Our Lord never insists on having authority. He never says, “You must.” He leaves us perfectly free. So free that we can spit in his face, as people did, so free that we can put him to death, as people did, and he will never say a word. But when his life has been created inside me by his redemption, I instantly recognize his right to absolute authority over me. It is a moral domination: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power” (Revelation 4:11).

Only the thing that is unworthy in me refuses to bow down to what is worthy. When I meet people who are more righteous than me, I must recognize their worthiness and obey what comes through them. If I don’t, it reveals my own unworthiness. God educates us through people who are a little better than we are—not intellectually better, but “holily” better. He does this until we come under the rule of the Lord himself. When we are under his rule, the attitude of our entire life is one of obedience to him.

The way I understand obedience reveals my growth in grace. We use the word obedience to mean the submission of an inferior to a superior. Our Lord used the word to describe a relationship of equals, that of a Son and a Father: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Jesus obeyed his Father not because he had no choice in the matter but because he loved him. “I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me” (14:31).

When we truly see our Lord, we cannot help but recognize his moral authority over us. We obey him instantly, eager to show our love for him: “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me” (v. 21).

Wisdom from Oswald

There is no allowance whatever in the New Testament for the man who says he is saved by grace but who does not produce the graceful goods. Jesus Christ by His Redemption can make our actual life in keeping with our religious profession.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount