As Paul was said by Peter to have said some thinks "hard to understand" I think I have said some things of that category. [Not biblical truth, but practical and relational working out of biblical and certainly hard to understand.] Remember, I said at the outset that only one out of the ten who would read it would get it perhaps. That was prophetic. But that one has written and "got it. That's sufficient. Now the final segment.
Paul reminded the Roman christians that they had been set free from sin because they had "obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. " We need to understand that there is absolutely no conflict in the New Testament between faith and obedience. There is a genuine conflict between living by faith and living by the Law as there is between Grace and Law, but none whatsoever between faith and obedience in the life of a believer.
In fact, were one to attempt to separate faith and obedience one would effectively destroy both. There is no real biblical faith without obedience and no real biblical obedience except it flow from the reservoir of genuine faith.
The biblical message of Christ and His Cross work is to be understood two ways. There are those things declared to be accomplished and you can bank on being true. [Generally referred to in the Indicative mood] Then there are those things commanded that are to be obeyed in light of His accomplishments. [Referred to in the Imperative mood.] The only thing we do with the accomplished things is believe them. [Rest in their genuineness] It is impossible to obey a fact declared accomplished. It isn't even addressed to our will but to our mind or understanding.
Likewise, a command is not to be believed but obeyed. It is not addressed to our mind or understanding but to our will. We can certainly trust it is a wise things commanded and best for our lives but it is to be obeyed.
The christian life is to be lived with this duality in mind always. As we believe who He is and what He has accomplished on our behalf, we are to then obey what He commands in every realm of life whether it be marriage, family, work, ministry or whatever a day may bring. Christianity is not a thing of religious activities to be performed but a way of life. As we choose to obey what He commands trusting who He is and what He's done to be real we will find the power and authority for the living of that way of life. Troubles, trials, good times alike will come and go but life will be meaningful and abundant BECAUSE He is alive in and through us.
Study the New Testament to know the ways of God and obey the will of God as you see it trusting that the ways you've learned are true. This is obedience flowing from that reservoir of faith in His accomplishments which was mentioned earlier. Do this as a way of life and a "well done" will be heard for the new year of 2009.