Category: Obedience

The Inseparability of Faith and Obedience

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. Romans 1:5

The truth is that faith and obedience are two sides of the same coin and are always found together in the Scriptures. As well try to pry apart the two sides of a half-dollar as to separate obedience from faith. The two sides, while they remain together and are taken as one, represent good sound currency and constitute legal tender everywhere in the United States. Separate them and they are valueless. Insistence upon honoring but one side of the faith-obedience coin has wrought frightful harm in religious circles. Faith has been made everything and obedience nothing. The result among religious persons is moral weakness, spiritual blindness and a slow but constant drift away from New Testament Christianity.

Our Lord made it very plain that spiritual truth cannot be understood until the heart has made a full committal to it. “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (John 7:17). The willing and the doing (or at least the willingness to do) come before the knowing. Truth is a strict master and demands obedience before it will unveil its riches to the seeking soul.

For those who want chapter and verse here are a few, and there are plenty more: Matthew 7:21; John 14:21; First John 2:4, 3:24, 5:2; First Peter 1:2; James 2:14-26; Romans 1:5; and Acts 5:32.

To sum it up, saving faith is impossible without willing obedience. To try to have one without the other is to be not a Christian, but a student of Christianity merely.

by A.W. Tozer

 

Submitting to Christ’s Lordship

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46

No one has any right to believe that he is indeed a Christian unless he is humbly seeking to obey the teachings of the One whom he calls Lord. Christ once asked a question (Luke 6:46) that can have no satisfying answer, “Why do you call me, `Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Right here we do well to anticipate and reply to an objection that will likely arise in the minds of some readers. It goes like this: “We are saved by accepting Christ, not by keeping His commandments. Christ kept the law for us, died for us and rose again for our justification, and so delivered us from all necessity to keep commandments. Is it not possible, then, to become a Christian by simple faith altogether apart from obedience?”

Many honest persons argue in this way, but their honesty cannot save their argument from being erroneous. Theirs is the teaching that has in the last fifty years emasculated the evangelical message and lowered the moral standards of the Church until they are almost indistinguishable from those of the world. It results from a misunderstanding of grace and a narrow and one-sided view of the gospel, and its power to mislead lies in the element of truth it contains. It is arrived at by laying correct premises and then drawing false conclusions from them.

by A.W. Tozer