An Obedient Faith
You are saved by grace alone all you have to do is believe and you will receive God blessings and salvation. These are the kinds of statements that you will hear very often from the religious world and I wish these statements were true because it would mean that I could become a Christian by merely believing I was saved and then I could do whatever† I wanted to because if there is nothing more to salvation and making it to heaven than believing in God and believing Iím saved then it doesnít matter how many sins I commit, it doesnít matter whether I go to church or read my Bible because I will be saved if I am saved by grace alone by merely believing on God.
Now this probably sounds ridiculous to us but that is exactly what the false teaching of being saved by Grace alone by merely† believing in God logical takes you. What amazes me is that the same people that teach this have no problem telling you that you must not allow sin to enter into your life or they will speak for a entire hour talking about how you should give of your money so they can continue what they are doing. The question I would have to ask is why. Why should I? If am saved by grace alone through belief in God then I donít need to waste my time avoiding sin or giving away my money because I am going to make it to heaven anyway.
Now of course the Bible does not teach this concept at all. But what happens is people get confused and preachers take verses out of context and try to teach that a person has absolutely nothing to do with their salvation. They get this from several passages where Paul teaches the concept that we are not saved by works but by grace or by faith.
For example note:
Romans 3:28 Therefore
we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. ††
Ephesians 2:8 For by
grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the
gift of God,† 9 not of works,
lest anyone should boast.
people look at the verses out of context they teach that a person cannot add
one wit to their salvation because if they did it would be considered† a work and therefore one can only be saved by
grace alone by merely believing on God. This is what happens when you was part
of Godís word instead of the whole council of God. If we every hope understand
what Godís word says we must keep things in context because when† you do you will see that Paul is teaching
that a person cannot be saved by the works of Moses law because it was not
longer in effect. You see there are different type of works. There are works of
the Old law and there are works of merit that is where earn something. Neither
one of these are going to add one wit to you salvation. However there is
another kind of work mentioned in the Bible that every Christian must do in order
to accept Godís Grace and his blessing and this an obedient faith. This is why
you see Jesus saying things such as,
John 14:15" If
you love Me, keep My commandments.
Matthew 7:21 "
Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven,
but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
shows us that Jesus expects something out us in order to be saved and to make
it to heaven. You see salvation by means of grace is God part and we can never
earn or merit our salvation. However God demands that we accept his salvation
and keep his salvation by means of an obedient faith and this is not a new
concept because we God has always demanded action on our part to receiving his
gift that he has given to us freely. To prove this I want to show several
examples through the 3 different periods of time which will prove that God has
never changed his mind about his people accepting his blessing and salvation by
means of an obedient faith.
first example comes from Noah and his family.
Genesis 6:5 Then
the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that
every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually.† 6 And the LORD
was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His
heart.† 7 So the LORD said,
"I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both
man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have
This is certain a sad section of scripture because all of mankind was doing things for their own pleasure and God was not found in any of their lives and so God was sorry that he had made us and he wanted to destroy us. However there was one exception in our next verse.
Genesis 6:8 But
Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.†
9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect
in his generations. Noah walked with God.†
10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. †
Here we have one man and his family who are faithful to the Lord and because of their faithfulness God was going to spare them.
Genesis 6:11 The
earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.† 12 So God looked upon the earth,
and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the
earth.† 13 And God said to
Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled
with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the
earth.† 14 " Make
yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and
outside with pitch.† 15
"And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three
hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.† 16 "You shall make a window
for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of
the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.† 17 "And behold, I Myself am
bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in
which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall
die.† 18 "But I will
establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark -- you, your
sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.†
19 "And of every living thing of all flesh you shall
bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with
you; they shall be male and female.† 20
"Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every
creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come
to you to keep them alive.† 21
"And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall
gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for
them."† 22 Thus Noah did;
according to all that God commanded him, so he did.
Now I want you to think
about this. God gave Noah and his family away to be spared from the flood but
God didnít have to do this but he did. But Noah couldnít just believe that God
was going to save him no he had to have an obedient faith and work with his own
two hands to accept Godís gift of life. God gave Noah a specific pattern on how
to build the ark and he had to use specific materials. Now it took Noah around
120 years to build this life saving vessel and the verse 22 makes it clear that
Noah did all that God asked him to do. We see the simple pattern that God
provide Noah with Grace by giving him a means to save himself and his family
but in order for him accept this grace and to enter into this new covenant with
the Lord he had to build the ark and follow Godís instructions. If he hadnít
had had obedient faith, well you and I would not be alive today.
Now lets move up in time
to the time of Abram.
Genesis 12:1 Now the
LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And
from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.† 2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.† 3 I will bless those who bless
you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the
earth shall be blessed." †
Now think about this.
Abram had been living in this country for 75 years. Anytime you live anywhere
for a long time it is hard for you to leave what you used to you. However God
is calling Abram out and is promising to make him a great nation if he does so.
Again God didnít have to do this but he has offered this blessing to Abram but
again we can see that it requires Abram to do something to accept this blessing
and that is to follow Gods instructions.
