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Obedience of Faith

Now to Him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith - to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. Romans 16:25-27

This is how Paul closes the book of Romans; he returns to glorifying God for the truth and power of the gospel. As I reflected on these verses, the phrase I kept coming back to was “obedience of faith.” God revealed the gospel to us through His Word. He has made known the mystery of salvation to all nations. He has revealed all of this to bring about the obedience of faith.

Too often obedience is thought of as just going through the actions and doing what you are told. If we are not careful, we can almost begin to think of obedience in a negative way as robotic compliance. However, this is not the picture of obedience we see in the Bible. True obedience is about love and faith.

The apostle John makes very clear throughout his writings that we show our love for God by keeping His commands. 1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His Commandments are not burdensome.” God’s commands are for our good. The fact that His commands are not burdensome does not mean that they are easy. It does mean that He will help us as we follow Him and that He did not give us commands to just keep us busy or weigh us down. His commands are for our good and His glory. 

Obedience is also about faith. True obedience should come from faith in God. Too often it seems that we only really think about faith when it comes to salvation or when we need to make a big decision. However, faith is an integral part of our everyday life. Paul made this clear when he wrote this to the Colossian church: “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” We received Christ by faith, and we need to continue to walk in faith. Faith is not only for huge life-changing decisions; it is also for a seemingly normal day in March. Each step of obedience we take is a step of faith. When we obey God’s commands out of love, we have faith that God exists and that He rewards those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6). A life of faith is marked by small steps of obedience each day. Obedience is far from mundane; it is the evidence that we know and love God. We do not obey because obedience will gain us better standing with God. Our peace with God and good standing is provided through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. God blesses obedience, but it is not something He owes us. He has already given us so much more than we deserve. 

Take the steps of obedience before you today however small or insignificant they may seem and know that in so doing you are living a life of great faith.

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