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Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

Heresy: Faith + Obedience = Salvation? No!

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I read in a so called “Christian church” bi-monthly newsletter recently that Faith + Obedience = Salvation but that’s not right if they mean “good works” when they say “obedience” which is what the article inferred! That’s heresy!

Repentance from Sins + Faith in Christ alone = Salvation

Some would argue that obedience is the same as repentance but they are different! Repentance accompanies faith and then they produce salvation which next produces OBEDIENCE. Faith produces works of obedience – not obedience producing salvation! Works demonstrate that the salvation was real and always come AFTER salvation for the believer in Christ.

The only thing obedient about repentance is that we need to repent before God but is that what this newsletter meant? If so, then ok. But if not, then I’m concerned. Faith + anything that you or I do as a “work” will not save us!

I’m not picking on these folks but it is an important distinction and you need to know the difference. I only point this out for your spiritual growth and not to pick a fight with these brothers/sisters. I have no beef with them personally but only want you to know the truth! Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal the truth to them!

It’s Jesus Only! Repentance from sin and faith in Him! That produces newness of life and good works/obedience follow!

-Mark (thankful that salvation is NOT dependent upon my good works – in fact, my good works are my problem because I need the righteousness of Christ and His good works!)

When obeying God makes things worse

August 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Most of us think that obeying God makes our lives easier. But I think it’s actually the opposite most of the time.

Obeying God makes life in this world harder because the world does not embrace God’s ways!

Take Exodus 5 for example. God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh to ask to let God’s people go. What happens? Well, in Exodus 5:6-9 it states:

“The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, 7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

Imagine if that’s you: “Ok, God, I did it. Now, it’s worse. These people are really going to hate me now! Thanks a lot!”

It’s the same in biblical counseling. We have to speak the truth in love to people and they often do NOT want to hear it. We have no choice because we must obey God and trust Him with the results. Our first requirement is to glorify Him by doing what He commands. We are simply to follow His orders from His Word of truth.

That’s a tough place to be but guess what, it’s the only place to be.

Keep reading to see what happens but remember that this whole thing took time and took faith in God that He would eventually do what He said He would do in His perfect timing.

-Mark (seeking to glorify God alone which will lead to helping hurting souls as He wills)

Programs are NOT the answer!

April 12, 2010 2 comments

People today look to the latest book, the latest trend, and the latest  program to solve problems. But God tells us to look to Christ. He alone is the answer.

Christianity is not a program.

It’s a relational process of knowing God, being discipled by others, then discipling others, and then sharing the Gospel with lost people. Yet it’s all RELATIONAL.

Matthew 28:18-20 states: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 28:18-20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

It’s not complicated but it is time consuming to make disciples. Who are you discipling? Under whom are you being discipled? Are you obeying Christ in His final command here in the book of Matthew?

-Mark (obedience is discipleship; biblical counseling is discipleship)

“I feel led to…” (part 1)

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

We say this phrase a lot and sometimes it’s a good phrase. But whatever happened to “I want to…”

What’s wrong with “I want to…” when we are Spirit-led? God says that when we delight in Him, He gives us the desires of our hearts (Ps. 37).

“I want to pray” rather than “I feel led to pray.” Sometimes, I think we want to look more spiritual by saying, “I feel led to pray.” People will tell you, “The Lord told me to tell you…” as if that’s going to have more weight and power. How about saying this instead: “God’s Word says…” and refer to Scripture. That’s what we must do in biblical counseling: present God’s truth objectively and without our bias or added “spiritualizing.” God needs no additional help from us!

-Mark (seeking to be obedient and fighting the desire to appear super-spiritual)

What is a “by-product” of obedience?

October 25, 2009 Leave a comment

When our goal is simply to glorify the Lord by being obedient to Him as He leads us by the Holy Spirit in accordance to God’s Word, then there are “by-products” produced.

For example, the “by-product” of seeking to glorify God in your marriage will likely produce more love, joy, and peace in your heart toward your spouse, others, and even the Lord.

Another example: the “by-product” of seeking to glorify God by not using drugs or alcohol will likely produce more patience, kindness, and goodness in your life.

One more example: the “by-product” of seeking to glorify God by not lying but telling the truth at all times produces more  faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

All of these “by-products” are often what most people who come in for biblical counseling are seeking! But they have the wrong goal. Not that this goal is bad, it’s not a bad secondary goal. It’s not a bad desire for these things. It’s just the wrong primary goal.

The primary goal must be to glorify and to please God. When that goal gets right, then the desired “by-products” as I am calling them will be produced.

In reality, these “by-products” are really the fruit of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. The “by-products” are not produced by you but by Him as He works through you when you have the right goal, trust the Lord, and obey Him.

-Mark (enjoying the many “by-products” the Lord has already given me in my life and looking forward to more of them in the future)

People are quick to say “I believe” but I wish people would say “I will obey”

June 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Seems like every counselee and church-goer I know is quick to say “I believe God’s Word” but very few are willing to say, “I will obey God’s Word.”

When we fail to obey His Word, we are really saying by our actions, “God, Your Word is true but I don’t think it’s very powerful. I don’t believe it will change my life.”

You may disagree but many times, this is true. We all should trust God and take Him at His Word by obeying Him. Our Father knows best!

We serve an infinitely wise God. He is so awesome! He is amazing! Let’s trust Him today by doing what He commands.

-Mark (serving an amazing God)

Instead of “God, bless America” how about…?

October 9, 2008 Leave a comment

“America, bless God.”

That’s not an original idea so when I heard it, I said, “Yes, that’s it precisely!” Our country should focus upon blessing God by being obedient to Him and then we do not have to even ask for His blessings because obedience leads to blessings (and sometimes persecutions!).

-Mark (let’s be a blessing to God, America!)

Don’t you agree?