“Only those who believe are obedient, and only those who are obedient believe…”
“The truth is that so long as we hold both sides of the proposition together they contain nothing inconsistent with right belief, but as soon as one is divorced from the other, it is bound to prove a stumbling block. “Only those who believe obey” is what we say to that part of a believer’s soul which obeys, and “only those who obey believe” is what we say to that part of the soul of the obedient which believes. If the first half of the proposition stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of cheap grace, which is another word for damnation. If the second half stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of salvation through works, which is also another word for damnation.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship 1937
Oh! Let us cease with vain generalities and arguments towards justification, no more debates on semantics- Get back to the Word! Get back to Christ! This should be our rallying cry. The war is upon us, the enemy is at the door, the night is fast approaching. We must ready ourselves, we must equip ourselves to stand the test. A soldier in battle without a weapon can only hide, surrender, or die; lending no help to the cause. Ours should not be the case, we have our weapon, it has been given to us- the sword. The everlasting, pure Word of God; get to know it and how to use it. A lamp in darkness, a balm in sickness, a shield, a sword, a bulwark firm- it will never fail those who trust it- that blessed Word come down from heaven.
These blessed pages are where we find the true light, in the Word of God; Go to it, hide it in your heart. Oh! let us get back to studying Christ, back to following Christ, to loving Christ and being obedient to His Word. Let us quit with trying to find so many ways of justifying our sinful desires by the twisting and perverting of who He is and what His Word demands.
Bonhoeffer’s statement is accurate, the proposition is true for the Christian firmly rooted in who Christ is- The Word made flesh, God manifest. A Christian is one who is daily in the Word, constant in prayer and communion with Christ- living a life balanced by the abiding Spirit of God; a life of obedience, a believer’s life. It is when we lose sight of the One we follow, or when we cease to peer into the depths of Scripture, when we leave off our fellowship that we begin to slide to one side or the other towards inevitable damnation. Look, we see it -error, all around us…
“Saved absolutely by Grace with no need to change my behavior”- a life of anything goes,
“I can earn my salvation by all that I do”- Jesus plus something else.
Jesus calls us to come unto Himself at the cross and die so that we can be buried with Him and be raised with Him. Made new, changed… The work having already been done. The believer is obedient because he believes but not because of who he is, but rather it is due to who Christ is. It is not what the believer has/is/will do, but rather it is everything that Christ has done.
It is not I that lives, but Christ that lives in me.
I can do nothing but look like, act like, talk like and walk like Jesus Christ.
So why are we not doing it?
Isn’t it about time we do…