Does Salvation Require Obedience?

It was James himself who asked a similar question in James 2:14 “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save them?” James goes on to state, “You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone” (James 2:24).

Faith brings us salvation; active obedience demonstrates that our faith is genuine. Or to put it simply, true faith obeys.

To have faith is to be faithful. One of the best ways to translate the Greek word for faith—pistis—is “allegiance.” A true disciple has given his allegiance to King Jesus.

This takes us to an important insight drawn from the Great Commission and Jesus’ last words in Matthew 28:18–20. When Jesus told us to make disciples, he emphasized four aspects: going, baptizing, remembering his presence, and obedience.

Did you catch the last one? “Teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). Disciples obey all the commands of Jesus and this doesn’t just mean the red letters printed in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Jesus also gave us His commands through Paul, Peter, and the other New Testament writers (1 Corinthians 14:37, 2 Corinthians 13:2-3, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, etc.). We are to obey all of Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament.

Jesus is our King, so when he commands, we obey! (John 14:23)

Lord, please guide each one of us to honor You through our faith and trust in You as expressed by our obedience.

In Christ,

Bill