True obedience is believing that Jesus’ obedience at the Cross destroyed all of our sins! (Romans 5:17-19) By believing right, naturally our actions will line up, but many of us still believe doing right (proper actions) in God’s sight causes us to line up with His obedience. We have it backwards. We did not save ourselves, Christ did! Salvation is a gift from God, what makes us think we can truly change ourselves if we cannot even save ourselves. True change comes from believing right about our Savior who loves us and has taken on our sins by destroying them. It is only when we realize that we are dead to sin, can we be free from our repeating mistakes. (Romans 6) We act the way we believe. If we do not believe we are the righteousness of God Himself, through the death, resurrection and burial of Christ, then we are doomed to repeat religious behaviors that lead to a dead end.
There is a verse in 2 Corinthians 10 that really hits a home run when speaking about the subject of obedience. (2 Cor 10:5) Sadly a lot of translations of this verse are incorrect to its original translation. Let’s take a look at this verse in the NASB version which is known to be one of the most accurate translations. (Critical Text) It says,
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NASB)
Notice that the verse says “taking every thought captive to the OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.” Sadly there are more than a few translations that say “taking every thought captive to MAKE IT OBEY CHRIST”. Why does this matter? Because one is saying that all thoughts are captive by the obedience OF another (His doing), and the other is you MAKING your thoughts obey Him (your doing). This may seem like something small or splitting hairs, but the fact is that when we feel we need to obey in our own efforts, we allow self to come into the picture. We know from countless scriptures that self is our biggest problem, and when we believe we are the key to blessings because of our obedience, we ultimately fail to experience them.
Now, I’m all for obedience, but in my walk with God I have realized that obedience is the fruit of believing right, not doing right. So what is the answer you might ask….Believe in Him whom He has sent. (John 6:29) Once again, believing in the One (Jesus) and His Finished Work on our behalf, is true obedience to the Faith. This will then line us up in doing the Lords work, and not dead works. Instead of thinking we need to do God’s work, we need to start thinking of who we are in Him, and what He really did on that Cross. If we do not know what the Cross accomplished then we truly do not understand our purpose and identity.
The work is finished! There is nothing more for us to do, no work we need to perform to get God’s attention in order to enjoy the fullness of our inheritance. Today, we are to believe and receive the Good News, the News that Jesus has done it ALL because He loves us! The Good News that we are joined heirs to the Kingdom, we are the beloved sons of a Father who is madly in love with us! The more we indulge in the beautiful Work of Jesus, the more we will believe, and the more we believe He loves us, the more we allow Him to bless and take care of us.