Pristine Grace

Faith and Obedience
by Bill Parker
Faith and Obedience

    Anyone who claims salvation by grace in Christ Jesus, who claims he is righteous before God based solely upon the righteousness of Christ freely imputed and received by faith, but who does not see the value, the importance, and even the necessity of morality, virtuous character and conduct, temperance, good works, obedience, diligence in worship and love, needs to examine the validity of his faith. James wrote that the kind of faith that is not accompanied by good works cannot save (James 2:14). He called it dead faith (James 2:17).

    It is true our sins can never bring us back under the wrath of God because we have already suffered the penalty of our sins, not in our persons, but in the Person of Christ who suffered and died for us. It is true the law can demand no obedience of us as the ground of salvation, holiness, fitness for Heaven, or of final glory. Our works cannot add to the merits of Christ's righteousness. We can honestly say we have kept every precept of God's law, not by our obedience, but in the Person of Christ our Substitute who obeyed the law for us. We have a righteousness that answers the law's demands, not in any degree by our works of righteousness, but by Christ, the Lord our Righteousness.

    How should a believer react to these glorious truths? He should react with love, devotion, obedience, and diligence in all things to honor our Savior. He should be ashamed, without fear of wrath, of not being more obedient and dedicated in the things of God. Make no mistake about this. If you claim saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but that faith is not accompanied in some degree by obedience and good works, that kind of faith is not saving faith. It is just as dead as the faith of those who claim to be saved by their works.