Genesis 12:4 So
Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and
Here we see that Abram
decided to have an obedient faith and went where God told him to God and as we
know the rest of the story we know that God did for Abram what he said he would
do because he had an obedient faith.
Now lets move up to the
time of Moses. The Bible teaches us that Moses life was is jeopardy as the
Pharaoh was having all the male babies put to death. But because of his mothers
faith she saved her son by putting him on the river so that the Pharaohs
daughter would find him and when she did she fell in love and raised Moses as
here own and for 40 years Moses was raised as a Egyptian and a possible heir to
the thrown. But, at the age of 40 he didnít like how an Egyptian was treating
one of his Hebrew brethren so he struck him dead which lead him fleeing for his
life. He then becomes a husband and father and works as shepherd for another 40
years. At the age of 80 he sees a strange site. He sees a bush that is on fire
but it is not being consumed and then God speaks to Moses from this bush.
God had big plans for
Moses. He wants Moses to be the childrenís of
But in this instance
Moses does what some Christians do today. He starts making excuses of why he
cant obey Gods commands. Lets take a look at how begins to try to avoid having
an obedient faith.
Exodus 3:11 But
Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that
I should bring the children of
How many times have we
used this excuse as Christians? We like to convince ourselves and others, that
we are not good enough or talented enough to do certain things when in fact we
13 Then Moses said to God,
"Indeed, when I come to the children of
Again this† sound like another excuse that we might use in that we might say well I would teach a class or someone but I wouldnít know what to tell them.
Exodus 4:1 Then
Moses answered and said, "But suppose they will not believe me or listen
to my voice; suppose they say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.' "
Once again Moses is
looking for a way out but God take Moses rod and turns into a serpent and he
causes Moses hand to become leprous and he says he can use these 2 signs to
prove that his message is from God.
This another thing that
Christians say to keep them from reaching out to the lost because they are
concerned about how people will react to what they have to say about God.
Exodus 4:10 Then
Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither
before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of
speech and slow of tongue."† 11
So the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute,
the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?† 12 "Now therefore, go, and I
will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say."†
Now we certainly know
this was an excuse because Acts 7:22 tells us that Moses was strong in his
words and God once again tells him that he will be with him and help say the
This is something we
should learn is that it doesnít matter how well our speech is if we will try we
can take comfort in knowing that God will be there for us.
13 But he said, "O my Lord,
please send by the hand of whomever else You may send."†
We finally see Moses
reveal the truth that he simply did not want to obey Godís will. God allows his
brother Aaron to help be a speaker for him. Well after all of the excuses Moses
finally obeys God will and because he finally obeyed his word sure enough he
ends up leading the children of
Again we can see that it
took an active faith to receive Godís salvation and blessing.
There are certainly many
more examples we could look at from the OT such as Joshua and how God gave him
Jericho as gift but Joshua still had his part to do as he had to follow Godís
instruction and walk around Jericho for 7 days and then shout blow the
trumpet† and then once God made the wall
the fall they still had to overpower their enemy once again showing God giving
a gift but Joshua having to do something to accept it.†
last example I want to look at from the OT is Naaman in 2 Kings 5. Naaman was
very honorable man and he was the commander of his army and he had been
victorious but he was a man of leprosy. Well, he finds out that there is a
prophet who could heal him and so a letter is sent to the king of
2 Kings 5:9 Then
Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha's
house.† 10 And Elisha sent a
messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the
Naaman probably thought it was due him to cleansed from his leprosy and so when
he arrived at Elisha house I image he expected Elisha to come greet him but he
did not instead he sent a servant to give him instruction to dip in the
same thing happens to people who want to become Christians. They might know
that God can save them but they think it should be done one way in their head
but when they find out what Godís word says about salvation and how includes
baptism and living an faithful live they get mad and the walk away.†
† 13 And his servants came near and
spoke to him, and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do
something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says
to you, '
for Naaman, his servants talked some sense into him and he realized that doing
what the prophet said to do wasnít that bad and that is was necessary for him
to follow his instructions if he wanted to receive his gift of cleansing. So,
he followed through and on that 7th time of dipping his leprosy was gone.
Again, this is another great example of where God provided a free gift but
Naaman had to accept that gift by an obedient faith.
at this point in our lesson is should be very easy for us to see that from the
pre-flood time all the way through law of Moses God required and obedient
faith. But now let turn our attention to the NT time which is our authority.
Did God change his way of thinking and make it to where he gave us the free
gift of grace without us having to have an obedient faith or work to do? Is the
religious world correct when they say faith alone through grace save you?
actually I already answered this question at the beginning of my lesson when I
showed where Jesus said if we love him we will obey him and where he said that
only those that do the will of his farther will be saved and find heaven. Now I
one thing I pointed out was how some people get confused when they start
reading the book of Romans and they see Paul saying that we justified by faith
and not works and as I already pointed out he was talking about the works of
the old law which was no longer the authority and he was not ruling out works
of obedience. To help show this in this same book I want you to notice what
this Roman church was know for.
