The Obedience of Faith – Romans 1:1-6

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…concerning His Son…Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”
Romans 1:1-6

With this opening, Paul conveys a direct purpose of the grace he has received and the authority and calling he has been given as an apostle: to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of the name of the Lord among all the nations and among those in Jesus’ church.

Obedience that flows from our faith in Jesus Christ brings glory to His name.

This obedience is not done so that we are saved. It is obedience chosen because He has saved us; obedience because we love Him; obedience because we trust His wisdom, goodness, and power; obedience because we fear our God in humble respect and worship of His supreme authority over us and over all things.

If we claim to be Christ’s and to believe in Him for salvation, yet we ignore what His Word says about how we are to live and speak and act, it doesn’t make sense. It disgraces our Lord. It denies the power of the cross to actually do anything and thereby shatters any hope others might see in it to save.

The purpose of the cross was not to clear our consequences so we could do as we please without fear.

Far from it.

Rather, its purpose was to free us from sin, which enslaves us (John 8:31-36; Hebrews 9:26). To bring us out of darkness (Colossians 1:13). To make us alive and open our eyes to the light and truth and goodness and magnificence of the God who is greater than anything (Ephesians 2:4-5; 2 Corinthians 4:6). To reconnect us in relationship with the treasure of all the universe as we walk in light and are cleansed from all sin (Colossians 1:19-22; 1 John 1:6-7; 1 John 3:1).

The power of God’s Spirit within us strengthens us with grace to obey the way He calls us to, so that we walk in light and unhindered relationship, enjoying the presence of our God in fullness of joy. And us living and walking joyfully in this light brings Him great glory – it showcases His power, righteousness, greatness, and supreme worth, filling us with greater joy because our God is magnified.

Whether the world approves of our contrasting life and values or persecutes them.

And it will persecute them. Jesus promises that. Because the world does not understand, it hates our God, and it hates the light.

But there are those still in that darkness whom God will rescue. Those whose eyes will be opened, who will hear the truth, respond in faith, and be brought into the light. So we speak the gospel to this world that is perishing. We live in light, pouring ourselves out, loving our neighbor in words and action, not holding back but spending our lives in hopes that some might be saved. We hold fast to the truth, stirring the hearts of those who are Christ’s toward love and good works so we do not become weary or self-focused (Hebrews 10:23-25; Galatians 6:9-10). We follow the apostles’ example to encourage fellow believers to walk in the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among the nations, among our families, and within our own selves.

Because He is glorious, and it thrills our souls – those souls which He has made alive in Christ – when His name is made great. He is glorified, individuals are snatched from the fire, and we continue walking in light in eager anticipation of His return to make all things new.

We have a great hope, one that is steadfast and unmoving in our God who does not change. We know the One whose name alone has the ability and power to save. Let us live our lives to make His name great, that this salvation may go out and bring in all who hear Jesus’ voice and are rescued into His fold (John 10:3-4)

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
2 Corinthians 4:6-10

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God…For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
‘Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.’
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Ephesians 5:1-16

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Colossians 1:11-14

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Jude 20-25

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