Obedient Faith

 

Paul wrote, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast…."  (Ephesians 2:8-9)  Obedience is biblically linked to our salvation as is made abundantly clear in many passages of Scripture (John 14:15; Romans 2:8; Romans 6:16).  Paul taught that our obedience to the Lord releases us from sin whereby we can become servants of righteousness: "But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness."  (Romans 6:17-18)  Therefore, one who is being obedient is not engaging in a "works-based" form of salvation, but is simply following the word of God.  Only those who obey the Lord have the hope of eternal salvation: "…and having been made perfect, He became unto all them that obey Him the author of eternal salvation…."  (Hebrews 5:9)

When Adam disobeyed God, sin came into the world (Romans 5:19).  Paul tells us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  Death came into the world by sin and all have sinned (Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23).  Therefore, God demands punishment for sin and there is only one punishment: death.  The disobedience of every one on earth is what caused our Lord to endure humiliation and is what put Jesus on the cruel cross of Calvary.  Jesus suffered and died in our place so that we could have a chance at life.  Without Jesus, we would all be doomed to everlasting separation from God.  Following every commandment of Jesus and the will of God perfectly could never accomplish that.  Nothing we could do could ever repay God and Jesus back for what they had to do so that we could escape the death we earned with our disobedience.  In order to work our way to heaven, we would have to be able to place God in our debt.  When a worker earns a wage, the employer becomes indebted to the worker and owes him the recompense for work performed.  What could we possibly do to make God owe us anything?  By being obedient to the will of God, we are simply doing what we are commanded to do.

Jesus illustrates this principle in His parable of the unprofitable servant perfectly: "But who is there of you, having a servant plowing or keeping sheep, that will say unto him, when he is come in from the field, `Come straightway and sit down to meat;' and will not rather say unto him, `Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?'  Doth he thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded?  Even so ye also, when ye shall have done all the things that are commanded you, say, `We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which it was our duty to do.'"  (Luke 17:7-10)

May the Lord bless you!

David Ferguson