Romans 5:1-2 ESV
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
What is faith? The word means “to be persuaded,” and for the Christian, it is to be persuaded by God as to his holiness and righteousness, and as to our sinfulness, and as to our need to repent of (forsake) our sins and to follow Jesus Christ in surrender to him and in obedience to his ways and to his commands. For Jesus died for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now honor God with our lives (our bodies).
Our faith comes from God, it is gifted to us by God, and it is not of ourselves. We can’t make it up. We can’t decide what faith is. God does. His word does. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ. As well, Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith, so our faith will align with his will and purpose for our lives, and if our faith is genuine, we will be doing the will of God, by his grace.
Also, and included in what was stated above, our faith is obedience. Hebrews 11 is the “faith chapter” of the Bible and it gives us multiple examples of people of faith, and in most all cases it mentions that by faith they obeyed God or they did what was pleasing to God. Also, when we read Hebrews 3-4 and 1 Corinthians 10, we learn that God considers faith as obedience and disobedience as unbelief, both in the Old and in the New Testament.
As well, we learn that faith is obedience in the teachings of Jesus and that of the apostles, for Jesus taught that if we are to come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die to sin) and follow (obey) him. And he taught that not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only those doing the will of God. And Jesus taught that to love him is to obey him and if we don’t obey him we don’t love him.
The apostles taught the same thing that we must obey our Lord or we don’t have genuine faith and we don’t love God and we don’t know God and we aren’t his children and we aren’t saved from our sins and we won’t inherit eternal life with God. And this obedience must also include the forsaking of our sins and our surrender of our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
[Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Jn 14:15-24; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]
Justified by Faith
We are made righteous in God’s sight by such faith as what is described above. But faith is not a one-time thing that happens in our lives. Faith is something that must be active and ongoing and being lived out in our lives day by day in what we do and say, and in who we are in character and in integrity. And we must persevere in this faith steadfast until the very end of time. For, we aren’t made righteous by a mere confession of faith, but by our walks of faith, for those who practice righteousness are righteous.
For Jesus said that if we want to come after him that we must deny self and take up our cross daily (daily die to sin) and follow (obey) him. And Paul said that by faith we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, and that our old self was put to death with Christ so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness.
But then he went on to say that we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness, and to sanctification, and its end is eternal life with God. And then he said that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For if we live according to the flesh we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the sinful deeds of the flesh, we will have eternal life. And if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. For we are all going to be judged by our works.
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]
Now, God’s grace is not just forgiveness of sins and the promise of heaven when we die. God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await our Lord’s soon return. For Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (See Titus 2:11-14).
God’s grace to us is deliverance from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so that we can now live as slaves of God and of his righteousness in the power of God. His grace puts our sin to death with Jesus, and it empowers us to live godly and holy lives, to the praise and glory of God. So, when we accept or receive God’s free gift of salvation, we are accepting everything about Jesus and everything about his salvation into our lives.
So, that means that when you believe in Jesus with God-given faith, and you accept his free gift, you are accepting dying with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and you are accepting forsaking your sinful practices, and you are accepting that you are no longer boss of your life but Jesus is your Lord and Master, and you are accepting that you must now walk in obedience to the Lord and to his commands, for you are accepting and receiving a life of surrender to Christ Jesus, our Lord.
[See all the Scripture references in this document.]
I Stand in Awe
By Mark Altrogge
You are beautiful
You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty, enthroned above
And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God, to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You
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