Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 11, 1969
NUMBER 19, PAGE 5c-6a

Faith And/Or Obedience

Larry Ray Hafley

Denominational disciples, the Devil's delivers of damnable doctrine, have forever been unable to see that faith and obedience are not antipodal. They breathe the word faith like it was a feeling and avoid the word obedience like it was an obdurate obstacle unto the salvation of God. Concerning faith they pervert Paul, and considering obedience they jumble James. "Faith," they declare and decree, "saves by itself alone." Thus, obedience to them is cast as a stumbling stone.

While fully, freely recognizing and realizing a distinction between simple belief in Christ and overt acts of obedience, gospel preachers have ever sought to show that "the faith saves is the faith that obeys." Numerous New Testament passages plainly present the truthfulness of such teaching. Let us examine a select few.

1. (Acts 15:9 and I Peter 1:22) When reviewing the fact of Gentile regeneration, Peter said, "God...put no difference between us (Jews) and them, (Gentiles) purifying their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:9) However, when he wrote to the Christians "scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia," he said, "ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth." (I Peter 1:22) Are we to conclude that there are two modes of purifying, sanctifying, and justifying the soul, one by faith and the other by obedience? Nay, verily, for when one is forgiven by faith he has obeyed the gospel. (Rom. 5:1; 6:17,18)

2. (1 Peter 1:9 and Hebrews 10:36) In I Peter 1:9 we learn that the "end" (consummation, fulfillment) of faith is "the salvation of your souls." A parallel pronouncement is placed in verse 36 of Hebrews 10. "For ye have need of patience that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." The fruition, of faith and the object of obedience equals "the promise," the "salvation of your souls."

3. (Romans 1:8 and 16:19) Paul pleasingly, truthfully told the Romans "that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world." (Rom. 1:8) In concluding the same epistle in like manner he said, "your obedience is come abroad unto all men." (Rom. 16:19) Hence, here we find faith and obedience interchangeably entwined. The faith of the Romans was manifested by their obedience and their obedience likewise their faith. (Jas. 2:18)

CONCLUSION: Faith is important, absolutely essential, but having it without obedience is like having a dry bar of soap with no water. Think about it.

— 602 W.. Lee St, Plano, Ill. 60545