Revelation 14:12 (KJV)
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
True Faith Works by Love and Purifies the Soul
How true faith and heart obedience work in the Christian life?
Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Some Christians believe that there is tension between faith and works. They believe ‘faith vs works’ is the proper attitude and all we need is to believe in Jesus. They see obedience to God’s law as the enemy. Some only have a problem with the 4th commandment, the 7th-day Sabbath. And yet, Scripture clearly teaches, ‘True faith works by love and purifies the soul’ and ‘faith without works is dead, being alone.’ The carnal, or unrenewed, heart cannot obey God’s perfect law and this is why Jesus came and lived a perfect sinless life and then died for us to pay the penalty for our sins. What the law could not do, empower us to obey, Jesus did for us. He is a life giving Spirit that enables us to obey. His righteous life is imputed (accounted) to us and this is justification. When we abide in Christ, the Father sees us as if we have never sinned, we are clean, because the perfect righteousness of Jesus covers us. Jesus then changes our hearts and minds (feelings and thoughts = character) and He imparts (gives) to us His righteousness and this is sanctification. He creates in us a new heart with new desires. We hate what we once loved and love what we once hated. Sanctification is lifelong obedience to our heavenly Father through the power of the holy Spirit working in us and through us. Another way to say ‘faith and works’ is ‘trust and obey’ and this is a simple explaination. Christ is our perfection and yet if we love Him we are to do our best through faith to obey Him and to bring our characters into harmony with the law of freedom, the holy, just and good law of God, the Ten Commandments of Love. The following quote summarizes our part in this relationship:
“There is no excuse for sin or for indolence. Jesus has led the way, and He wishes us to follow in His steps. He has suffered, He has sacrificed as none of us can, that He might bring salvation within our reach. We need not be discouraged. Jesus came to our world to bring divine power to man, that through His grace, we might be transformed into His likeness. ¶ When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man’s best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit. But He will not accept those who claim to have faith in Him and yet are disloyal to His Father’s commandment. We hear a great deal about faith, but we need to hear a great deal more about works. Many are deceiving their own souls by living an easy-going, accommodating, crossless religion. ¶ But Jesus says, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).”
– Faith and Works, p. 49.4 – 50.2 – Ellen G. White
When we are ‘born again’ of the Spirit and are ‘abiding in Christ’ by faith we are ’empowered by God’ to obey all of His requirements. Salvation is simple enough for a child to understand and yet mysterious and broad enough to engage our minds in deep contemplation for eternity. God is love and His law is love–the very transcript of His character and the foundation of His throne. Many people confuse the ceremonial law and the moral law. The ceremonial law was nailed to the cross, was against us, and was fulfilled by the life and ministry of Jesus. The moral law is eternal and will never pass away. It is binding upon all throughout the vast universe of God.
Faith in Scripture
Habakkuk 2:4, “… the just shall live by his faith.”
Romans 1:17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live faith.”
Matthew 9:29, “Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.”
Matthew 17:20, “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Matthew 21:21, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”
Mark 11:22, “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.”
Luke 18:8, “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faithon the earth?“
Acts 6:8, “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.”
Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me [Jesus].”
Romans 3:27, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
Romans 3:30, “Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.“
Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 14:23, “… for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
2 Corinthians 5:7, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”
Galatians 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
Galatians 3:7-9, “7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”
Galatians 3:11-12, “11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.”
The Schoolmaster Who Brings Us to Christ
Galatians 3:22-26, “22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept * under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer * under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
* ‘Under the law’ and ‘under a schoolmaster’ refers to the fact that ‘through the law is the knowledge of sin.’ The law reveals our need of a Savior and that we are unclean and require a through cleansing. Once we behold Jesus by living faith, then there is no longer the need to be under the laws condemnation, for in Christ there is no more condemnation. In Him, we are cleansed from transgression and are clothed with His righteousness and we become, by grace, law keepers and cease our transgressions. By faith we work the works of righteousness. The moral law of liberty is the standard of righteousness, or right doing, by which all are judged. If we are covered by Christ’s perfect righteousness we are safe, but if we try to appear before the throne of God in our own faulty righteousness, our filthy rags, then we are surely condemned and lost. When, by faith, we look to Jesus, we no longer need a schoolmaster to teach us, for God Himself is our divine Teacher.
