Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Creative Obedience

A mate from college spoke at Church on Sunday night on what role obedience has in Christianity.  Are we merely saved by faith alone? Or is there an element of work for us to do to gain it as well?

I think Rusty nailed it in his sermon which you can listen to here, and I think we need to ponder this idea on a deeper level than we usually do.

The generic Baptist idea would be that works does not play a part in our salvation - nothing we have done can save us, there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, it is simply that God loves us enough that he sent his Son in our place.

I 100% agree with that... the 'good' things we do in life are not going to get us through the gates of heaven, and simply obeying God's laws and rules is not enough to save us.

However; (and this is a carefully stated 'however' I must admit...) there are many places in the Bible which show our obedience does play a role in our sanctification and ultimate salvation. I am in no way claiming there are things we must work at before we are saved, but I think the key is how we treat Jesus in response to accepting his gracious act on the cross.

We cannot simply accept him as our Saviour... just saying Jesus has saved me doesn't make it so - just putting my hand up or walking to the front and acknowledging Jesus at the end of a sermon IS NOT ENOUGH.  If that's all that is done then I am afraid that person may very well continue sinning and disobeying and one day find themselves shocked to discover their sin still held against them.

The life changing aspect of salvation is not only seeing Jesus as Saviour, but declaring him Lord as well.  There isn't just a call in the Bible to accept Jesus, or to believe he can save you, or acknowledge what he did - the call in the Bible is to "confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord" (Romans 10:8)!!! That's when we're saved.  I think as churches we need to explore more what it means to have Jesus as Lord than putting out emotional calls for people to accept or respond to salvation (because in a sense accepting someone saving you is the easy part - living the life under the Lordship of Christ can be much harder to grasp).

So it all comes down to whether or not you want to count the numbers of people making the easy choice, or spend the time making true disciples who follow Jesus as Lord (because then obedience and what we do has an important role to play).

I think Russel's sermon handled the topic very well.

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