Set Apart by Obedience
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." (2 Timothy 2:19, NIV)
The Lord knows His children, into whose lives He reached with His saving grace. Salvation came at the price of Christ’s blood spilled on the cross, not as a result of any man’s deeds.
Your identity as God’s child is not tied to your ability to do good works. You could never do enough good works to earn salvation (see Ephesians 2:8-9). However, good works are the tangible evidence that we are God’s children. As Christians we are called to live radically different lives from those who do not know and follow Christ.
The Lord cannot be fooled by outward appearance. He alone knows hearts (see 1 Corinthians 4:5). In 2 Timothy 2:19, He tells us we “must turn away from wickedness.” There is no mistaking a word like must. If we confess Christ as our Savior, we must turn from sin (wickedness) and toward the good deeds God has ordained for us to accomplish.
Obedience, not mere lip service, is what demonstrates our position as children of God. We can proclaim we believe in Jesus, but even the demons know there is one God.
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (James 2:17-19 NIV)
Our obedience to God is what differentiates us from those we will not see in heaven. It does not earn us a place in heaven, but it indicates to those around us that we belong to God. Faith demonstrated in deeds of forgiveness, love, faithfulness, commitment, integrity, and other godly acts signify to the world—and to Christ Himself—that we are God’s children, sealed to be with Him for all eternity.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21, NIV).
Scripture is clear. Not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only—only—the ones who do the will of the Father.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28 NIV)
So, son or daughter of the eternal God, what act of obedience is He calling you to today?
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