Romans 16:19 †For your obedience has become known to all.
This tells me that the
Roman† church had no problem
understanding what Paul meant when he said that they not justified the works of
the Old Law. Letís examine a few more passages that clearly show that we must
have an obedient faith to have salvation.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only,
but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and
trembling;† 13 for it is God
who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
can see that these people had obeyed the gospel and Paul commanded them to continue
to work out their own salvation. Friends it doesnít get much clearer than that.
We must have a obedient faith to have salvation. The writer of Hebrews tells us
that Jesus was obedient and in
Hebrews 5:9 And
having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey
Obviously obey is an
action word and cannot and will not ever mean simply believing. Now I have
saved the best for last and it comes from the book of James. Please notice the
question he ask.
James 2:14 What does
it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have
works? Can faith save him?
This is what we have been
dealing with in this lesson. Can faith alone save us. Watch what James says,
James 2:15 If a
brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,† 16 and one of you says to them,
"Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the
things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?† 17 Thus also faith by itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.† 18
But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me
your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.† 19 You believe that there is one
God. You do well. Even the demons believe -- and tremble!† 20 But do you want to know, O
foolish man, that faith without works is dead?† 21 Was not Abraham our father
justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?† 22 Do you see that faith was
working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?† 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled
which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.† 24 You see then that a man is
justified by works, and not by faith only.
Friends it doesnít get
any clearer than this. James makes it crystal clear that faith alone will not
save you but that it requires works of obedience. Just as a side point the
Bible never says that phrase you are saved grace alone and the only place where
you will see the phrase faith alone or faith is right here in the book of James
and it clearly states that you are justified that is you are not saved by faith
alone. So we come back full circle and we can see that God had given us his
grace but we must accept that Grace by an obedient faith and not by just merely
Now we have came a long
way in this lesson showing how that God never changed his mind on how does
things in regards to mankind accepting his blessing and salvation by means of
an obedient faith. But now I want you to pay very close attention because what
I am about to share with you will change you life forever if you have never
been obedient to Godís perfect will. I want to share with God plan of salvation
and what he requires from us to accept the forgiveness of our sins and I will
do this using the whole council of God.
First of all obviously we
have to hear Godís Word because without His word we could never know what he
wants from us or how to be saved.
Romans 10:17 †So then faith comes by hearing, and
hearing by the word of God.
Upon hearing this word we
must make the decision to I believe it? Do I believe that Jesus is the son of
John 8:24 †"Therefore I said to you that you will
die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in
believing you will die in your sins. But we also must remember that James made
it clear that faith alone will not save you. Once you believe that Jesus is the
son God you must also realize that you are a sinful person and that your only
hope to have the forgiveness of your sins is through Jesus Christ. Then we
learn that we must repent of our past sins which means we are going to turn
away from them and start allowing God Word to be our guide as,
Luke 13:3 "I
tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Once you repent the Bible
also command to confess Jesus as our lord.
Romans 10:9 that if
you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God
has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Now at this point I want
to make it very clear salvation has not occurred because your sins have not
been removed. Now all of these things that I have talked about so far are
absolutely necessary for salvation but just like our story about Naaman he to
follow all of Godís instruction and dip 7 times in the Jordan river before he
received his healing. You see there is still one more instruction that a person
must do in order to accept Godís saving Grace and that that step is allowing
yourself to baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins.
1 Peter 3:21 There
is also an antitype which now saves us -- baptism (not the removal of the filth
of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ,†
Baptism is just as
necessary as hearing, believing, repenting and confessing. All of these things
work together to bring about salvation and the remission of your sins. We can
know without a doubt that it is at the point of baptism that a person receive the
forgiveness of their sins.
Acts 2:38 Then
Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive
the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is for the
remission of sins. Again just like in our story of Naaman it not the water that
washes away your sins it your faith in God knowing that when you are being
baptized that you sins are being removed and that you are becoming a child of
God. Just as God Naaman to dip 7 times before he received his cleansing God
wants us to be baptized in the name of Jesus for remission of our sins to
receive our salvation from Him.
Acts 2:41 Then
those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three
thousand souls were added to them.
who gladly receive the truth that I have presented today will accept Godís plan
of salvation as these people did at the day of Pentecost and they will allow
themselves to be baptized in the name of†
Jesus for the remission of their sins. Please notice that only those
that were baptized that is those who accepted the whole council of God were
added to the church. When you look at the conversion in the book of acts you
will see that those that obeyed the good were baptized in the same way as the
3000 souls at the day of Pentecost.
is the day of salvation you have no guarantees of tomorrow so if you are here
the morning and you have never accepted God grace by having an obedient faith
make today you day of salvation. Donít be like Moses and make excuses of why
cannot do it today, Donít be like Naaman and be to proud to follow God
instructions. Allow yourself to have an obedient faith and accept God free gift
of salvation by believing, repenting, confessing and be baptized today.†