The Obedience of Faith
Lesson 7

When the moral fiber of a nation becomes weakened, when there is a general lowering of accepted standards, when it becomes popular to think lightly with reference to constituted law, the situation is a most tragic one. The problem takes on even more ominous proportions when we reflect on the fact that the majority of church members today carry few convictions against breaking at least some precepts of God’s great moral code the Ten Commandments.

This gives rise to the question: Is obedience natural for the born-again Christian? Are there any differences in the behavior of a Christian to set him apart from those who make no profession? What is the standard by which righteousness is to be measured, and is this standard to be a reality in the life of the believer?

1. Who first promised man life in disobedience?

Genesis 3:4–5
Genesis 3:4-5

2. According to God’s standard of judgment (the law), how many can be justified, or declared innocent?

Psalm 143:2
Psalm 143:2

3. Why is this so?

Romans 3:23
Romans 3:23

4. Will the unrighteous be saved?

1 Corinthians 6:9–11
1 Corinthians 6:9-11

5. How do we receive righteousness?

Romans 4:5
Romans 4:5

Note: Living faith will be made manifest in a Christlike character, and in perfect obedience to all His requirements.

6. Does our faith take the place of obedience?

Romans 3:31
Romans 3:31

Note: The gospel of the New Testament is not the Old Testament standard lowered to meet the sinner and save him in his sins. God requires obedience of all His subjects, entire obedience to all His commandments

7. Can we become justified and receive righteousness by keeping the law?

Galatians 2:16
Galatians 2:16

8. Is it possible to be justified without obedience to the law?

Romans 2:13
Romans 2:13

Note: God, in His wisdom and mercy, tests men and women here to see if they will obey His voice and respect His law, or rebel as Satan did. God will not pardon and bless those who are trampling upon even one of His requirements. The willful commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit, and separates the soul from God. Whatever may be the ecstasies of religious feeling, Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine law. God will honor those only who honor Him.

9. How do we reveal the fact that we have truly accepted Christ?

Romans 6:16
Romans 6:16

Note: If we accept Christ as a Redeemer, we must accept Him as a Ruler. We cannot have the assurance, the perfect confiding trust in Him as our Saviour, until we acknowledge Him by our obedience to His commandments. By an act of faith we may place ourselves in His hands to work in us His good pleasure. Self, the old natural self, dies, and Christ’s will becomes our will, His way our way. In His hands we become an instrument to work wickedness no more, but works of righteousness.

10. Is a simple acknowledgment of God’s requirements sufficient?

James 2:14, 19–20
James 2:14, 19–20

Note: If the law of God is something we are to recognize as merely good advice and generally appreciate for its value while retaining an inability to follow its precepts, we might more appropriately title that law the Ten Suggestions. If it is not to be the standard by which our conduct is to be measured, it becomes an irrelevant document. Following from cause to effect, there can then be no sin, for the only definition we have of sin in the Scriptures is transgression of the law. See 1 John 3:4. The next logical question would be; of what purpose then is grace?

11. To whom did Christ become the Author of salvation?

Hebrews 5:9
Hebrews 5:9

12. How deeply does the law probe in determining guilt?

Hebrews 4:12
Hebrews 4:12

13. How does the gospel meet this challenge?

2 Corinthians 10:5
2 Corinthians 10:5

Note: The law judges deeper than the actions, reaching even to the thoughts and motives. See Matthew 5:27–28. However, if we consent, Christ will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. When we know God, as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, sin will become hateful to us.

14. Are we able, of ourselves, to render this obedience?

Jeremiah 13:23; John 15:5
Jeremiah 13:23; John 15:5

15. Why is this the case?

Romans 7:18–19
Romans 7:18–19

16. What then must take place?

Romans 12:2
Romans 12:2

Note: This life is the testing, trying time. The whole question is settled in this: Are we obedient or disobedient to the commandments of God? Has the sinner been transformed while in this world, through the merits of Christ, to an obedient servant, so that he is fitted to join the heavenly society and be accepted as a joint heir with Christ?

17. Through what means does this transformation take place?

John 17:17
John 17:17

Note: As we continually behold God’s will for us in His Word, it will, imperceptibly to us, conform us to the divine likeness. See 2 Corinthians 3:18.

18. Is it possible to have Jesus but not the law?

1 John 2:3–4
1 John 2:3–4

19. In the judgment, what will Christ say to those who profess a relationship with Him, but have failed to render obedience?

Matthew 7:21–23
Matthew 7:21–23

Note: Though pleasant to the natural heart, it is a delusion to believe that God will accept our sincerity, no matter what may be the faith, no matter how imperfect the life. God requires of His creatures perfect obedience.

20. To whom will the gates of the heavenly city open?

Revelation 22:14
Revelation 22:14

Note: The Word of God leaves the responsibility of our joy or our ruin at our own door; everything depends upon our obedience or disobedience.

Originally given to Israel, the Ten Commandments were intended by God to be held by them as a sacred trust for the whole world. The commandment, “Thou shalt not covet,” was not intended for Israel only, nor was the command to respect father and mother. In fact, the whole purpose of law is clearly revealed in the second table of the Decalogue. These precepts strictly direct man to hold undisturbed his neighbour’s rights of freedom. When followed, they protect each person from being victimized by killing, adultery, theft, false witness, and covetousness. See Exodus 20:12–17. The law places a fence around each individual, protecting him from the hatred and violence that some people, if they had no fear of condemnation, would freely direct against him.

You may search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will find only two groups of people—those who are obedient through faith in Jesus and those who are not. Each is promised a reward at the end, and in both cases it is rendered according as his works have been. See Revelation 20:13; 22:12.

 

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