04 Mar Words of Grace – New Obedience
Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). The Apostle Paul echoed this statement when he said, “ work out your salvation ” (Philippians 2:12). To work out our salvation is to keep the commandments of our Savior.
Obedience is a priority for Christians. We do not work for our salvation. No amount of obedience to Bible commands changes our nature or atones for our sins. By grace we are saved through faith. But as the graced ones who walk by faith, obedience to God becomes our new desire and way of living. Obedience is working out our salvation, which is our discipleship.
We need to give more attention to obedience to Christ. The direct commands of the Bible are to be heeded. Commandments like “don’t murder, steal, commit adultery, and lie” still direct our behavior, not just because some of these things are illegal but also because they grieve our Lord. Commandments like “honor your parents, serve each other, worship God, and seek first his kingdom” still govern our lives as his people.
We can be thoughtful and creative in our obedience. The neighbor we are commanded to love can be our spouse, co-worker, the person who lives next door, and people we don’t even know but who are affected by our decisions. We can love these people in a thousand different ways according to the need of the moment and what we have to offer them. We can love them by not doing certain things that would not be helpful or honoring to them.
Working out our salvation in obedience to Christ is not working for our salvation in legalism. We don’t need to become overly scrupulous for fear of not attaining our salvation. It is God who works in us to save us, create the desire for obedience, and give us the power to live for his pleasure. Our obedience is essentially living by his power and under his direction.
Today, how will you work out your salvation in some form of obedience to Christ?
This Sunday at Grace we will consider the work of salvation and the working out of salvation from Philippians 2:12-16. And we will share communion together. I encourage you to prepare yourself for Sunday through prayer. Pray for someone else at Grace this weekend.