This is a continuation of a series on “A Call to Obedience,” how a Christ-follower should respond to his commands. Previously, I have discussed the responses of antinomianism (or “cheap grace”) and legalism, both of which I believe to be heretical. On Good Friday, it is appropriate we consider the third response, the one our Lord himself modeled: obedience.
The book of James among others tells us the dangers of claiming the rewards of cheap grace through faith without the demonstration of that faith through works, and elsewhere as in Romans, we are warned of the dangers of trusting in our works rather than the unearned gift of grace through legalism. So, how shall we respond to God’s commands?
The answer to our dilemma is an ancient one: obedience.
Where legalism attempts to earn God’s grace by following his commands (or the rules we have instituted in lieu of those commands), obedience is the following of God’s commands that flows from God’s grace. We cannot earn God’s grace with our “obedience.” That would be to assert that we are able to be “good” first, apart from God. Yet Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18b), and in John 15, “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me… for apart from me you can do nothing.” Indeed, we can only be obedient because of God’s grace.
Next post: Obedience: A Gift of God’s Grace
Over the next week, I will be discussing what obedience is, how it differs from legalism, and how we can practice it. Please join in the discussion through the comment feature, or through contacting us directly (our website is: http://www.fcbcnh.org).