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Wednesday, March 20, 2013
"Saved to Obey"
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26
I believe that we have preached salvation without works for so long that we have come to believe that it is salvation without obedience. While I do not believe in "Lordship salvation", which is believing that you must make Jesus Lord of your life to be saved, I do believe in salvation that acknowledges Jesus is Lord (Master). In other words, I am not saved because I fully obey The Lord, but rather I am humbled by my sin and recognize that the Saviour is the Good Master and I accept Him as such. Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, "The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master". This is what Paul meant when he said, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9.
It is all too common for people to call themselves Christians, but live contrary to God's law. Again, I am not saved by keeping the laws of God, but I am saved to keep God's law. Read These verses carefully. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Eph 2:8-10. I have been save for His glory, and to fulfill His work. Jesus saw the problem with profession while in His earthly ministry and asked the question, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 4:46. So many claim to be saved, and with their mouths make great boasts of their love for Jesus, yet, by their own works thy deny Him. "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:16.
How we admire the obedience a dog shows to its master! Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened. Because he worked out-of-doors, he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood, for that's exactly what he did. Then a fire started in the woods, and soon the blaze spread to the spot where the dog had been left. But he didn't move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master's word. With tearful eyes, the dog's owner said, "I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it."
We are to be so obedient. Many before us "loved not their lives unto death", and like the Saviour, became "obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Listen to His Word, "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me, John 8:42. Then again He said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. We would experience joy, peace, and victory if we would simply obey. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. John15:10,11. The Lord is not pleased with a disobedient Christian ("that my joy might remain in you"), and the Christian is not pleased in The Lord ( "your joy might be full"). Maybe our lack of joy lies squarely on the fact of our disobedience.
Do a Scriptural check up. Read His Word every day, and let It examine your life. Confess the disobedience, and apply the truth with obedience, and see if your joy does not grow and grow