Obedience is Not Required for Salvation

by John Cortright

For more information visit lhim.org

Last week, we looked at the myth of “Once Saved, Always Saved” or that “Salvation is Permanent”. Continuing on in this same thought, this week we’ll look at the myth that “Obedience is NOT Required for Salvation” -- the idea that once you make a one time commitment of making Jesus your Lord, faith and obedience are no longer required. You’re in, no matter what you do from this point forward.

1 – How did we get here, and why does it matter?
2 – Is obedience required?
3 – What are we to do now?

1. How did we get here, and why does it matter? Before the time of the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church was the central authority for Christian doctrine. Luther attacked this system. His primary concern was for ethical and theological reform of the church: Scripture alone is authoritative (sola scriptura), and justification is by faith (sola fide), not by works. Other reformers of that century included Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, and John Knox in Scotland. All of the reformers became known as Protestants and vary in the understanding of salvation by grace. In some of the subsequent Confessions of Faith, the idea of “Eternal Security”, or “Once Saved Always Saved” is expressed by the term “Perseverance of the Saints”. This idea has continued in different forms through the centuries by various sects of Protestantism even until today.

2. Is obedience required?
From last week’s teaching … “not a sinless life, but a life of obedience to the best of your ability”
• Mt 7:21 - but he who “does” the will of my Father
• Mt 7:23 - you who “practice” lawlessness
• Mt 7:24 - he who hears these words of mine and “acts on them”
• Mt 16:17 - if you wish to enter into life, “keep the commandments”
• Mt 25:40 - you “did it” to one of the least of these brothers…you “did it” to me.
• Ro 2:6 - render to each person according to “his deeds”

Yes, obedience is required.
John 3:36; Acts 5:32; Hebrews 5:9; 1 Peter 1:2. Once you confess Jesus as your Lord (Rom 10:9), you are to continue in obedience (Mt 7:21-23; Lu 6:46; Jo 8:31-32; Jo 15:1-10 – abide in the vine).

3. What are we to do now?
• Repent. If you are not being obedient, repent, and you will overcome. (Revelation 2:3-5; 25-27; 3:1-5, 8, 10-11, 15-19).
• Warn others. Do not be deceived. (1 Co 6:9-11; 15:33-34; Ga 6:7-8; 2 Ti 3:13; 2 Pe 2:12-22)
• You don’t have to do it alone. Christ is with us! (2 Pe 2:9; 1 Co 10:12-13; Mt 28:20; Mt 11:28-30)
• God is rich in mercy. Confess your sin. He is faithful and just to forgive. (Ps 103:11-12; Eph 4:4; Heb 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 1 Jo 1:6-9).

Obedience is Not Required for Salvation
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