Skip to content

Separated Unto God – Two Kinds of Obedience

by on October 24, 2016

Separated Unto God – Two Kinds of Obedience

An early Anabaptist tract spoke of Two Kinds of Obedience. One kind of obedience is based on a slavish following of law. The other kind of obedience is based on the love of a child for the Father. This tract was apparently written sometime before 1530 by one of the Swiss Brethren. The message is timely and timeless. It is amazing how the early Swiss Brethren were so Spirit-led that they were able to write and live the values of the New Testament so distinctly.

The writing goes on and on describing ways in which these concepts of law and love differ. Love obedience is higher than law obedience. Love obedience does not “have to” but “wants to.” Love obedience was a major component of the early Anabaptist Church. Love obedience is desperately needed today also.

Following are some examples/excerpts of the wisdom of this tract. These examples are edited for ease of understanding.

Law does what is specifically commanded.
Love never tires of obedience because of love for the truth.
Law is imperfection.
Love strives for perfection.
Law follows Moses.
Love follows Christ.
Law produces self willed and vindictive people.
Love produces peaceable and mild-mannered people.
Law is self-focused.
Love is other-focused.
Law is self-willed.
Love is joyful.
Law is for time
Love is for eternity.
Law is figure and shadow.
Love is realty and truth.
Law leads to hatred of God and neighbor.
Love leads to love of God and neighbor.
Law permitted swearing.
Love does not permit swearing.
Law permitted hatred for enemies.
Love loves those who hate
Love blesses those who harm

Love keeps no record of wrong.
Love gives with no record of giving.
Love prays secretly.
Love condemns no one.
Love fasts without outward show.
Love is light.
Love is a city on a hill.
Love is good salt.
Love is a good eye that lightens the whole body.
Love takes no anxious thought but daily lives for God.
Love does not cast pearls before swine.
Love does not give what is holy to dogs.
Love seeks, asks, knocks, finds, receives through the open door.
Love is a good tree that brings forth good fruit.
Love does the will of the Father.
Love stands against the gates of hell.
Love enters the straight and narrow way.
Love is built on Christ the chief cornerstone.
Love stands against the wrathful judgment of Pharisees and Scribes.
Love is a house and temple of God.
Love is where God really dwells.
Love is now maligned by the Pharisees as a habitation of the Devil.
Law is the Old Testament.
Love is the New Testament.

More excerpts:
If a man wants to escape from sin, he must first hate it. And if he would hate it, he must first personally know it. It is the law, or Scripture that does this. For as much as the law demands, that much more the man turns from God to that which he has done, and justifies himself by his ceremonial accomplishments. The greater his love for his accomplishments becomes, the more and the greater will grow his hatred for God and for his neighbor. For the more and the closer a man clings to the creature, the farther he is from God. The more he desires the creature, the less he will have of the Creator.

The house of the Pharisees and scribes did not put their heart in their obedience.


May we, as current believers, learn from our fore-parents and put our hearts into our obedience and live the life of love for God and neighbor.

Comments are closed.