How are you made right with God? Is it by obedience or faith in Jesus?
Romans 3:28 says, “A person is made right with God through faith.”
Through faith in God’s sacrifice on the cross. It’s not what you do, it’s what He did. Salvation is God-given, God-driven, God-empowered, and God-originated. The gift is not from man to God. It is from God to man. To be saved by grace is to be saved by him— not by an idea or a doctrine or a creed, or church membership, but by Jesus himself.
Ellen White wrote, “We do not earn salvation by our obedience; for salvation is the free gift of God, to be received by faith. But obedience is the fruit of faith” (Steps to Christ, pg 61).
Obedience is not a work, but a response to grace (Rom. 16:26). Faith is also a God-given gift we learn to exercise (Rom 12:3).
Faith causes us to be what the law truly wants
“So do we destroy the law by following the way of faith? No! Faith causes us to be what the law truly wants” (Rom 3:31)
Someone who sees grace as permission to sin has missed grace entirely. Grace fosters an eagerness for good. Grace doesn’t promote a desire to sin. If one has truly embraced God’s gift, he will not mock it.
What does the law truly wants? Here are 8 truths about God’s law.
1) God says His Ten Commandments are eternal values for family living
Thousands of years ago God gave 10 commandments. God is saying I have given you Ten values for family living. These are values that will last forever (Psalm 119:160). God says these are tracks by which to run on.
2) God says His ten values are all about relationships
Four of the ten values deal with our relationship to God. Six deal with your relationship with people. But all ten are about relationships.
3) God says His law comes from a different world
Paul says ‘God’s law is holy, right and good (Rom 7:12). The root word for holy is ‘hagios’, which means different. God’s commands are holy because they come from a different world, a different sphere, a different perspective.
4) God says His Ten values are not 10 suggestions
They are not the ten suggestions; they are the Ten Commandments. They're not optional. God says, you do these things and things will go fine in your life. If you don't do them, you're going to really mess up. Happy are those who keep His ten values (Revelation 22:14).
5) God says He gave the 10 values to help us
He gave them not to hurt us but to help us. Not to hamper us but to release us. Not to punish us but to protect us. Every time God says, "Don't" in the Bible it's always for a positive purpose. Always. The negatives that God gives are always for your own benefit (1 Timothy 1:8). If you ignore them, they are to your own hurt.
6) God says His Spirit causes you to be what the law wants
Believers no longer commit adultery because the letter of the law says not to, but because they really love their spouses. Believers no longer kill anyone because the letter of the law says not to, but because they truly love their neighbour. ‘God has made us preachers of a new [covenant] way of worship. This new [covenant] way of worship is not of the letter of the Law. It is of the Holy Spirit’ (2 Corinthians 3:6). You now serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter! (Rom. 7:6).
7) God says we should not keep His law to earn his favour
God says we can’t do nothing to earn or merit His favour. We already have His favour! 'Those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse' (Gal 3:10)
8) The law can show us where we do wrong, but it can’t make us eager to do right. Only grace can. ‘Sin will not have power over you. ...You have life because of God’s grace and loving-favor’. (Romans 6:14). Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off