Sunday, August 9, 2015

Obey the Gospel

Doctrinal debates sometimes result from comments I post on my Facebook page. I don’t mind this as long as our discussions remain civil and don’t promote heresy. Isaiah 1:18 encourages us to “reason together.” Yesterday I modified and reposted a powerful statement seen on another friend’s wall: “Grace alone did not save Noah and his family...obedience did.”

One friend wrote in response, “It’s Christ's obedience that saved us.” It’s true Christ did His part to make salvation available to everyone but a covenant involves two parties in agreement. A couple doesn’t become married if only one partner says, “I do.” Likewise, someone cannot become part of the Bride of Christ unless he or she says “I do” to Jesus. 

As I pondered my friend’s statement, I recalled how the New Testament talks about obeying the gospel...

“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’” - Romans 10:16

“in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” - 2 Thessalonians 1:8

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” - 1 Peter 4:17 

To elaborate on my original comment, Noah could have basked in God’s grace and goodness but would've drowned with the rest of the world if he hadn’t obeyed God’s command to build the ark. Under the New Covenant, sinners can avoid drowning in the lake of fire if they hear the gospel and then decide to obey it. That can happen if more believers do their part in obeying the Great Commission.

“Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him.” - 1 John 2:4 (Amplified Bible)

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