Before Jesus’ religion of obedience can be believed and entered, God’s attitude toward today’s “faith-only” religion must first be believed. Faith-only religionists wrongly use only faith Scriptures, without including all other Scriptures where God added other salvation requirements other than faith, as seen in this devotional.
James chapter 2 exposes that any religion that only believes in God and Jesus, without obeying all their other salvation instructions, is “profitless” (verses 14, 16), “dead” (17, 20, 26), “vain” (empty, void, verse 20), “devilish” (19), “imperfect” (22), and without the Holy Spirit (spiritless, verse 26) to save one sinner (14); thus, the main reason for uncontrollable sinful addictions, plus unanswered prayers and exercises of faith within present day Christianity.
John 2:23-25 exposes that Jesus refused to save even one person who only believed in him for their salvation, without obeying all his other salvation instructions. The faith in Jesus-only salvation was also powerless to change the sinful behavior of those in John 8:30, who tried murdering Jesus only a few moments after their bogus faith-only salvation (verse 59).
Jesus’ authentic salvation is by “obedience” only, not faith only: “And being made perfect, he (Jesus) became the author of eternal salvation unto all who obey him.” (Hebrews 5:9) Jesus created his obedience religion, resulting from his obedience to all his Heavenly Father’s instructions (Romans 5:19).
Our obedience relationship with Jesus begins by us obeying all his salvation instructions without adding, removing or rearranging even one word, nor changing any grammatical marks in Scriptures (“jot,” “tittle” — Matthew 5:18). Galatians 1:8-9 and Revelations 22:18-19 warn that any angel or human adding, removing or rearranging even one word within the Scriptures of Jesus’ obedience religion to make it fit humanistic or devilish doctrines spends all eternity in hell’s bottomless lake of fire.
Jesus adding water baptism and repentance to faith that he commanded every sinner in the world to obey for “salvation” and “remission of sins” in his Great Commission for World Evangelism message as seen in Mark 16:15-16 and Luke 24:47 is not “works” for salvation as many in our religious generation wrongly condemn Jesus. Such salvation formula is under the auspices of Jesus’ obedience religion. Baptism is not the choice of any convert, but rather Jesus’ “command” within his obedience religion (Acts 10:48).
The apostle Paul revealed in Romans 6:1-13 and Colossians 2:12-13 God using baptism to crucify, bury and resurrect our former sinful self; including resurrecting us with the righteous likeness of Jesus in the baptismal waters. Such is also authorized and empowered by Christ’s religion of obedience (Romans 6:16-17), not works for salvation as many today wrongly condemn about baptism.
Christ’s religion of obedience will be our morality while living in heaven after we die (Revelations 21:27), including within God’s soon coming new heaven and Earth (2 Peter 3:13). So we must begin obeying him at this moment, don’t you think?
The Rev. G. David Henderson is the pastor of Temple of the Lord at 611 S. Green St. in Dalton. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on the first Saturday of the month.