GRACE AND OBEDIENCE

Heb. 5:8,9 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

This verse tends to be somewhat disturbing to some evangelical Christians. It is those ‘horrible’ last five words that are problematic, “to all who obey Him”. Somehow being justified by grace through faith makes people think obedience is no longer required. That’s simply not true. Justification deals with our past sins and brings about the miracle of either a return to obedience or the beginning of obedience. Christ doesn’t just forgive us and leave us in the quagmire of our sinful lifestyle. Impossible! His work of grace brings us out of rebellion into a new life of obedience to God. He is the author of eternal salvation. Eternal salvation is more than length of days or a pass to heaven when we die; it is a new quality of life now that is characterized by holiness and joy. It is God’s grace that has brought us into this joyful path of obedience. Here is how Murray describes this verse.
“There are some who think that salvation by faith is all, and obedience not so essential. This is a terrible mistake. In our justification there is indeed no thought of obedience in the past. God justifies the ungodly. But repentance is a return to obedience. And without repentance there can be no true faith. Justification, and the faith by which it comes, are only for the sake of obedience, as means to an end. They point us to Christ, and the salvation which is to be found in union with Him. And He has no salvation but for them that obey Him. Obedience, as the acceptance of His will and life, is our only capacity for salvation. Jesus Himself said that the Father would give the Holy Spirit, that is, salvation as it is perfected in Christ in heaven, to them that obey Him. To such would He manifest Himself; with such would the Father and He dwell. The salvation of Christ was wrought out entirely by obedience; this is its very essence and nature; it cannot be possessed or enjoyed but by obedience.”
I love this, repentance leads to obedience. Justification clears our past, our slate is clean. This new heart filled with grace enters into the joyful path of obedience to God. What a tragedy to think that grace just enables us to continue in the miserable life of disobedience to God.

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