Obedience, the Fruit of Faith
If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. Exodus 19:5.
Obedience—the service and allegiance of love—is the true sign of discipleship. Thus the Scripture says, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3). “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” (chap. 2:4). Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.
We do not earn salvation by our obedience, for salvation is the free gift of God, to be received by faith. But obedience is the fruit of faith. “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not” (chap. 3:5, 6). Here is the true test. If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in us, our feelings, our thoughts, our purposes, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God as expressed in the precepts of His holy law. “Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (verse 7). Righteousness is defined by the standard of God’s holy law, as expressed in the ten precepts given on Sinai.
The so-called faith in Christ which professes to release men from the obligation of obedience to God is not faith, but presumption. “By grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). But “faith, if it hath not works, is dead” (James 2:17). Jesus said of Himself before He came to earth, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). And just before He ascended again to heaven, He declare, “I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10). The Scriptures says, “Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3)....
The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been—just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents—perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized....
The more our sense of need drives us to Him and to the Word of God, the more exalted views we shall have of His character, and the more fully we shall reflect His image.—Steps to Christ, 60-65.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 275