Saving Faith Is Obedient Faith

by Dennis Abernathy

Many passages could be cited to show that one must believe (have faith) to be saved. However, believing is more involved than the sole mental act. Ultimately, believing in the Lord is to do what He says, and refusing to obey His will is an expression of disbelief!

The thought of “obedience” and “works” has been brushed aside by many people in deference to popular views of “grace alone” and “faith only.” But the religion of Jesus is a way of righteous action! It is the way of obedient service by faith.

Ben Bogard, denying that baptism is essential to salvation, said, "I am going to maintain that there is no act at all that any man in the Old Testament time or the New ever had to perform to be saved. Salvation is received by faith, and faith is the only thing you can do without doing anything. Faith submits to the Lord and doesn’t pretend to do; as long as you attempt to do, you are working it yourself and not depending upon the Lord.” [Hardeman Bogard Debate p. 93]. Is that a true statement? No, it is not.

In many instances, “believing” is a summary term that embraces all of the conditions inherent in God’s divine plan of salvation, including the command to be immersed in water. This is crucial since many absolutely repudiate the idea that baptism is a requisite to forgiveness. So, when the New Testament speaks about saving faith or belief that leads to salvation, it is not speaking about faith alone! It talks about belief as the foundation of one’s surrender to Christ and the motivating factor in obedience to His will. For example, to the Romans, Paul mentions “the obedience to the faith,” and also “the obedience of faith.” (Romans 1: 5; 16:26). Thus, we learn that “the faith” can and must be obeyed, and that one’s personal faith can and must lead to obedience! So, one’s personal faith should, and it will, if it is genuine, motivate one to obey “the faith,” i.e., “the system of faith, the Word of God, the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17).

Therefore, faith does not stand alone! Faith acts! Faith works! Faith obeys God's will! Saving faith will do what God says. In fact, faith does not save before it acts!

Think on these things.

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