The way to be eternally secure is to cleave to, trust, rely on and have faith in (believe in) Jesus Christ! The way to be eternally insecure is to cleave to, trust in, rely on and have faith in anything else, even one’s obedience to God’s perfect law. The latter will fail a person. The first will secure a person. His name, Jesus, means God is salvation.
When I trust in my obedience to God’s law I fail to see my own terrible lack and deficiency, my own disobedience. I fail (come short of, be deficient in, cease to be furnished with, be cut off from the supply) in life by focusing on the idolatrous illusion of my own obedience to the detriment of my Savior, Jesus Christ. When I trust in my obedience to God’s law I am blinded to the miserable, pitiful decay, lack and deficiency of my own need – the very reason Jesus died. Therefore when I trust in my obedience to God’s law and commandments, my obedience is idolatrously exalted and the Source, the very Source of Life is relegated to an inferior position.
To believe in (be habitually, routinely committed to) Jesus Christ is to trust (assured resting of the mind in the veracity, integrity, justice or other sound principle of another person; confidence; reliance) in Jesus Christ (i.e. God) for my salvation. One path to failure in salvation is to trust and believe my obedience to God’s perfect commands or commandments will save me. My obedience will fail me because I am human. The source of life is not obedience. The source of my eternal life is none other than Jesus Christ, who judicially declares me justified, sanctified and to be glorified.
To be saved then starts with a simple belief in Jesus Christ (John 1:12) which over time will grow to a confident assurance (strong belief) and absolute resolved single-minded purpose and determination in Jesus Christ first and foremost, above everything else and to then obey out of thanksgiving for what God has done. As we grow we learn to not just to obey because of His gifts or His blessings, but in all assaults and barrages of lies and deceit from the enemies, in all of physical life’s circumstances we grow in Him through good times, as well as terrible suffering.
To God be the glory – He is the source of our salvation!
John 11:5 (Amplified Bible) “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus [They were His dear friends, and He held them in loving esteem.]”
When I read this verse this morning, it occured to me, I don’t view Jesus in the same way as Martha, Mary (her sister) and Lazarus did. That’s tragic. Why is that?
As I thought and prayed about that, it occurred to me that I still struggle in my view of God. I still see Him too often as a Being who is watching my every move to catch when I disobey so He can correct it. Do we really think thoughts like mine were the thoughts of Martha, Mary & Lazarus toward Jesus?
It’s their relationship with Jesus that better proclaims the beauty of the Gospel – God coming into His creation to build a relationship with fallen sinners, even an intimate friendship. Friends and even marriage partners don’t worry about obedience, it’s more about respect for one another. They don’t fret about obedience because obedience is not the focus of the relationship. It’s deeper than obedience, love and gratitude toward the other person are the focus. The focus of obedience is on the self.
Now certainly disciplines, “ought to’s,” and even at times “commands” are part of love. But aren’t commands and obedience more of a framework, rather than a way of life? Doesn’t the question from Jesus, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments?” a question targeted more toward those who are immature or are children than a mature friend?
Obedience certainly is clearly addressed in the New Testament, but it seems to me (and I need more time to process this and would appreciate feedback here), that obedience issues in the New Testament relate more often to non-believers and to immature believers who need warning about going astray, using grace as a license, and taking God far too casually, etc.
Think of it: “a friend of Jesus – one who is free.” It’s a relationship concept that I trust we all desire to have with Jesus, instead of a slave relationship (which involves oppression, not freedom). That friend relationship is not to mature to a trust in obedience, but should mature into a strong relationship of trust in Jesus, the One who died for us. He’s the object of our desire, right? Or is the object obedience? I think Jesus is the object. For “a slave (a person oppressed to obey and keep commandments, who points to his obedience as to whether he is worthy enough) does not abide in the house forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:35-36). Free to be a child, a maturing believer, a dear friend and eventually an intimate spouse of the King – in His very house relating to and with Him.