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Does God Require Obedience? September 18, 2006

Posted by JP in Discussion.
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Recently on a discussion board the question was asked:

Does God require obedience?

If not, why not?

If so, obedience to what and why?

I’ve been thinking alot about the idea of ‘requiring’ obedience. I find that the idea that God ‘requires’ our obedience is faulty.

re‧quire  /rɪˈkwaɪər/ Pronunciation[ri-kwahyuhr]
–verb (used with object)
1. to have need of; need: He requires medical care.
2. to call on authoritatively; order or enjoin to do something: to require an agent to account for money spent.
3. to ask for authoritatively or imperatively; demand.
4. to impose need or occasion for; make necessary or indispensable: The work required infinite patience.
5. to call for or exact as obligatory; ordain: The law requires annual income-tax returns.
6. to place under an obligation or necessity: The situation requires me to take immediate action.
7. Chiefly British. to desire; wish to have: Will you require tea at four o’clock?
–verb (used without object)
8. to demand; impose obligation: to do as the law requires.

As I look at the nature of ‘require’ it occurs to me that a ‘requirement’ is something that must happen. Naturally I have to ask: Why must this happen? What is the result if the requirement is not met?

Under the Old Covenant, obedience was a requirement for righteousness (right standing before God). One was required to obey the Law in order to earn or gain righteousness. Without obedience righteousness could not be imputed unto man.

However, the Law was supremely efficient in demonstrating that man could not gain righteousness. ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (God’s Glory = righteousness)’. So we understand that mankind was, and is, unable to attain righteousness through obedience, it is simply impossible.

God knew this and He put the covenant of obedience in place in order to demonstrate to us, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we were completely incapable of following the Law sufficiently to earn righteousness.

Scripture very clearly tells us “for by grace are you saved, through faith – not of works…” To my mind that one simple line tells us quite clearly that we can be saved, declared righteousness by nothing other than God’s Grace through faith.

The covenant of Grace solved the problem of obedience for us, in accordance with His plan. Under His grace we are saved (declared righteous) by Grace through faith in Christ Jesus. Our righeousness was bought and paid for by the blood of Christ Jesus in His fully sufficent sacrificial atonement on the Cross.

So now what becomes of obedience? Before, under the old covenant, obedience led to righteousness (in theory). Now, under the new covenant, righteousness in imputed unto us by Grace through faith. Obedience then becomes a result of righteousness not the other way around.

Does God require obedience? Not at all. All of those in Christ are righteous in His sight as a result of His grace and our faith in Christ Jesus. Obedience then becomes a natural outpouring of that righteousness. We are not obedient in order to be righteous, we are obedient because we are righteous. Subsequently, obedience is not a requirement, it is not a necessary element to ensure our righteousness and salvation. It is a symptom of that freely given righteousness, an outward confirmation of that which we already have in Christ.

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Comments»

1. theseldomscene - September 19, 2006

amen…that is good stuff rev…like the tree and fruit thing…only natural to do it…GOD bless…

2. JP - September 20, 2006

I struggle with the fact that so many want to put the cart before the horse and seek obedience in order to find Him, when in truth they simply need to surrender to Him and obedience will find them. LIke the symptoms of a disease. Only in this case the disease is life eternal and the everpresent love of Christ and power of His Holy Spirit, and the symptoms are the fruits of the Spirit (obedience to Him included).

3. Shane - March 9, 2009

Hebrews states that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. Although I agree that we do not earn our salvation by works of merrit, I do however believe that God has chosen to work with man by giving him the opertunity to make the choice to follow or be lost Ro 1:18-32, Matt 16:30,Acts 2:21.

There are many examples of this from the Old Testament and from the New, such as Gods power displayed as a result of Moses obediance to go before Pharo, Joshua’s obedaince in the destruction of Jericho, Moses holding his arms up for Isreal to win the battle, Namman needing to dip 7 times in the Jordan river.

