Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Obedience from faith & infidelity from unfaithfulness

This morning while reading Romans 1, the fifth verse jumped out at me and the following thoughts began to race through my mind:
“Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.” – Romans 1:5
Paul didn’t say that he was filled with grace to call people to a personal relationship with Jesus. Rather, he said he was filled with grace to call people to obedience that comes from faith. Paul is essentially saying that obedience is a key (if not the key) characteristic (evidence) of our relationship with Christ. Do you have a personal relationship with Christ? Do you have faith in Christ? Well, have you answered the call to obedience? Is your life characterized by obedience?

Obedience to Jesus shows our faithfulness to Christ and indicates our faith in Him. When we are characterized by disobedience to Jesus, it indicates a problem with our faith or a complete lack of faith. So, disobedience is actually a sign of unfaithfulness.

Isn’t the marriage relationship a good example of this correlation between obedience and faith in the sense that fidelity and faithfulness in a marriage are closely related? If we are truly faithful to our spouse, then we will not engage in adultery or other acts of infidelity. However, the reverse is also true because infidelity in marriage is a sign of unfaithfulness. In fact, we label someone who is engaged in adulterous relationships as unfaithful. When we fell in love with our spouse, we then made the decision to be faithful to them. We even confessed this faithfulness before men. However, this confession of faithfulness is only as good as our actions. Do we live our daily lives committed to our spouse, committed to faithfulness?

It is interesting that Jesus said that unfaithfulness is the only acceptable reason for severing a marriage relationship. (Matthew 5:32)

Paul preached the call to obedience. Jesus told us to make disciples; teaching them to obey all He had commanded (Matthew 28:20). Calling people to obedience that comes from faith in Christ Jesus may not be a popular thing these days, but it is biblical and what we are commanded to do.

No comments: