We are good because we are saved

Why should I obey God?

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”   ~Hebrews 8:10

We are spiritual Israel! The book of Hebrews was written by the apostle Paul through the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That verse clearly shows us the law of God has not been abolished! In fact, right before Paul wrote the above verse, he wrote the following verses. It's our misunderstanding of these verses, as well as our sinful nature, that makes us think that the law of God was done away with.

​“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."   ~Romans 6:11-14

But doesn’t this clearly tell me I am no longer under the law, but under grace? If this is true, why should I make an effort to obey the law? Why would it matter to God if I continue to sin? After all, isn’t that why He died on the cross—to forgive my sins? The following is the very same verse explained in a paraphrased version of the bible. 

“Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did. That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.”   ~Romans 6:11-14 MSG

So, according to this new understanding, as well as a multitude of New Testament verses, it was our sins that were nailed to the cross, not the law! In fact, without the law of God, we wouldn’t be aware of sin, or even of the need for a Savior.

“Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.”   ~Romans 7:12

We are good because we are saved

​“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him."   ~1 John 3:3-6

Take note of what I underlined; this means if we stay connected, totally dedicated and committed to Him, we do not sin! We need to understand that whoever commits sin, transgresses the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. Therefore if we say there is no longer any need to keep the law of God, we are in essence saying that we are free to sin away! This thinking is both biblically untrue as well as totally illogical. The closer we get to God, the less we desire to sin.

Yes, Christ has made us free, not from the law, but from the curse and death! And yes, its true that Jesus’ sacrifice is our only way to redemption, but we are also enabled through the indwelling Spirit of this same Jesus to become obedient and overcome our sinful nature in order to repent and turn away from sin. This is His desire for us, and when we do fail we know that He is there to pick us up and help us do better the next time.

​“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”   ~1 John 2:1

God gives us a book full of rules and commands, but it’s up to us to choose to obey Him. Obedience is a choice. God absolutely wants us to be obedient to His word for our own good! However, our obedience will in no way earn us a better place in heaven. As a matter of fact, our obedience, better known as keeping the law, has absolutely nothing to do with going to heaven. We get to go the heaven because God loves us! We have all sinned; therefore no one is going by their own works, but only through the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus Christ. 

​“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”   ~John 5:24

God has unconditional love for us, which means there are no conditions to His love. The unconditional love of God means that He accepts everyone just as they are, full of flaws and, yes, sin! You might find it difficult to accept that God loves us just as we are, but He does, however, He doesn’t want us to remain as we are. He wants to empower us to surrender our sin to Him, accept His total forgiveness and have faith that He, and He alone can cure us of our sin disorder!

The world operates on conditional love, which offers approval and acceptance on the basis of performance. So when we first come to Jesus, there’s a natural tendency to assume we must try to earn His forgiveness. God’s love, however, can never be earned by anything we do or don’t do! There’s absolutely nothing we can do to make Him love us more, nor can we influence Him to ever stop loving us. He loved us before we were even born! He loved us even though we were sinners, why else would He have died for us while we were still sinning? Obedience has nothing to do with redemption, but everything to do with love.

​“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   ~Romans 5:8

Q: Are you ready to repent?

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You might say that I was a rather late spiritual bloomer, tripping my way into the Lord's arms not all that long ago. Nevertheless, I've been on the fast track ever since through a decade of Bible study courses and daily devotion. Changing careers a few years back and becoming a published author of Christian motivational books, leading to spiritual children's books and now this blog.

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