Man’s Part in Salvation
Our part in salvation is reverent obedience to God’s will.
The Old Testament begins with God telling us His requirements for Adam and Eve, and concludes with God reminding his people to obey His Commandments. The New Testament also is bookended with the requirements of obedience beginning with Joseph receiving the revelation from an angel of what God would have him do. See also how Revelation 22:9 states that God has always requires obedience to what He says.
I. Obedience Implies a Command.
In Matthew 7:21-23 we read that everyone will enter heaven but those who are obedient to do the will of the Father. There may be those who are sincere in professing their actions in God’s name and yet not be acceptable to Him. Why is this? Those actions were not in accordance with the will of the Lord found in the Bible. This brings home the extreme importance of knowing what the Bible says is God’s will and not assigning God’s name to an action that is not found in the scriptures. The book of Matthew ends with Jesus telling his disciples to teach others to obey his commandments. Jesus places importance on observing what we are commanded. (Matt.28:19-20)
II. Obedience Should Be Activated by Love
When we follow through with a commandment of the Lord’s, do we do it with a sense of drudgery? Or joy? The Lord wants our hearts to be obeying him in love. In I John 5:3 we see that God desires us to serve him with a heart of gladness. John 14:15 tells us that if we are not following his commandments, we are not loving Him. If we love God, we must follow his will for our lives (2 John 1:6).
III. Obedience Shows God’s Grace in the Commandment
Romans 1:5 & Romans 16:26: The book of Romans is also bookended with with reference to obedience to God’s will. Unmerited favor does not mean unconditional favor. God brings salvation. It includes grace towards all men. But it does not mean all men will be saved. Titus 2:11-14 shows us that grace teaches us to reject sin in this life and live soberly, righteously, and godly. Titus 3:1-6 tells us that grace calls for a change in our life. Salvation is a gift but not an unconditional one. In Acts 2:37-38 the people wanted this salvation and were told what to do to access it: repent and be baptized. The city of Jericho was given to the Israelites after they had complied with God’s will. God told them they would give them the city after they had obeyed him.
Obedience and faith are inseparably connected in the law of Christ.