (present
tense) in the light in order that you may become (aorist tense) sons of
light." The present tense of believe focuses on RIGHT NOW and the aorist
tense of become indicates what will happen in that very instant that you
At John 8:24, Jesus used the aorist tense to indicate the same "right now"
idea of believing.
"For unless you believe (aorist act. subjunctive) that I AM you shall die in
At Acts 16:31 the same command is given in the aorist active imperative,
"believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." The emphasis there
is clearly, RIGHT NOW, make a choice of obedience to believe.
Although the idea is IF you believe, it is still in a command form.
Since believing the gospel is a commanded response to the invitation, when
someone believes, they are in fact OBEYING the commanded requirement. The
expression of faith is obeying the gospel.
A good place to see both the present and aorist imperatives at work together
is at John 6:47-59.
V. 47, he who believes (present).
V. 50, so that one may eat and not die. Aorist tense.
V. 51, "if anyone eats (aorist) of this bread he shall live forever."
V. 53, "unless you eat (aorist) . . . and drink . . . you have no life in
V. 54, "he who eats (present participle) . . . and drinks . . . has
OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL
There are three word groups used to communicate obedience to the gospel.
A. hupakouō: to obey
Heb. 5:9, "and having been made complete, He became to all those who obey
(verb, hupakouō, present participle) Him the source of eternal salvation."
The present participle indicates the principle that obedience to the
faith-command of the gospel results in everlasting salvation.
Rom. 1:5, The ministry is to bring about the obedience (noun) of (which is)
faith among all the Gentiles.
Rom. 16:25-26, "the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,
but now has been disclosed, and through the Scriptures of the prophets, in
accordance with the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to
all the nations, leading to obedience (noun) of faith." The expression of
faith is an ACT of obedience.
Acts 6:7, "a great number of priests were becoming obedient (imperfect act.
ind.) to the faith." It means they obeyed the gospel by believing in Christ.
Rom. 6:17, "but thanks be to God that even though you were slaves to sin,
you obeyed (aorist act. indicative) from the heart that form of teaching to
which you were exposed."
The act of obeying the faith-command of the gospel was in a moment of time,
and the result was immediate as indicated by the aorist tenses of verse 18,
"having been freed from the sin nature, you became slaves of righteousness."
2Thes. 1:8, "dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and who do
not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus."
The perfect act. participle of "know" (oida) and the present active
participle describes them as being in a condition of not knowing and
disobedient. It indicates the status that resulted from a negative response
to the gospel that had not been reversed.
B. apeitheō: to be disobedient
John 3:36, The one who believes (present participle) in the Son has eternal
life; but the one who (does not obey) is not obedient (present participle)
to the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
Acts 14:2, apeitheō: but the Jews who were disobedient. These had made a
choice to not obey the gospel message.
Rom. 2:8, apeitheō (present act. participle): "to those who do not obey the
truth but obey (peithō) unrighteousness."
The participle indicates that they are in a condition of disobedience since
they did not express faith in Christ.
1Peter 4:17, apeitheō: For it is time for judgment to begin with the
household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome
for those who do not obey the gospel of God? Present active participle
The participle sees them in a condition of disobedience to the "believe"
command of the gospel.
1Peter 2:8, apeitheō (present act. part): for they stumble because they are
disobedient to the word, and to this they were also appointed (aorist
passive indicative of tithāmi).
They continue to stumble over the idea that Jesus is the Messiah because
they have rejected the gospel message.
Because they are in a condition of disobedience to the faith-command of the
gospel, they continue to be blinded and unable to recognize Him as the
promised Messiah. The partial hardening of Rom. 11:25. And the veil of 2Cor.
Acts 5:32, "the Holy Spirit whom God gives to those who obey Him." Present
The present participle is used to indicate a principle of truth. This is
The Holy Spirit is given to a person at the very moment of faith in Christ;
the very moment they express obedience to the faith-command of the gospel.