“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” – Romans 11:6
In this one verse lies the key to unlocking obedience in the heart of the believer. We know that we are not saved by works but grace. Nothing we can do in an of ourselves is worthy of our redemption. We have nothing to offer that is good enough to redeem us from the curse of sin passed down from the first Adam’s disobedience. Only through true faith in the redeeming power of the blood of Jesus Christ and what He endured for us out of love at Calvary, can we be imparted with His saving grace. We can not boast in any work of salvation other then to boast of Jesus, for He did all the work, we just have to believe that He did and love Him for it. And therein lies the key, because Jesus said :
“If ye love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15
You see grace doesn’t make us free “to” sin and do as we please, it makes us free “from” the bondage of sin, empowering us to walk in the victory of good works. If we truly believe that Christ, a completely innocent man and the embodiment of an all powerful God, willingly chose to suffer such great indignities, torment, pain, shame, and even death at the hands of His mocking lessors to save you, how can you not love Him back, and if you truly love how can you not want to obey and please Him? The heart shaped key that faith in what He did hands you is “love“, and love is the power to overcome sin and walk in obedience with ease. As our opening passage states, things that use to be “work are no more work” but rather have become a desire. Where once it was impossible to maintain the work because it was so much work to maintain and we have not the strength to do it, now we desire to do it because we love Him so, making it easy and no more work.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10
Everything that God did at Calvary was done to show us His love, knowing that if we truly believe that He did these things for us that we would love Him back and be set free from the guilt and shame of past sins, receive His grace = favor = love, and be empowered to keep His commandments because we love Him.
“We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
The truth is that we are all created unto good works, in other words it is God’s will that we do good works, for that is the purpose for which He created us. However if we try to maintain good works in our own strength we will fail for there is no salvation that will come of that. Yet when we truly believe in what He did for us, we will fall in love with Him and will desire to keep His commandments out of love. This not only makes it easy for us to keep good works, but actually makes us passionate and zealous to keep them.
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” – Titus 2:13-14
You see, some have only works but no faith and they are not saved, and some believe but produce no fruit and are cast into the fire. The truth is that The heart shaped key to true salvation lies right in the middle where God’s heart is, because what both of these are lacking is love. When you truly come to believe that He is who He is, and that He did what He did, you will fall in love with Him for it, and when you truly love Him, you will keep His commandments.
It works like this. You can try to maintain a strict diet in your own strength but at some point you’re going to give in to the lust of the flesh and fail to abstain from the things you had committed not to eat. Yet when you truly fall in love, you get what some people call “love sick” and it becomes not only easy to diet, as you love the person you’ve fallen for and time with them more then you love food, but you actually become zealous to maintain the diet, driven by your desire to be more pleasing to them. What was work is now no longer work, but easy! You can look at the work of fasting the same way, or any other work for that matter. It is love that drives obedience, it is love that makes us zealous for good works, it is love that drives the heart of passion for God, His work, and His people, for preaching, teaching, prophesying, and evangelizing. It simply comes down to this, love is the fulfillment of the law, because love causes you to fulfill the law.
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” – Romans 13:10
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” – 1 John 4:20
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40