7.2. Obedience – “Baptism is a work — yet we are saved by faith” – Fake News – 2 of 6

Have you ever followed orders that you felt was not right? The premise is that you are under authority and if you do not follow the commands you are insubordinate. In the end the work gets done according to your boss’ vision, not yours. What if we see in the end our boss was right in what he did? We might say he is lucky, but that is the difference between a more experienced worker and others. It reminds me of the the movie “Groundhog Day“, with Bill’s attempts to impress Rita. Let’s see how this example applies to us. The first argument is that only grace can save us: Let’s have a look.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — Eph 2:8
We are saved by grace not by works through our faith in Jesus. So we agree grace is an unmerited gift from God where He works and not us. We can say that God cannot extend His grace if we do not have faith? So is faith now also a work? The second argument is that only faith can save us:
“You see then that a man is justified by works and not by faith only” (Jas. 2:24).
Ok, so there goes the argument that you can only be saved by your faith or for that matter grace. Eg. If you believe the light will go on if you flip the switch, but you never flip the switch. It does not matter how strong your faith / belief is; the light will never go on unless you flip the switch. If there is no action; there is no faith and grace. Faith is the precursor, obedience is the ouflow of your faith and grace is the outcome where God works. You can say that obedience is the link between faith and grace. If you remove one link out of a chain, it ceases to be a chain and just becomes pieces of metal. The saying: “A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link” is so true. But if that weakest link is missing, the chain loses it’s strength and function. The same here with obedience! Let’s see how your faith in obedience works:
11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. – Col 2:11-15
Whose faith raises you? Your parents? Your best friends? No, it is your faith. So your faith in what / who? Here we see that we are saved by faith — in the working of God at baptism (v.12). This passage also teaches that circumcision as an eight-day-old baby under the old covenant has its spiritual parallel in the new covenant to baptism, as this is the time that Christ cuts away your old life (Rom 6:4). At baptism one enters a “covenant” with God — salvation. Prayer for Today: Morning Lord. Lord I know this is a lot to take in, but help me understand it better so I can understand your will. Obedience is an outflow of my love to You, just as when I am in love I will do anything to make that other person happy.  Help me to have that conviction and also the love that will honor You. Amen. Next Study – Page 3 of 6

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