None of these these acts of obediance had to do with mans strength or power but rather faith in God expressed through our obediance. The pattern is the same for the new testament. Jesus speaks in many parabells about what will become of servants who do not obey their master and none of the storys have a happy ending (luke 12:35-48, Luke 6:46-49). 1John 2:3-6 We are told that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. Jesus is both our Lord and Saviour the pattern has always been the same, what has changed is the manner through which we are to be forgiven and saved. We are not saved through the Law of Moses anymore, otherwise we would still have a need for animal sacrafice, and observance to the Law.

We however are required to obey Christ in order to become Christians, and there after. Acts 2:21 states that those who ‘call upon the name of the lord will be saved.’ John 6:26-30 teaches us that the work we must do to be saved (responce to Gods call) is to believe in the one he has sent. 2 Corinthans 7:10 sates that Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation, Jer 15:9, Mt 3:2, Mrk 1:4m Lk 15:7,etc. We are called to obey Christ with our hearts and physical bodies, Ro 10:8-13, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, 22:16. Before you comment on these passages view them as someone who is reading them for the first time, unbias and with no preconieved notions of a salvation by faith alone.

I believe that ephesians 2:8-10 is one of the most manipluated passages used by the ‘faith alone’ group. I have yet to see a faith alone teaher ever define acurately from the bible what Paul is refering to here by ‘works’. Paul is refering to works of the law. These are the works he defines that do not save us otherwise James and Paul would contradict one another. Philipians 3:8&9 state ‘ and be found in him having a righteousness not of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-“. Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that a man is justified apart from observing the Law”. Col 2:11-15.

Faith alone teachers are correct in teaching that our righteousness comes by faith. But faith apart from obediance to even Christ? No! We are called to respond and reach out our hands to recieve the invitation of Christ to be saved. Our faith is made perfect by our obediance to God, this is the very heart or core of what James is teaching in James 2:14-26. Speaking of Abraham offering Issac on the Alter James states (22) ‘You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did’. No part of this passage defines a ‘faith that saves us apart from action’.

Ephesians 2:8-10 defines that we are saved by faith apart from the works of the Law of Moses, not one that does not require obediance to Christ in order to be saved. Many faith alone teachers will even include repentance and confession as necessary in order to be saved and thus break their own rule of ‘one’ requirement unto salvation. Others believe that faith alone saves us, as a result of this repentance, confession, baptism are all not necessary to be saved but become the result out of true or ‘saving faith’. This logic determines that out of their ‘saving faith’ good deeds will follow, again leaving all human effort out of the equation. In this theory the ‘saving faith’ ultamently should produce sinless christians ones irresistably forced to never sin and always obey the lord. Do you sin? Does this then mean you are lost until you do not sin any more?

After 2000 of Christainity I have yet to read about or meet a Christain who’s life never fell into sin at some point after their conversion. In fact it was so prevalent in the Corinthian Church Pauls letters to them were designed to bring order to their congregation not to condemn them. 1John 1:8-10,2:1 directly address this issue of Christains who fall into sin. If God was to give us a perfect faith that doesn’t require obediance on our part to be saved and ensures that once saved we will then always obey, then what is all the warnings in scripture about falling away for, and instruction on what to do to please the Lord. If God is going to cause you to always obey him then there really is no chance for us to be led astray and the instructions of the Bible are simply redundant, and useless.

I believe however that God appeals to us to repent, and turn from sin. David fell into sin over and over, he however loved God and did his best to obey him. We like David will sin, it is and also like David are called to repent. Repentance does not make our sins nor is it a licence to sin. However it is a recognition of what we our transgressions against God and his Son Jesus Christ and a call for mercy. True faith leads us to obediance to God’s will. The Holy Spirit leads us and guides us not to sin but we must not resist him. Our Christian walks most of the time become a battle with our carnal natures. Pornography, divorce, selfish ambition, lazyness, drunkeness, coarse language, coarse joking, back biting in the Church, bitterness, envy, malice, rage, hatred, etc. These are all sins most mainstream Christains who preach a solid sermon on the power of Saving Faith experiance, which is real evidence that their doctrines are not accurate. Truth is that they are fighting the Human nature just as much as anyone in other Church, (Catholic, Lutheran, Church of Christ, other). They however must constantly question when they are saved since their deeds will never confirm this.

