By Bill Cavender
“He that believeth on the Son hath etern I al fife; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him” (Jn. 3:36, ASV).
The saved believer of the Scriptures is the obedient believer, one whose “faith worketh by love” and who keeps the commandments of God (Gal. 5:6; 1 Cor. 7:19). Our Lord taught us that “if ye love me, keep my commandments . . . he that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me . . . if a man love me, he will keep my words . . . he that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings . . . if ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love . . . ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (Jn. 14:15,21,23-24; 15:10,14). Thus the Holy Spirit could tell us, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered, and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:8-9).
Those who become God’s children through faith are those who obey the will of God revealed through Jesus and the inspired apostles. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:16). The believer in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, of the gospel, who is baptized is saved; the unbeliever continues in his guilt of sins and is damned. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27). “Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with a his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts. 18:8). All who were saved from their past sins, who became God’s children by faith, did so when their faith led them to be baptized for the remission of sins.
After baptism, for the remainder of our lives, we are to continue keeping the commandments of Jesus, continuing to obey Him from our hearts (Rom. 6:3-7, 16-18). When we do His commandments from a heart of faith and love, we, too, shall be justified by works and our faith will be made perfect (Jas. 2.45-26). It is in this manner that we are truly saved by God’s grace through our obedient faith in Him, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the revelation of truth, the gospel, revealed by the Holy Spirit of God (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 2:8-13; 15:1-4; Jas. 1:18,21).
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 4, p. 111
February 21, 1985