Obedience to the Faith
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Paul uses an interesting phrase in both the opening and the closing of his letter to the believers in Rome. He speaks of obedience to faith in, then says in (NKJV),
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ … for obedience to the faith.
How do you become established in faith? It’s all His work. It’s not based on what you do or don’t do, but on what He has already done. He is able to establish you so that you won’t be moved or blown by winds of doctrine.
The Gospel Paul preaches is all about Jesus Christ and Him crucified, as he writes in. That is the singular event in all history, separating B.C. from A.D. It is the cross, which is fully sufficient. Jesus will establish you. It’s Jesus, who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24).
Only He can do all of that.
Jesus declares in His first sermon,
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” ().
What is the kingdom of God? It’s simple: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is what Jesus teaches His followers to pray in. We want to pray heaven down to earth. That’s the kingdom.
Jesus goes on to say in,
“Repent, and believe in the gospel."
We must change our thinking and believe the Good News. It is by faith that we are justified unto salvation.
And in, God commands that this Gospel be made known to all nations—to everyone. Why? For obedience to the faith. This means that when God’s Word says it, you believe it.
A good example is the Virgin Mary when the angel tells her:
“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” ().
Mary asks how this can happen since she is a virgin, and the angel replies:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. … For with God nothing will be impossible” ().
Mary knows very well that if she is pregnant and unmarried, she will face shame and rejection. She could even be stoned to death.
Yet she answers,
“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” ().
That is obedience to the faith—God announces, and I believe.
Another example is the life of Jesus.records how He stands up in the synagogue, reads from the scroll of Isaiah, and announces,
“Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
He takes to heart, which says: “In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do your will.”
That is obedience to the faith.
Jesus says that those who believe in Him will do even greater miracles than He did. He says that all the fullness of God would be in us and that the power God has given to Him, He gives to us. These are some powerful promises—and they are ours today!
As Paul states in:
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God.
We are called to take this Gospel into all the world, yet some Christians think, “I’m not worthy. I haven’t studied the Bible enough. I don’t know the Greek and Hebrew.” That is not obedience to the faith.
What if Mary had told the angel, “Sorry, no—I’m not your gal”?
God knew her, and God knows you. While Jesus was dying, He knew about you—for the prophecy intells us, When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed.
We are His seed. We are His descendants! From the cross, He could see into the future, and we satisfy Him.
The Bible says, We have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts ().
This is talking about the born-again experience when you know that Jesus has been born in your heart. You become impregnated by the Holy Spirit, and the day star arises in your heart. People are dwelling in darkness, and we need to be that light shining in a dark place.
So let’s not miss out on anything God has for us. Since all of His promises to us are Yes and Amen, let’s believe every single one of them. And, like Mary, let’s declare, “Let it be to me according to your word.”
God bless you!
© Copyright Gordon Robertson
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