Commitment is an important concept in the Christian faith. As Christians, we are called to be committed to God, to our spouses and families, to our churches, and to living according to Biblical principles. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore what the Bible says about commitment in these key areas.
Commitment means being dedicated to something or someone. It requires making a firm decision to follow through on your obligations and promises regardless of changing circumstances. True commitment perseveres despite difficulties, disappointments, and trials.
The Bible has a lot to say about commitment and faithfulness. Here are some key takeaways on commitment from Scripture:
- God desires that we commit to Him wholeheartedly and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). This includes committing to know, obey and serve Him.
- Marriage involves a solemn commitment between husband and wife to love and cherish one another for life (Matthew 19:5-6). Spouses are to be faithful to one another.
- Parents are to be committed to raising their children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4, Proverbs 22:6).
- Believers should be committed members of a local church, using their gifts to build up the body of Christ (Romans 12:5-8, Hebrews 10:24-25).
- We are to commit to living holy lives that please God and avoid sin (1 Peter 1:14-16, Romans 12:1-2). Our commitment to follow Christ should transform everything we do.
In the rest of this post, we will look at what the Bible teaches concerning commitment in these key areas: commitment to God, commitment in marriage, commitment to church, and being committed to living a godly life.
Commitment to God
Our relationship with God should be the top priority in our lives. As Jesus said, the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).
Loving God fully means being completely committed to Him. We are to love Him with our entire being – all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
King Solomon wrote, “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God” (1 Kings 8:61). The Hebrew word translated “wholly devoted” speaks of complete loyalty and single-minded commitment.
God desires 100% of our affection, allegiance, and attention. He wants us to be completely His. Halfhearted devotion is not acceptable.
The Apostle Paul expressed this earnest desire to be fully committed to Christ:
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11)
Paul considered everything else insignificant compared to the greatness of knowing Christ. His life goal was singleminded devotion to the Lord. This should be the believers’ passion as well.
Wholehearted commitment to God includes obedience to His commands. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). Genuine love results in obedience.
Commitment to obey God is a theme throughout Scripture. For example:
- “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land” (Isaiah 1:19).
- “Blessed are those who keep my ways…They also do no unrighteousness; they walk in his ways” (Psalm 119:2-3).
- Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching” (John 14:23).
Obedience demonstrates that God’s ways and will are supreme in our lives. It flows out of reverent submission to the Lord. Through obedience, we stay close to God and experience His blessings.
Another aspect of wholehearted commitment to God is serving Him. We demonstrate our devotion to Christ through acts of service – using our time and abilities according to His purposes instead of our own.
Joshua challenged the Israelites to decide who they would serve. They responded, “We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God” (Joshua 24:18). Like them, we must decide to serve the one true God.
Our service includes both serving in ministry and serving others. Here are some ways we can serve the Lord:
- Use spiritual gifts to build up the church (1 Peter 4:10-11)
- Make disciples and teach others God’s truth (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Care for the poor, widows and orphans (James 1:27, Galatians 2:10)
- Share the gospel and make Christ known (Matthew 4:19, 2 Corinthians 5:20)
- Administer grace through hospitality, generosity and encouragement (1 Peter 4:9-10, Hebrews 13:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
When we serve God wholeheartedly, we imitate Jesus who said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Serving God demonstrates genuine commitment to Him.
Pursuing an intimate relationship with God is key to staying committed to Him. We cultivate closeness with God by seeking Him through spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible study, fasting, and meditation.
King David was a man after God’s own heart because he earnestly sought the Lord:
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1-2a)
To be committed to God, we must continually seek closer fellowship with Him through prayer, Scripture, the Holy Spirit’s leading, and corporate worship. God promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
In summary, true wholehearted devotion to God involves:
- Loving Him with our entire being
- Obeying His Word and commandments
- Serving Him wholeheartedly
- Seeking Him earnestly and pursuing a deep, intimate relationship
This kind of total commitment to God should be the essential foundation of the Christian life.
Commitment in Marriage
Marriage requires deep commitment between husband and wife. What does the Bible say about commitment in marriage?
God designed marriage to be a covenant – a solemn, binding agreement between spouses to commit themselves exclusively to one another.
When a man and woman join in marriage, the two “will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). They bind their lives together and must keep their marital vows in mutual faithfulness.
The prophet Malachi declared that God expects spouses to honor their marriage covenant:
“The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. (Malachi 2:16)
Divorce and unfaithfulness violently breach the marriage covenant. Therefore, spouses should steadfastly uphold their promises to one another.
For Better or For Worse
Marriage is intended to be permanent, a lifelong union. When wedding vows are exchanged, most couples pledge faithfulness “for better or for worse.” This promise indicates commitment even through difficult times.
Paul gave this instruction:
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
Spouses should remain committed to working through problems rather than choosing separation or divorce, which should only be considered in extreme circumstances (Matthew 19:8).
Loving One Another
Husbands and wives fulfill their covenant commitment by sincerely loving one another. Paul wrote:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5:25, 28-30)
This exhortation to unconditional love echoes Christ’s words:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12-13)
Marriage requires mutual self-sacrifice. Husbands and wives demonstrate Christlike commitment by putting each other’s needs first and fervently loving one another.
Faithfulness In Mind and Body
Faithfulness in marriage means keeping the covenant in body and mind:
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)
Spouses commit to exclusively share intimacy with one another, saving sexual activity for the marriage relationship alone.
Faithfulness also involves purity of thought. Jesus taught that adultery of the heart begins with lust (Matthew 5:27-28). Spouses should keep their minds devoted to their marriage partner.
Marriage requires wholehearted, faithful commitment from husband and wife. They must uphold their covenant vows, love and cherish one another unconditionally, and maintain purity of both mind and body. This kind of mutual devotion reflects the permanent, exclusive commitment between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:32).
Commitment to the Church
As Christians, we do not follow Christ in isolation. God calls us together into local church families where we can grow spiritually and serve one another. What does the Bible teach about commitment to the church?
Using Spiritual Gifts
Every believer has God-given spiritual gifts to build up fellow Christians. Paul explains:
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many…Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27)
When we commit to regular church involvement, we can discover our spiritual gifts and use them to strengthen the local body. Examples of gifts include teaching, serving, encouraging, giving generously, leading, showing mercy, and administration (Romans 12:6-8).
Exercising our gifts is an important way to be devoted to the church.
The Bible describes the church as a body interacting together, not isolated members. We read:
From [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:16)
Every believer has a crucial role to play in building up the church. We fulfill this ministry to one another by things like praying together, confessing sins, teaching sound doctrine, mentoring young believers, admonishing the wayward, and bearing one another’s burdens (James 5:16, Galatians 6:2, 2 Timothy 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:14).
These “one another” commands require commitment to regular Christian fellowship. We encourage spiritual growth in the church by ministering to fellow members.
Contributing financially to the local church is another way to demonstrate devotion. Paul explains the Lord’s design that those who preach the gospel should earn their living from it:
The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:14)
He says elsewhere:
Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Galatians 6:6-7 ESV)
Giving generously to support pastors, missionaries, and kingdom work makes us partners spreading the good news. It is a privilege to give back to God from the financial resources He provides.
Loyalty and Accountability
Commitment to the church means loyalty to a specific local congregation as opposed to “church hopping.” We are to submit to the authority and accountability of church leadership. Why?
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17 ESV)
Staying committed to a church provides spiritual protection. The habits of inconsistent attendance, avoiding accountability, and switching churches frequently impair spiritual growth.
Gathering regularly with other believers should be a high priority:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Attending church services gives us opportunity to worship together, study God’s Word, pray together, and fellowship with other Christians. These activities are vital for our spiritual health and growth.
In summary, being committed to a local church involves:
- Discovering and using spiritual gifts to build up others
- Participating in mutual ministry within the body
- Giving financially to support the church’s work
- Remaining loyal to one congregation and its leaders
- Maintaining regular attendance for worship, teaching, and fellowship
This kind of devotion and faithfulness to the church family allows believers to mature in Christ and contribute to the health of the wider body.
Commitment to Godly Living
Along with commitment to God, marriage, and the church, the Bible calls Christians to be wholeheartedly devoted to righteous living. What does Scripture teach about being committed to holy conduct?
Putting Off Sin
An essential part of commitment to godliness is resolutely turning away from sinful behavior and desires:
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. (Colossians 3:5-6)
Obeying God’s moral commands requires rejecting our fleshly impulses. We must decisively turn from sinful thoughts and actions.
Paul urges believers to sanctified living:
Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness…But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:19, 22)
A holy life demonstrates that we are fully committed to God and desire to please Him.
Putting On Righteousness
In addition to putting off sins, we must be committed to putting on righteous character:
Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another…And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)
Sanctification requires replacing evil behaviors with Christlike attitudes and actions empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our commitment is to grow into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29).
The Apostle Peter admonishes:
Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV)
Progressing in holiness means exerting ourselves to develop godly virtues and character.
Fixing Eyes on Jesus
How do we remain committed to living righteously even when we stumble into sin? By fixing our eyes on Christ:
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Keeping the gospel central provides motivation to press on toward righteousness, even when we fail. Judging our own performance leads to either pride or discouragement. Gazing on Jesus instead reminds us that He flawlessly fulfilled the law on our behalf and grants enabling grace to obey.
Our commitment is not to sinless perfection but to diligently striving toward holiness in Christ until He returns. With our eyes fixed on Jesus, we can joyfully make progress in godly living.
In summary, commitment to righteous living involves:
- Putting off and rejecting sinful desires and behaviors
- Putting on Christlike character and virtues
- Progressing in holiness by God’s grace and the Spirit’s power
- Persevering toward sanctification with eyes fixed on Jesus
This wholehearted devotion to godliness honors the Lord and allows us to enjoy increasing blessings of obedience.
To summarize, the Bible has much to say about the importance of commitment in the Christian life. The key points include:
- We must be wholly committed to loving, obeying, and serving God with our entire being. Seeking close relationship with Him should be our top priority.
- Marriage requires total commitment to one’s spouse through upholding covenant vows, unconditional love, and purity of mind and body. This reflects Christ’s devotion to the Church.
- Commitment to the local church means actively using our gifts, participating in mutual ministry, giving financially, submitting to authority, and attending faithfully. This allows us to mature spiritually.
- We demonstrate commitment to godly living by resolutely putting off sin, putting on righteousness, fixing our eyes on Christ, and persevering in sanctification by His grace.
Living with wholehearted commitment in these areas honors God, enriches our lives, and builds up the body of Christ. May this overview on the Bible’s teaching about commitment encourage us toward greater faithfulness.