Obedience to Christ

One thing that needs to be clearly understood by followers of Christ is that obedience to Christ does nothing to earn our salvation. Salvation comes by faith alone without any help from works (Ephesians 2: 8,9), but it is still expected that we practice good works (Ephesians 2: 10), which is what obeying Christ is all about … that is what we are created in Christ Jesus for.

Jesus showed how closely faith (knowing Him) and obedience are tied together in Matthew 7: 21-23 …

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

First He says that calling Him Lord is not enough, that true Lordship is demonstrated by doing His will. Then He says that doing things commonly regarded as good works, or obeying Him, (even doing it ‘in His name’) does not necessarily mean that we know Him (or that He knows us).

It is a challenge to find the proper balance between faith and works. We should all recognize that faith without works is dead (James 2: 20) and that works without faith is equally useless (Matthew 7: 22,23; Philippians 3: 4-9). Our obedience to Him should be an expression of our love, not an attempt to earn His love.


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Filed under For New Believers, Obedience to Christ

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