Faith and disobedience

Faith and disobedience

The old testament story is that God had not only brought Israel out of bondage, He brought them to the very border of the land promised to them through Abraham. THEN. They simply refused to enter into the land. Such land of rest was not the real promised rest, for we today are still ‘entering into’ such rest. We then have a picture example of our relationship with God and His promises.

Verse 2 states that they didn’t enter “because it was not united by faith in those who heard”. Notice how the writer talks about such lack of faith:

Hebrews 3:18 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?

Hebrews 4:6 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,

Today, we hear over and over again that faith and obedience are not connected. We are said to be saved by ‘faith alone’ and obedience had no part. Yet, such contrast of faith and obedience is not made by God’s word. Instead, faith that saves is an obedient faith.

I can already hear people rejecting such a statement because they read the idea of ‘perfect’ obedience instead of obedience. There simply are not that many commands given to us that are connected with forgiveness, BUT there are SOME! MOST commandments pertain to our holiness, sinlessness, and godliness – but NOT forgiveness.

God has tied certain acts of obedience to forgiveness and salvation. Here is my list:

·       Believe the gospel and be baptized – Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-39.

·       Confession of our faith in Jesus – Matt. 10:32-33, Romans 10:9-10

·       Repentance from our sins – Acts 2:38;

·       God also connected our forgiving others as a condition to being forgiven – Matt. 6:

Having become disciples by being baptized into Christ (Matt. 28:18-19), when we sin, God has instructed us to confess such sin (1John 1:7-9), and to repent and pray (Acts 8:22).

Such commandments can be met by everyone that would. Many (not to say most) will not! Such forgiveness is still by the grace of God. Hence the warning of Hebrews: “ Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience” (Heb. 4:11). The writer concludes this chapter by instructing us: “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).

Hugh DeLong