OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST IS ESSENTIAL
Have you ever heard a denominational preacher say that obedience is not necessary for salvation? According to him, there is nothing that man must “do” in order to obtain eternal life. Yet the Scriptures teach that we must obey the truth (Galatians 3:1), and work righteousness to be accepted by God (Acts 10:35).
IS OBEDIENCE ESSENTIAL? Is obedience essential to salvation? The Bible says that Jesus Christ “became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). Who is He the author of eternal salvation for? Those that obey Him! Furthermore, Jesus said, “Not every one that says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Who will enter the kingdom of heaven? Those who do the will of the Father! These passages prove that obedience is absolutely essential to salvation.
When Peter preached the gospel to the Jews on Pentecost, they asked, “What shall we do?” Did Peter respond by saying, “There is nothing for you to do”? Of course not. He replied, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Hence, we have something to do.
When are we made free from sin? Denominational preachers answer that question by saying, “When we believe on Jesus.” They claim that we are made free from sin by faith alone, before and without any acts of obedience. Yet Paul wrote, “But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you. Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18). Notice the sequence of that passage. They became free from sin after they obeyed that form of doctrine which was delivered to them, and that they received!
How do we purify our souls? Denominational preachers answer that question by saying, “By believing on Jesus”. They claim that we have our hearts purified by faith alone, before and without any acts of obedience. Yet Peter wrote, “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth” (1 Peter 1:22). Who do you believe? Who is teaching the truth?
Sadly, many people have been deceived into believing that if they “do” something, they are trying to earn their salvation. Such is not the case. For instance, Noah had to build the ark. By doing that, did he try to earn his salvation? The Israelites had to march around the walls of Jericho. By doing that, did they try to earn the city? Naaman had to dip in the River Jordan. By doing that, did he try to earn his healing? Surely you see the point. We are in no way attempting to earn our salvation by obeying the gospel.
The Scriptures clearly teach that there is something for man to “do”. Obedience to the gospel of Christ is essential to our salvation from sin. We must believe (John 8:24), repent of our sins (Luke 13:3), confess Christ (Matthew 10:32), be baptized (Mark 16:16), and then remain faithful to Christ (Revelation 2:10). Have you obeyed the gospel?