In Christ
Shane

JP - March 10, 2009

Interesting points Shane. It seems you put a strong emphasis on obedience, yet allow that obedience does not save. I will simply point out that the obedience you stress is a symptom of internal regeneration – it is the result of salvation.

There is a distinct difference between salvation and sanctification. Salvation is by faith, through grace. Sanctification is a continual process that stems from that salvation and obedience is an element of continual sanctification. There is no sanctification without faith borne salvation, and obedience is an impetus of the Holy Spirit wrought from salvationl

4. Shane - March 13, 2009

Thanks for you responce JP. The point of my first entry above was to show that faith is perfected by our obedaince before and after one is saved. Faith leads us to be obedient unto salvation and beyond the point of grace to do the work of the Lord. The work of the Holy Spirit is evident in the believers life before and after the point of Grace. The Holy Spirit leads those that believe to obey the lord unto salvation, and leads us and empowers us to obey the lord after we are saved.

3000 saved at Penticost and the story of Pauls own conversion are perfect examples that our faith is perfected by our obediance when we call on the name of the Lord, and that Faith alone was not able to save them, Which is affirmed in James 2:20-24. Passages that affirm the necessay compontent of obedaince to Christ to recieve salvation are follows;

When we believe upon hearing the Gospel. Out of our belief we are required to call upon the name of the lord to be saved (Acts 2:21, 2:38, 3:19, 22:16, Mark 16:16, Ro 10:8-13). We are called to respond to Christ after we have believed, in repentance, confession and water baptism, this is what is clearly indicated by the above passages. Faith is the start, and we are saved by it but as James mensioned it is a faith that is completed by works (obediance). James is not refering to works of the law that Paul mensions in Eph 2:8-10, Philip 3:8&9, Ro 3:28.

Grace is recieved by a faith completed by obedaince to the will and commands of God concerning how we are to recieve this salvation. Heb 8 makes it very clear that we are not required to obey the Law of Moses. Concerning our salvation not through the law but through Christ; John 14:15,21,23 mensions that through our obediance to God we have a relationship with God and Christ. Hebrews 5:9 states that he became the source of salvation for all who obey him. 1 Peter 1:22 states that we have purified ourselves by obeying the truth. Acts 5:32 God gives his Holy Spirit to those who Obey him. Romans 6:17 once slaves to sin but now to righteousness by obeying the teahing you were intrusted. Romans 1:5 states that obediance comes from faith, James 2:22 states that our Faith is completed by our obedaince.

It suprises me that anyone can believe that we are saved by faith alone when James 2:24 outwardly states that we are not saved by it. The only one time it is mensioned in the bible it is condemned yet we try to revive this false notion through our human wisdom rather then acceptance of Gods clear condemnation of it. To accept that we are saved by faith alone we must rule out all passages that require calling upon the name of the lord through repentance, confession, prayer, water baptism or by any other means then by faith. The problem comes when dealing with passages that clear require repentance unto salvation such as 2Corinth 7:10 which states clearly that repentance leads to salvation. This context is clear that repentance comes before we are saved. Lk 24:47, 15:4-10, Lk 13:1-9, Acts 3:19, all these claim the necessity of repentance to be saved. Romans 10:8-13 requires us to confess with our mouths in addition to believing in our hearts in order to be saved. Mark 16:16 Jesus requires us to believe and be baptised to be saved. Acts 2:38 tells us that we are baptised in Jesus name for the remission of our sins. Acts 22:16 confirms this. So as you can see faith alone teaching is contradictory tward what is truly taught in scripture and even outwardly condemned by the word of God.

In Christ
Shane

5. JP - March 14, 2009

So much to discuss, so little time.

