The Christian life is about dying to self. It’s about giving up the right to determine the direction of our lives. Our God is our Lord, our Master, and our King. He holds our lives in His hands, and He is free to spend them in whatever way He pleases.
Could someone trust in Christ for eternal salvation and yet not recognize His authority in their lives by their absolute obedience?
(I have gotten this from my current devotion -Radical)
Instinctually, I want to say yes; people can trust in Christ for their eternal salvation without living an obedient life unto Christ; though it is theologically unsound, and how that impacts a person(s) eternity is not an area I feel comfortable commenting on with certainty.
As C.S. Lewis said: ‘God will not punish a person for “honest” ignorance’.
God knows the heart; I do not.
So, I would conclude that a belief such as, ‘trusting in Christ for eternal salvation’ without giving an honest effort to live obediently unto Christ is poor theology, and unbiblical though, I do believe there may be people who hold to that ‘kind’ of theology whether out of ignorance or not, God knows there heart.
Hey, there, Quincy. @QBulla@scottdockins27. This is a great question. I think this might be a question that speaks to whether we still have sin in our lives after being saved. The answer to that, biblically speaking, is a resounding yes! However, I wonder if there is a time from which a person accepts Christ as Savior that the person does not realize that there is a need to also make him the Lord of our lives, and that can take some time, especially for a new convert, to come to grips with. Do you think that can take some time to develop as a person, over time, figures out what exactly it means to be saved and how that affects his/her life? Paul addressed the Corinthians’ ways of living that were not grounded in the newness of life they had been given in Christ, and yet, he never says anything about their not being saved because of that.
@QBulla Great question! I think the crucial modifier in your question is absolute. Only Jesus has ever obeyed absolutely. However, I think the point being made in Radical is that to be Christian means to put God first. It does not mean we are perfect - it means that we have surrendered our body, our soul and our rights to God’s will.
Think of Abraham. Abraham offered his beloved son - Isaac - and before that left his homeland to follow God into the unknown. Abraham put God first. But Abraham also lied twice about being married to his wife and slept with Hagar when his wife asked rather than trusting God. Abraham was not perfect.
When we follow Jesus we put Him first - we obey even when it is hard; even when it costs us our life. But that does not mean we are perfect.
Now, sanctification is another issue. In the Bible, it says that young Christians are like babies. They need forgiveness and a lot of it. But as you grow up into a young adult Christian and finally into a full grown Christian, you learn to walk in holiness and obey by the power of God’s Spirit. So the Christian life is not static. We learn and grow as we pursue holiness.
Rather than perfect, I think the Christian life is one that longs to be pleasing to the Father - where a song like this one is the prayer of our hearts.
Hope some of those thoughts are helpful. Christ grant you wisdom
I think we wrestle with the reality that He’s Lord & coming to grips with giving up ourselves…like we somehow come to decision to give up our lives while living for Christ, twe struggle until we accept it or come to the revelation of it…my response to…Do you think that can take some time to develop as a person, over time, figures out what exactly it means to be saved and how that affects his/her life?
Appreciate your sharing of the song bros. I can see your perspective here on not being perfect…Do you feel that we really struggle with the dying of self part… I mean like literally for Christ sake die to self for His will to manifested here in the earth? When we look into the direction we seek for our lives?
@QBulla Yes, I do believe we struggle. We struggle to fully understand the motives of our own hearts. We struggle to lean into prayer and walk in the Spirit as we must to walk in the love of God. We struggle to understand how God is at work in our lives and wrestle with unnecessary anxiety and fear.
But thankfully Christ ever lives to intercede for us, to cleanse us and to restore us. He is the Good Shepherd!
This is really interesting. I agree with the points already made about Jesus being the only one to be absolutely obedient, and the fact that we are not perfect. When thinking about this though I remember the verse in James which says ‘faith without works is dead’. He mentions that even demons believe (and shudder!). Belief alone is not enough. Because of what God has done for us, our love and gratitude demonstrates itself in our words, thoughts actions and attitudes. Again, I think of two parables of Jesus: The wise and foolish builders and the Sheep and the goats. Like @scottdockins27 I’m not comfortable saying where I think a person will ultimately end up, but we are told by Jesus we know a person by their fruit, for good or for bad. These are just some brief thoughts.
I am in total agreement @SeanO, Jesus, incarnate, was the only human capable of living a ‘sinless’ life.
@psalm151ls@QBulla I do believe it takes time for ‘all’ believers to come to terms with what it means to be ‘saved.’ Also, I, like Paul, would not dare tell a person where they would spend eternity according to past, present, or future behavior, either. I have a hard time deciphering my motives at times.
Though I would encourage them to examine their motives, confess to God, and make amends where possible, and hopefully fulfill Galatians 6:1-2:
*'My dear family, if someone is found out in some trespass, then you–the “spiritual” ones!–should set such a person right, in a spirit of gentleness.Watch out for yourselves: you too may be tested. Carry each other’s burdens; that’s the way to fulfill the Messiah’s law.’ (The Kingdom New Testament)
The fruit we ‘are’ known by may not always be our initial behaviors; we all can, will, and do sin; however, I suggest the ‘fruit’ of Christians is more evident in how they respond to ‘known’ sin in their lives then moments of human failure and fragility.
For example, I tell my boys that Christian perfection is not the ability to live a ‘sinless’ life as Jesus did. It is more akin to how we (Christians) respond to our sin, and that of others, aiming to do so in a biblical manner such as, apologizing when wrong, accepting God’s forgiveness and mercy and extending that to others in like manner, ‘striving to please God’; some may be quicker to demonstrate their ‘fruit’ than others but that doesn’t mean their ‘fruit’ is rotten.
There is always so much “self” to get rid of. What a process!
In that process, Jesus gave us the key: “Abide in me.”
Just yesterday I was reading a lesson from the “I Am” statements of Jesus and it taught the remarkable truth that Jesus is the means of getting there, the journey, AND the destination – “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Thank the Lord His grace is sufficient for all my selfish ways.