OBEDIENCE, on the other hand, is faith in action. Obedience is the fruit of faith. Obedience is practical righteousness. It is speaking the truth and doing good works. Obedience is following in the footsteps of the Almighty and His Son. Obedience is the visible expression of our love for the Most High. Obedience is the best and, perhaps, the only tangible evidence that our faith is alive. Obedience is living faith! Without obedience all professions of faith are nothing but self-deluding presumption; because where there is no obedience there really is no faith.
The Bible says:
|James 2:||26: For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also.
But obedience, important as it is, cannot save us from the consequence of our past sins. The Bible tells us that the penalty of sin is death, eternal death! ( Romans 6:23 ) And since all of us have sinned at some time or the other. So we all need a Saviour to save us from that death penalty. Only Yeshua the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, can do that for us. We cannot save ourselves. Neither can our obedience save us; however perfect it may happen to be. Obedience cannot cancel past sins or lift that death penalty. To cancel past sins we need help from above. We need a Saviour. We need Yeshua ( Jesus ) to wash away the record of our past sins. That's where faith comes into the picture. The Almighty sent His son to save the world, to save you and me from sin and its eternal consequences - death! Yeshua ( Yahshua ) is the Saviour. His name means 'Yahweh is salvation.' He alone can save us from sin and its eternal consequences - death! That's why he came to earth; to save his people from their sins. ( Matthew 1:21 ) In short: we receive him by faith, we accept him by faith, we live by faith in the Son of God, who gave himself for us - that we might inherit eternal life.
The Saviour doesn't only save us from the consequences of our past sins; he also annihilates from within us the tendency to sin in the future. That is the Saviour's ultimate objective, to save us from our sins - past, present and future; to annihilate within us the tendency to sin in the future. In other words, he came to make us obedient.
|Romans 8:||3: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak
through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of
sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Believers accept the Saviour by faith. Countless millions of Gospel tracts echo this basic truth about salvation. But having accepted salvation through faith doesn't mean we can thereafter blatantly disobey God, by breaking the very commandments that define sin and classify us as sinners in the first place. That would make a mockery of salvation. That would make Yahweh's people the laughing stock of every evil angel in the universe. It would prove how ineffective the Saviour's efforts have been to save his people from their tendency to sin. Instead we believers should express our faith by keeping the Almighty's commandments, by being obedient, by not sinning in the future.
The Bible says:
|1 John 2:||3: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.|
Put another way, we may say that faith and obedience are two sides of the same spiritual coin. If either is missing the coin is worthless. Consequently to the two most important questions ever asked:
these two vital answers are given; each spelling out the same eternal truth in two different ways. Here are the two answers:
|Acts 16:||30: And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.|
|Matthew 19:||16: And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good
Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17: And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
As you can see there really is no conflict between Paul and
Jesus, between faith and obedience; any more than there are
two roads to salvation or eternal life. Both Paul and Jesus
are saying the same thing in different ways. Paul speaks of
faith, that invisible action of the mind. Jesus speaks of obedience,
the visible actions that reflect what is in the mind. The Apostle
James says the same thing in yet another way. He wrote
|James 2:||20: But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?|
In short, Obedience is faith in action, living faith! You cannot have one without the other. Both are absolutely essential if you want to please God. That is what the Bible teaches. Dare we say anything different!
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