“The obedience that comes from faith.”
Paul is quite clear in this great letter that justification before God is by faith alone. However, he is also quite clear that faith is an active and not a passive state. If we have faith in Jesus as Saviour we must also have faith in Jesus as Lord – the two titles cannot be separated.
The sin of disobedience brought about our fallen state and separated us from God. It cannot be expected for a moment that we should continue in that state, but now with a cloak marked ‘justified’ over us. The Scriptures reveal that a radical change is expected to take place:
• “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom 12:2)
• “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph 4:22-24)
• “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Pet 1:15-16)
Having been justified by grace through faith our proper response now is to put our complete faith and trust in God by turning away from the ways of the fallen world. We choose instead to live according to the ways of God – not as if they were imposed laws, but because our belief is that His ways, and His ways alone, are the ways of life – not only in the life to come but in this life as well. We are called to a new life and a new way of living. Jesus is Saviour and Jesus is Lord. “Follow Me” is a call both to direction as well as to method. They go together.
What are the real standards by which you live this year? Which of Jesus directives have you specifically incorporated into your life?
Lord Jesus, please help me to perceive the truth and to live by it. Help me to look at Your teachings, recognise them and make them a part of my everyday life – to Your honour and glory. Amen.