The question of faith alone or faith plus works is made difficult by some hard-to-reconcile Bible passages. Compare Romans 3:28, 5:1 and Galatians 3:24 with James 2:24. Some see a difference between Paul (salvation is by faith alone) and James (salvation is by faith plus works). In reality, Paul and James did not disagree at all. The only point of disagreement some people claim is over the relationship between faith and works. Paul dogmatically says that justification is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) while James appears to be saying that justification is by faith plus works. This apparent problem is answered by examining what exactly James is talking about. James is refuting the belief that a person can have faith without producing any good works (James 2:17-18). James is emphasizing the point that genuine faith in Christ will produce a changed life and good works (James 2:20-26). James is not saying that justification is by faith plus works, but rather that a person who is truly justified by faith will have good works in his life. If a person claims to be a believer, but has no good works in his life – then he likely does not have genuine faith in Christ (James 2:14, 17, 20, 26).

Paul says the same thing in his writings. The good fruit believers should have in their lives is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Immediately after telling us that we are saved by faith, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9), Paul informs us that we were created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Paul expects just as much of a changed life as James does, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)! James and Paul do not disagree on their teaching on salvation. They approach the same subject from different perspectives. Paul simply emphasized that justification is by faith alone while James put emphasis on the fact that faith in Christ produces good works.

What I have gleaned from your comments is that you are confusing justification with sanctification. One cannot deny the extremely clear admonition in Eph 2:8-0 that salvation is by Grace, through faith, and not of works.

A point which is repeated in Romans 3:28: For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.]

and Romans 5:1 THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

and Galatians 3:24-26 So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith. (25) But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer (the guardian of our childhood). (26) For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.

One first must recognize the distinction between justification (salvation) and sanctification, and then must acknowledge the overwhelming biblical evidence that salvation is a gift of God’s Grace through faith – that there is NOTHING one can do to earn, or deserve it. Then we must recognize that salvation spawns regeneration and sanctification. It is in this process of sanctification that faith is strengthened through obedience, and that stronger faith, obedience, and good works is a symptom of the regenerate man – a new creation wrought of salvation.

Let’s look at a few points you made and see where you may have gone wrong:

“when we believe upon hearing the Gospel. Out of our belief we are required to call upon the name of the lord to be saved (Acts 2:21, 2:38, 3:19, 22:16, Mark 16:16, Ro 10:8-13). We are called to respond to Christ after we have believed, in repentance, confession and water baptism, this is what is clearly indicated by the above passages.”

“It surprises me that anyone can believe that we are saved by faith alone when James 2:24 outwardly states that we are not saved by it. The only one time it is mentioned in the bible it is condemned yet we try to revive this false notion through our human wisdom rather then acceptance of Gods clear condemnation of it. To accept that we are saved by faith alone we must rule out all passages that require calling upon the name of the lord through repentance, confession, prayer, water baptism or by any other means then by faith.”

The one condition for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. Nearly 200 times in the New Testament, faith (or belief) is declared to be the sole condition for salvation (John 1:12; Acts 16:31).

As with any single verse or passage, we discern what it teaches by first filtering it through what we know the Bible teaches on the subject at hand. In the case of baptism and salvation or confession and salvation, the Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works of any kind, including baptism, or confession. Any interpretation which comes to the conclusion that baptism, or any other act, is necessary for salvation, does not consider the whole of the gospel message and is a faulty interpretation.

In James 2:24 James is refuting the belief that a person can have faith without producing any good works (James 2:17-18). James is emphasizing the point that genuine faith in Christ will produce a changed life and good works (James 2:20-26). James is not saying that justification is by faith plus works, but rather that a person who is truly justified by faith will have good works in his life. If a person claims to be a believer, but has no good works in his life – then he likely does not have genuine faith in Christ (James 2:14, 17, 20, 26).

The problem comes when dealing with passages that clear require repentance unto salvation such as 2Corinth 7:10 which states clearly that repentance leads to salvation.

Unfortunately, your take on this passage is the result of poor interpretation based on a poor translation. Salvation as used in 2 Cor 7:10 is actually soteria, as opposed to ‘salvation’ (ie; justification as used elsewhere like Romans 5:1) which is dikaioo. The meanings are different although many times both are translated as ‘salvation’. Dikaioo means justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God), where as soteria refers to deliverance from evil or danger.

6. Shane - March 15, 2009

JP, Thanks for your responce.

