Obedience, the Evidence of Salvation

(Luke 9:23-25 NKJV)  Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and followMe. {24} “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. {25} “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”

Bill Hull, in his book ‘The Complete Book of Discipleship,’ states, “The American gospel teaches that faith equals agreement with a set of religious facts. Believing in Jesus has no meaning if we don’t follow him in discipleship. Believing without discipleship isn’t believing, it’s agreeing to a set of facts about a religious figure. The problem we face is that we have taught a faith that doesn’t transform people….We’ve made the test for salvation doctrinal rather than behavioral, ritualizing it with walking the aisle, praying to receive Christ, or signing a doctrinal statement. Perhaps we’ve made it so easy to get into “the life” that we’ve made it nearly impossible to live the life.”

William Carey, the pioneer missionary to India said, “Let nothing short of radical change of heart satisfy you in your coverts…” 

Discipleship without obedience to Christ is not discipleship at all. Discipleship requires obedience to Christ. Without obedience we cannot claim to be His disciples. We have created a man made Christ in this nation, who demands no commitment, with a cross that requires no crucifixion. The result is a Christianity that lacks credibility, and has been made void of its power.

Salvation will result in action. (James 2:20-22 NLT)  Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless? {21} Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was declared right with God because of what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? {22} You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did–by his actions.

Tom Sine, in his book “Taking Discipleship Seriously,’ says, “Jesus in His extremism insists that we surrender all our relationships, our resources, our careers, our futures-our total lives-to His lordship…In becoming Christian it appears that many of  us have unquestionably attempted to layer our faith right over the top of the secular values with which we have been raised. We have simply accepted cultural expectations as largely unquestioned givens. For many, this business of following Christ seems to be placing a little “Jesus veneer” over middle- and upper middle-class lifestyles and their implicit values. That simply won’t work.”

Jim Wallis “To be a Christian is to be possessed and dominated by thekingdom ofGod. Salvation must not be seen as merely an individual event in which the individual has a part. Thekingdom ofGod has come to transform the world and us with it by the power of God, in Jesus Christ. The cross of Christ is not just the symbol of our atonement but the very pattern and definition of our lives, the very means of the new order that has invaded the world in Christ…Church historians may someday describe our period as the ‘American Captivity of the Church.’ It is no less real than the ‘Babylonian Captivity’ in the history ofIsrael.”

We have erroneously come to believe that because our salvation cannot be earned it requires nothing in return. This has created a distorted, cheap understanding of the gospel, where following Jesus has been reduced to nothing more than a sinner’s prayer.

To claim that we are Christians without obedience to the commands of Christ, is truly delusional. The evidence of salvation is obedience to Christ.

(1 John 2:4 NKJV)  He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.


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