THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH
We have found the biblical definition of New Covenant obedience to be vastly different from what is typically believed today. To get straight to the point: New Covenant obedience is faith in Jesus.
Now, while all Christians will never speak against faith in Jesus, most do not acknowledge that faith is a Christian’s sole obedience to God, excluding anything and everything else.
While we are absolutely for good works, good works are not our obedience to God. Faith is New Covenant obedience. Good works are produced by the Spirit as we put faith in Christ (Gal 5:22-23).
Paul called New Covenant obedience “the obedience of faith” and “the obedience from the heart.” Obedience to God happens 100% in your mind.
Romans 1:5 ASV
…through whom we received grace and apostleship, unto obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name’s sake…
Romans 6:17 ASV
But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered…
Romans 16:26 ASV
…according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto obedience of faith…
God’s only commandment for us to perform in this New Covenant is to believe on the One that He sent (Jesus).
John 6:28-29 NKJV
Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
THERE ARE TWO LAWS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN:
1) The Law of works that was given through Moses (the Old Covenant law)
2) The Law of faith (the New Covenant law which we live under now)
You see these two laws spoken of plainly in Romans 3:
Romans 3:27 NKJV
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
We cannot make up our own obedience to God. Obedience is subject to whatever one requires of you. If you want to obey God you cannot simply do what is good in your own sight. You must do what He requires.
If one wanted to obey the old law of works (given by Moses) you would work. But if you want to obey the New Covenant law of faith you must only put faith in Christ. Anything that exceeds that is not obedience.
Doing a good work is not obedience. Why? Because we are under a law of faith. So obedience must strictly be faith.
Now, good works are necessary, but they are for the Holy Spirit to perform in us while we are believing Jesus (being obedient).
2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV
But we all, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord [Jesus], are being transformed… just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Hebrews 13:20-21 NKJV
Now may the God of peace… make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ…
Philippians 2:13 NKJV
…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NKJV
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely… He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…
1 Corinthians 15:10 NKJV
…I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God [the things of the Spirit] which was with me.
Faith in Christ is our obedience. Good works are for the Holy Spirit to perform in us.
FROM THE BEGINNING
The obedience of faith is New Covenant obedience but it is something that God has taught from the beginning. The best early example of this being Abraham.
Genesis 15:6 NKJV
And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Genesis 26:5 NKJV
Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
It would be wise to ask ourselves, “What law could Abraham be keeping before the Ten Commandments or any law from Sinai was ever even heard of?” That would be the law of faith—the Gospel.