1.Let me state again my position, works of the Law are not required to be saved, however obediance to Christ is. You seem to igore my distinction between them. Paul’s reference to ‘works’ that do not save is works of the law, this is what he means by ‘of your selves’ in reference to ephesians 2:8. I can say this since he makes a similar reference to works of the law being of ourselves in Philipians 3:9. Gal 3:24&25 and Romans 3:28 further validate that the ‘works’ Paul refers to are works of the law (Mosaic). Never once does Paul make any indication that we are not required to obey Christ to be saved. His own conversion verifies that even he had to be baptised in water before his sins were removed Acts 22:1-16.

2. As for James and Paul. The do agree with one another. Paul never excludes the necessity to obey Christ in any of his writings (Ro 1:5,6:16&17, 15:18,16:26,2Thess 1:8). Why wouldn’t he for Christ himself required us to obey him (Matt 28:20,Luke 11:28, John 14:21,23). The other Apostles understood the necessity of obedaince as well (Acts 5:32 (Holy Spirit is given to those who obey), 1Peter 1:22 (purified yourselves by obeying the form of truth), 1Peter 4:17, 1John 2:3,2:5,3:22,3:24, Rev 3:3, 12:17, 14:12.) Jesus and all the Apostles taught the same thing faith and obedaince to God. This theme is the same through out the entire Bible and has not changed. Paul however focuses on the Faith part more and James on the necessity of Obedaince part more. Both teach the necessity of both and neither teach the necessity of Faith in and obediance to the Mosaic Law.

3. James 2:14-26 never even comes close to teaching what you have described above.

a. James 2:14-19 Asks the question; can a faith with out works save us? By asking this James has made the entire context of the passage a salvation issue. The subject in question is can we be saved by faith apart from works. He answers this question with a resounding NO. “even the demons believe and tremble’.

b. James 2:20-24 Further drives the point home that we are saved by a faith that is made complete by action. His point is that when we respond to God’s call in faith our faith is made compete and we are saved.

c. At no point does James ever define a ‘saving faith’ apart from obediance to God, as you construe in the above responce.

4. You said;

‘As with any single verse or passage, we discern what it teaches by first filtering it through what we know the Bible teaches on the subject at hand. In the case of baptism and salvation or confession and salvation, the Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works of any kind, including baptism, or confession. Any interpretation which comes to the conclusion that baptism, or any other act, is necessary for salvation, does not consider the whole of the gospel message and is a faulty interpretation.’

a) You break your own rule in the first sentence of the above paragraph since you do not even attempt a responce at Mark 16:16, or Acts 2:38, Ro 10:8-13 which clearly teach that we are saved after we believe, repent, confess and are baptised in water.

b) Calling confession of the mouth and water baptism ‘works’ that Paul condemns as not necessary is an ignorant statement since it is clear that Paul is making reference to the works of the Law (Mosiac) and not to obediance to Christ. Confession and Baptism in water are no more works merriting salvation then is Faith. As we know Jesus even taught that Faith is the work God requires (John 6:28&29).

– If Faith is then also a ‘work’ since it is something we must now DO in order to be saved?

-If faith is a work then are we not saved because we are not saved by works?

-Does God give us the choice to believe or does he force us to believe?

-If God gives us the Choice to believe and we agree to place our faith in him or accept his faith into our lives in order to believe in him doesn’t this still mean that we play a role in accepting Christ and thus salvation still? Isn’t obediance to God and subodination to his willl and the submission of our own still necessary? If so then doesn’t this mean that we are still required to DO something inorder to be saved? If so then doesn’t that contradict the idea that we are required to do nothing?

-If faith then is an acceptable ‘work’ we are required to do then perhaps it is not the only one.

5. Your rejection of 2Corith 7:9&10 as evidence that repentance is necessary to be saved is sort of suspicious to put it mildly. Perhaps you can explain to me which one of these translations below are ok since they all teach that Godly sorrow leads to repentance that leads to salvation. Are you alone the only one able to translate the scriptures accurately. Isn’t this sort of sectarian though what has earned the JWs, Mormon, and SDAs the title of ‘cult’? Have a look

7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (KJV)

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (English Standard Version)
9As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but(A) because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

10For(B) godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas(C) worldly grief produces death

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (Contemporary English Version)
9Now I am happy, but not because I hurt your feelings. It is because God used your hurt feelings to make you turn back to him, and none of you were harmed by us. 10When God makes you feel sorry enough to turn to him and be saved, you don’t have anything to feel bad about. But when this world makes you feel sorry, it can cause your death

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (New Century Version)
9 Now I am happy, not because you were made sad, but because your sorrow made you change your lives. You became sad in the way God wanted you to, so you were not hurt by us in any way.10 The kind of sorrow God wants makes people change their hearts and lives. This leads to salvation, and you cannot be sorry for that. But the kind of sorrow the world has brings death

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (American Standard Version)

9 I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing.

10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (Darby Translation)

9Now I rejoice, not that ye have been grieved, but that ye have been grieved to repentance; for ye have been grieved according to God, that in nothing ye might be injured by us.

10For grief according to God works repentance to salvation, never to be regretted; but the grief of the world works death.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
9 Now I am rejoicing, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us. 10 For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death. (A)

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (Wycliffe New Testament)
9 now I have joy; not for ye were made sorrowful [not for ye were made sorry], but for ye were made sorrowful to penance. For why ye be made sorry after God, that in nothing ye suffer impairment of us.

10 For the sorrow that is after God, worketh penance into steadfast health; but sorrow of the world worketh death.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (New International Version – UK)
9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.

10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (Today’s New International Version)
9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Are all these translations poor translations? Which ones teach your doctrine?

In Christ
Shane

7. Theodore A Jones - July 9, 2013

“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13
He is not referencing the Mosaic code, He is referencing a law that has been added after Jesus was crucified.

8. John Oswald - May 6, 2017

Absolute Obedience Requirement.
I agree with what you say but there is a missing element from your explaination:
We receive rightousness by faith but faith requires absolute obedience for us to receive the things God promises us.
If we want rightousness we must believe that God through Christ will transform us into His rigtiusness. We do this by abandoning our own effort to act and be righteous. We then turn to depend on Christ’ righteousness which comes through sanctification and suffering.
Faith says, “God will do what He says so I act with absolute obedience toward God’s promise. If I believe the promise that God will meet all my needs then I must not have a backup plan to save me “if God doesn’t save me”.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.””
‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:16-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Only then will we be acting “obedient” out of faith.
Faith require absolute obedience to experience the promise and righteousness of Christ.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:5-8

9. John Oswald - May 6, 2017

God requires absolute Holiness and absolute obedience to our faith.

Let me explain:

“But now you must be holy in everything you do,

just as God who chose you is holy.

For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.””
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:15-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We receive righteousness (Holiness) by faith but faith requires absolute obedience for us to receive the things God promises us.

If we want rightousness we must believe that God through Christ will transform us into His righteousness.

We do this by abandoning our own effort (rely on Christ’s righteousness) to act (obedient) and be righteous.

We then turn to depend on Christ’s righteousness which comes through sanctification and suffering.

(“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.

So after you have suffered a little while,

he will restore,

support,
and strengthen you,

and he will place you on a firm foundation.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Faith says, “God will do what He says. So I act with absolute obedience toward God’s promise.”

Example:
If I believe the promise that God will meet all my needs then I must not have a backup plan to save me “if God doesn’t save me”.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied,

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us.

He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.

But even if he doesn’t,

we want to make it clear to you,

Your Majesty,

that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.””
‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:16-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Only when we abandon ourselves to God’s mercy will we be acting “with absolute obedient” out of faith.

Faith require absolute obedience to experience the promise and righteousness of Christ.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.

He will not rebuke you for asking.

But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.

Do not waver,

for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea

that is blown and tossed by the wind.

Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Their loyalty is divided between God and the world,

and they are unstable in everything they do.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:5-8

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?”
‭‭James‬ ‭2:14-18, 20‬ ‭NLT‬‬


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