When Does One Obey the Commandments?
Q. I have a friend who is investigating the Gospel. He hasn't become a catechumen but wants to obey the commandments. Should I encourage him?
A. If your friend wants to obey the commandments because he has a desire to please God then, yes, absolutely -- encourage him to obey all the commandments, just as Jesus did throughout his ministry.
If, however, he wants to obey the commandments in order to be saved, then he is on a false path to the Gospel and must be corrected. Do not impose unnecessary burdens on those who do not truly believe. Our desire to obey the commandments must come out of our new birth in Christ which is a work of grace through faith alone. To try to make ourselves right with God through legalistic observance of the Law is fatal to spiritual growth and has done more harm in Christianity than most of the other heresies one could mention. "It is by grace you have been saved" (Eph.2:5). "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph.2:8). A gift is free. It does not need to be earned. Once received, then it must be used -- but only then.
This page was created on 16 October 1997
Last updated on 26 February 1998
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