Brighton Church of Christ
Saving Faith Is Obedient Faith
Many passages could be cited to show that one must BELIEVE (have faith) in order to be saved. But there is more involved in believing than the sole mental act. Ultimately, to believe in the Lord is to DO WHAT HE SAYS, and a REFUSAL TO OBEY His will is an expression of DISBELIEF! The thought of “obedience” and “works” has been brushed aside by many people, in deference to popular views of “grace alone” and “faith only.” But the religion of Jesus is a way of righteous ACTION! It is the way of OBEDIENT service by FAITH.
Ben Bogard, denying that baptism is essential to salvation, said the following: “I am going to maintain that there is no act at all that any man in the Old Testament time or the New ever had to perform in order to be saved. Salvation is received by faith, and faith is the only thing you can do without doing anything. Faith submits to the Lord and doesn’t pretend to do; as long as you attempt to do, you are working it yourself and not depending upon the Lord.” Hardeman Bogard Debate p. 93. Is that a true statement? No it is not.
In many instances “believing” is a summary term that embraces all of the conditions inherent in God’s divine plan of salvation, including the command to be immersed in water. This is crucial since many absolutely repudiate the idea that baptism is a requisite to forgiveness. So, when the New Testament speaks about saving faith, or belief that leads to salvation, it is not speaking about faith ALONE! It is talking about belief as the foundation of one’s surrender to Christ, and the motivating factor in obedience to His will. For example, to the Romans Paul mentions “the obedience to the faith,” and also “the obedience of faith.” (Rom. 1: 5; 16: 26). Thus, we learn that “the faith” can, and must be OBEYED, and that one’s personal “faith” can, and must be obeyed! So, one’s personal faith should, and it will, if it is genuine” motivate one to OBEY “the faith” i. e. “the system of faith, the Word of God, the gospel of Christ.
Therefore, faith does not stand ALONE! Faith ACTS! Faith WORKS! Faith OBEYS GOD’S WILL! Saving faith will do what God says. In fact, faith does not save before it ACTS! Think on these things.