Thursday, December 22, 2011

Living the Christian Life: The obedience of faith

The Obedience of Faith

The person who is saved has been saved from the condemnation that he was in before. God did not have to do that; Jesus did not have to do what He did. What then should be the state of the new believer?

A person who truly understands this entire Gospel message and has responded to it in faith should be extremely joyful. He has faced the horror of his own sins. He has despaired of himself as he saw that all his efforts to do good were not perfect despite how good they may seem to be. He has seen the standard of perfection and knew there was no way he could achieve that. The work of the Law pierced his heart and drove him to despair of himself.

The Gospel message however shows him another way. To his amazement, God creates a way of salvation in which he does not have to do anything at all, but to believe in Christ who created that way. He clings to this message as that is the only way that could save him, like a drowning man clings to a lifeguard, and with great joy thank God for providing a way out of hopelessness.

With great joy comes gratitude and thanksgiving. The one saved is full of tears of thanksgiving to God who provides a way out. God did not have to do it. It would be perfectly just for God to leave all mankind to attempt to work for eternal life, an impossible task.

O my Lord, why did you save me? I deserve it not.
My sins so wicked and evil; Your Son so pure and good
You died the death I was supposed to; to merit for me new life
I live the life I deserved not; in hope and gratitude.

As Charles Wesley wrote:

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

With thanks to God, the one saved desires to know more about Him and how to please Him. As such, they would seek to grow into what is called in Scripture "the obedience of faith" (cf Rom. 1:5).

[to be continued]

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