“There is no safety nor repose nor justification in transgression of the law. Man cannot hope to stand innocent before God, and at peace with Him through the merits of Christ, while he continues in sin. He must cease to transgress, and become loyal and true. As the sinner looks into the great moral looking glass, he sees his defects of character. He sees himself just as he is, spotted, defiled, and condemned. But he knows that the law cannot in any way remove the guilt or pardon the transgressor. He must go farther than this. The law is but the schoolmaster to bring him to Christ. He must look to his sin-bearing Saviour. And as Christ is revealed to him upon the cross of Calvary, dying beneath the weight of the sins of the whole world, the Holy Spirit shows him the attitude of God to all who repent of their transgressions. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). ¶ We need, individually, to take heed as we have never done before to a “Thus saith the Lord.” There are men who are disloyal to God, who profane His holy Sabbath, who cavil over the plainest statements of the Word, who wrest the Scriptures from their true meaning, and who at the same time make desperate efforts to harmonize their disobedience with the Scriptures. But the Word condemns such practices, as it condemned the scribes and Pharisees in Christ’s day. We need to know what is truth. Shall we do as did the Pharisees? Shall we turn from the greatest Teacher the world has ever known to the traditions and maxims and sayings of men?” – 1 Selected Messages, p. 213.2-3
“I am asked concerning the law in Galatians. What law is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ? I answer: Both the ceremonial and the moral code of ten commandments.” – 1 Selected Messages, p. 233.1
“”The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). In this scripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Selected Messages, p. 234.5
“When the mind is drawn to the cross of Calvary, Christ by imperfect sight is discerned on the shameful cross. Why did He die? In consequence of sin. What is sin? The transgression of the law. Then the eyes are open to see the character of sin. The law is broken but cannot pardon the transgressor. It is our schoolmaster, condemning to punishment. Where is the remedy? The law drives us to Christ, who was hanged upon the cross that He might be able to impart His righteousness to fallen, sinful man and thus present men to His Father in His righteous character. ¶ Christ on the cross not only draws men to repentance toward God for the transgression of His law–for whom God pardons He first makes penitent–but Christ has satisfied Justice; He has proffered Himself as an atonement. His gushing blood, His broken body, satisfy the claims of the broken law, and thus He bridges the gulf which sin has made. He suffered in the flesh, that with His bruised and broken body He might cover the defenseless sinner. The victory gained at His death on Calvary broke forever the accusing power of Satan over the universe and silenced his charges that self-denial was impossible with God and therefore not essential in the human family.” – 1 Selected Messages, p. 341.2-3
Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: …”
1 Thessalonians 5:8, “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”
1 Timothy 3:9, “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.”
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
Hebrews 11:4-9, “4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: …”
Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
James 2:14, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?”
James 2:20, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
James 2:24, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
Why Salvation must be by Grace Alone, through Faith, unto Good Works!
The law of God demands perfect sinlessness (obedience), from start to finish, and no fallen man can ever pay this price. For all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God. We all owe the moral law a debt that we cannot pay, because sin is the transgression of the moral law and the wages of sin is death. This is why salvation must be by grace alone, through faith in the merits of our crucified and risen Savior. Apart from Jesus, we have no moral power to obey the law and we cannot pay the price of perfect obedience, because we are already fallen beings, or the penalty of transgression, which is death. Jesus paid the debt for us by living a sinless life and then by the shedding of His own blood to pay the penalty for our sins. He gives us His righteousness and we give Him our sins. Obedience to the moral law, by the power of the indwelling holy Spirit, is our service of love and gratitude to our God and is the condition upon which salvation is granted. The lawless ones must become lawful ones. We gain no merit whatsoever by our obedience and yet God will reward us according as our works have been. We can do no good works apart from the power of God working in us, therefore no glory goes to man. Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” No one goes to heaven practicing sin, which is the transgression of the moral law of God. Jesus came to save us from our sins and not in them. We must cease to transgress and learn to do well. The power to obey comes solely from God and is a gift to us. Faith in no way removes from us the necessity to walk in the law of our Lord. Sinners will not be allowed into heaven. Only commandment keepers are allowed through those pure and holy gates. Faith trusts in the merits of Jesus alone and then works by love and purifies the soul of all defilement through the power of the holy Spirit. We live by the Spirit and not by the fleshly or carnal nature. We become new creatures in Christ Jesus. We are born again from above.
Justification – being accounted righteous, as if we had never sinned – our title to heaven – the gift of God.
Sanctification – being made righteous in reality, a new heart and mind – our fitness for heaven – the transforming power of God.
Glorification – being filled with the fullness of God, shining bright with God’s light – our reality when Jesus returns and we receive a new spiritual body.
