Faith inspires ACTION.......
Ok, let me bring some new perspective or thoughts on the subject of 'obedience'. (I think some take this word offensively like there is a task master forcing someone to obey, etc. - perhaps we can use other terms, but the concept or principle still holds which we will research below).
Both are essential (obeying God and the wedding garment) Doesn't God desire you to OBEY His voice? You prefer disobedience? seriously. - - seems people here are confusing or convoluting matters with faith and works. - If you love God you will be obeying his Spirit, DOING his will, - it boggles me that anyone is having a problem with that? Something is wrong, if one is so against any concept of 'works'. Its a fact that all are judged according to their works. Yes, of course faith is essential for salvation, its the seed, the germ that grows within and then manifests as fulfilling the law, - this faith will be evident by our DOING of God's will, OBEYING God's voice. Are some people really having a hard time accepting this? Something is wrong if someone has a problem this. This is basic truth for any traditional orthodox Jew...or even liberal spiritualists...if you love God, you will be SERVING him with your whole heart.
A tree is known by its fruit. Therefore the prophets say "do works that prove you have truly repented". The prophetic call continues to be the same, "Put away your wicked deeds, Do what is right". There is no substitute for obeying God. Not even blood sacrifice or any kind of ritual sacrifice is a substitute for YOU actually REPENTING and returning to God and DOING his will.
So, with the grace afforded you, and the measure of faith granted, you surely can obey the Spirit of God, and DO God's will. - so naturally,...if you love God you will by the empowering of his Spirit, DO his will, serve him with your whole heart, mind, strength, will, etc. I'm baffled why this is puzzling for anyone, even a half backed bible student or scholar knows this much. Seriously folks. You cant just 'name and claim it' here,...you have to live out your faith, and serve God. This is why James says, your actions/behavior will show if you have genuine faith. Otherwise, its dead and is of no use.
Its about your heart-surrender, which fosters your faith producing right behavior, a life of genuine repentance, - that repentance will prove itself by a changed life, one that honors God, where the Spirit of God is leading and guiding your ACTIONS. You are obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit, moment to moment. The word 'obedience' may seem a little strong for some libertarians? perhaps that is their own ego and flesh resisting this concept? Okay,...then lets just call it 'following the Spirit's guidance, being LED by the Spirit, walking in the Spirit' OR 'obeying the voice of God'. - its all the same thing, use whatever words you like,..every prophet or apostle of God and His Messiah teach us the same thing. Repent, and Do the will of the LORD. Is this a foreign concept to some of you? I just don't get all this confusion and equivocation over this, but we can probably grant a lot of it to how people are interpreting Paul's writings as he contorts some things.
In closing, my observations are that some are straining at gnats and swallowing camels, but they just don't know how bloated they. - we all agree faith is essential, but we must also agree that real faith that does not produce works, is DEAD. We are justified and saved by FAITH, and this faith will inspire us to DO God's will, to OBEY God. Im still baffled over anyone NOT seeing this basic truth. Call me old-fashioned on the fundamentals, even though I'm very liberal and eclectic in other areas...but this is alarming.
You cant just preach 'faith' ALONE....some kind of 'easy believism'......NO prophets ever did. You begin there, of course. But carrying on.....repentance demands a changed mind, changed life, changed orientation which naturally produces reformed life. A living FAITH will be dynamic, actively DEMONSTRATING itself thru ACTION, right doing, righteous behavior, all the fruit of a Spirit-led life. A life led by the Spirit, produces all the good fruit of the Spirit, and this life LED by LOVE, has no law against it, for when one is walking in faith, by love, in the Spirit....they cannot sin! 'Sin' is but the transgression of the law, any falling short of or missing the mark of love. If you walk in the Spirit, you will not follow or fulfill the desires of the flesh. In the Spirit of the Lord there is no sin or imperfection...only liberty to live by the Spirit. I'm still baffled on this particular point. I may have to take a few spiritual Tylenols here
Ok, enough on this....I've got some other threads to attend to, for those interested do check them out. God bless!
"If you love me, you will keep my instructions" - Jesus
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