The Obedience that Saves

Sep 25, 2015 1518

For just as through the disobedience of the first Adam all men were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the second Adam all men may be made righteous (Rom. 5:19).

Today’s verse is a summary of what Paul has been talking about in the first part of this great chapter. Throughout, he contrasts the acts of ‘one man’ with the condition of ‘all men’; he contrasts disobedience and obedience, sin and righteousness. And he makes it abundantly clear that we are saved by obedience, but that obedience is Christ’s perfect obedience and not our imperfect obedience.

We cannot hold up our obedience before God as a reason why he should save us because our obedience is tarnished with false motives, spotted with selfishness, and blemished with short-comings. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6).

The only righteousness that will get us into heaven is the perfect righteousness of Jesus that he offers us as a free gift. We don’t deserve it because of what we have done, but we do deserve it as children of God, covered by Christ’s sacrifice. It is ours – just for the asking.

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