A man profits from the Word when he is taught therefrom that God, in His infinite grace, has fully provided for His people's meeting His own demands. At this point, too, practically all present-day preaching is seriously defective. There is being given forth what may loosely be termed a "half Gospel," but which in reality is virtually a denial of the true Gospel.

Christ is brought in, yet only as a sort of make-weigh [something added to a scale to complete the required weight, i.e., the false gospel of salvation by faith in Christ plus our works]. That Christ has vicariously met every demand of God upon all who believe upon Him is blessedly true, yet it is only a part of the truth. The Lord Jesus has not only vicariously satisfied for His people the requirements of God's righteousness, but He has also secured that they shall personally satisfy them too. Christ has procured the Holy Spirit to make good in them what the Redeemer wrought for them.

The grand and glorious miracle of salvation is that the saved are regenerated. A transforming work is wrought within them: their understandings are illuminated, their hearts are changed, their wills are renewed. They are made "new creatures in Christ Jesus" (2 Corinthians 5:17). God refers to this miracle of grace thus: "I will put My laws into their mind and write them in their hearts" (Hebrews 8:10). The heart is now inclined to God's law; a disposition has been communicated to it which answers to its demands; there is a sincere desire to perform it. And thus the quickened soul is able to say, "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8).

Christ not only rendered a perfect obedience unto the Law for the justification of His believing people, but He also merited for them those supplies of His Spirit which were essential unto their sanctification, and which alone could transform carnal creatures and enable them to render acceptable obedience unto God. Though Christ died for the "ungodly" (Romans 5:6), though He finds them ungodly (Romans 4:5) when He justifies them, yet He leaves them not in that abominable state. On the contrary, He effectually teaches them by His Spirit to deny ungodliness and worldly lust (Titus 2:12). Just as weight cannot be separated from a stone, or heat from fire, so cannot justification and sanctification.

When God really pardons a sinner in the court of his conscience, under the sense of that amazing grace the heart is purified, the life is rectified, and the whole man is sanctified. Christ "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, [not "careless about" but] zealous of good works" (Titus 2:19). Just as a substance and its properties, causes and their necessary effects are inseparably connected, so are a saving faith and conscientious obedience unto God. Hence we read of "the obedience of faith" (Romans 16:26).

Said the Lord Jesus, "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me" (John 14:21). Not in the Old Testament, the Gospels or the Epistles does God own anyone as a lover of Him save he who keeps His commandments. Love is something more than sentiment or emotion: it is a principle of action, and it expresses itself in something more than honeyed expressions, namely by deeds which please the object loved. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments" (1 John 5:3). Oh, my reader, you are deceiving yourself if you think you love God and yet have no deep desire and make no real effort to walk obediently before Him.

But what is obedience to God? It is far more than a mechanical performance of certain duties. I may have been brought up by Christian parents, and under them acquire certain moral habits, and yet my abstaining from taking the Lord's name in vain, and being guiltless of stealing, may be disobedience to the third and eighth commandments. Again, obedience to God is far more than conforming to the conduct of His people. I may board in a home where the Sabbath is strictly observed, and out of respect for them, or because I think it is good and wise course to rest one day in seven, I may refrain from all unnecessary labor on that day, and yet not keep the fourth commandment at all!

Obedience is not only subjection to an external law, but it is the surrendering of my will to the authority of another. Thus, obedience to God is the heart's recognition of His lordship: of His right to command, and my duty to comply. It is the complete subjection of the soul to the blessed yoke of Christ.

That obedience which God requires can proceed only from a heart which loves Him. "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord" (Colossians 3:23). That obedience which springs from a dread of punishment is servile. That obedience which is performed in order to procure favors from God is selfish and carnal. But spiritual and acceptable obedience is cheerfully given: it is the heart's free response to and gratitude for the unmerited regard and love of God for us.
- Arthur W. Pink Profiting From the Word - Chapter 6: The Scriptures and Obedience


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simul iustus et peccator

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