“True faith asks the Lord, “What wilt Thou have me to do?” and when the way is marked out by the Master, faith is ready to do His will, at whatever hardship or sacrifice.” – Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, p. 183.1
Luke 10:25-28, “25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He [Jesus] said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love (1) the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and(2) thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.“
Ephesians 2:4-10, “4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved😉 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.“
“The law of ten commandments is not to be looked upon as much from the prohibitory side as from the mercy side. Its prohibitions are the sure guarantee of happiness in obedience. As received in Christ, it works in us the purity of character that will bring joy to us through eternal ages. To the obedient it is a wall of protection. We behold in it the goodness of God, who by revealing to men the immutable principles of righteousness seeks to shield them from the evils that result from transgression. ¶ We are not to regard God as waiting to punish the sinner for his sin. The sinner brings the punishment upon himself. His own actions start a train of circumstances that bring the sure result. Every act of transgression reacts upon the sinner, works in him a change of character, and makes it more easy for him to transgress again. By choosing to sin, men separate themselves from God, cut themselves off from the channel of blessing, and the sure result is ruin and death. ¶ The law is an expression of God’s idea. When we receive it in Christ, it becomes our idea. It lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin (MS 23a, 1896).” – 6BC 1110.4-6
“There is no peace in unrighteousness; the wicked are at war with God. But he who receives the righteousness of the law in Christ is in harmony with heaven. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”” – 1888 Materials, p. 1576.3
Every soul, from Adam to the last saint on earth, is saved by GRACE, through FAITH, unto GOOD WORKS. Grace is God’s unmerited pardon for our sins, because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, and His enabling power (holy Spirit) that causes us to walk in His commandments, blamelessly. Faith is trusting God and in the merits of Jesus (Justification). Good Works are deeds of righteousness, holy living–obedience to God’s holy, just and good law of liberty, the Ten Commandments (Sanctification).
“He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. Man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure. If a man could save himself by his own works, he might have something in himself in which to rejoice. The effort that man makes in his own strength to obtain salvation is represented by the offering of Cain. All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin; but that which is wrought through faith is acceptable to God. When we seek to gain heaven through the merits of Christ, the soul makes progress. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” we may go on from strength to strength, from victory to victory; for through Christ the grace of God has worked out our complete salvation.” – Faith and Works, p. 94.1
“Jesus died to save His people from their sins, and redemption in Christ means to cease the transgression of the law of God and to be free from every sin; no heart that is stirred with enmity against the law of God is in harmony with Christ, who suffered on Calvary to vindicate and exalt the law before the universe.” – Faith and Works, p. 95.1
“While we are to be in harmony with God’s law, we are not saved by the works of the law, yet we cannot be saved without obedience. The law is the standard by which character is measured. But we cannot possibly keep the commandments of God without the regenerating grace of Christ. Jesus alone can cleanse us from all sin. He does not save us by law, neither will He save us in disobedience to law.” – Faith and Works, p. 95.3
“Self-righteousness is the danger of this age; it separates the soul from Christ. Those who trust to their own righteousness cannot understand how salvation comes through Christ. They call sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. They have no appreciation of the evil of transgression, no understanding of the terror of the law; for they do not respect God’s moral standard. The reason there are so many spurious conversions in these days, is that there is so low an appreciation of the law of God. Instead of God’s standard of righteousness, men have erected a standard of their own by which to measure character. They see through a glass darkly, and present false ideas of sanctification to the people, thus encouraging egotism, pride, and self-righteousness. The doctrine of sanctification advocated by many is full of deception, because it is flattering to the natural heart; but the kindest thing that can be preached to the sinner is the truth of the binding claims of the law of God. Faith and works must go hand in hand; for faith without works is dead, being alone. The prophet declares a truth by which we may test all doctrine. He says, “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Although error abounds in the world, there is no reason why men need remain in deception. The truth is plain, and when it is contrasted with error, its character may be discerned. All the subjects of God’s grace may understand what is required of them. By faith we may conform our lives to the standard of righteousness, because we can appropriate to ourselves the righteousness of Christ. In the word of God the honest seeker for truth will find the rule for genuine sanctification. The apostle says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. . . . For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally-minded is death; but to be spiritually-minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.“” – Signs of the Times, July 21, 1890 par. 9
“But faith is in no sense allied to presumption. Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption. For presumption is Satan’s counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God’s promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands. Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequence of their sin. It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted. Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 126.1
Matthew 22:36-40, “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt lovethe Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.“
The two great commandments are (1) Love God supremely and (2) Love your neighbor. These two great principles are broken down into ten practical commandments. The Ten Commandments are the foundation of the everlasting covenant and were written on two tablets of stone to show their enduring nature. They were written by God Himself. The law of God itself cannot save us and yet we cannot be saved without obedience to the law of God. The law points us to Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing and then Jesus points us to the law and empowers us to obey its holy, just and good precepts. Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” The law is the transcript of God’s own character. It is righteousness revealed. The law must be written into our hearts, by the holy Spirit, if we are to obey it. It is the power of the holy Spirit that enables us to walk in God’s law blamelessly.
Commandments 1-4 = Love to God
Exodus 20:1-11, “1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. *8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days ** the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
* Most Christians don’t mind keeping nine of the commandments, but they often have a problem with the 4th commandment, the 7th-day Sabbath, and they make up all kinds of excuses for not keeping the one commandment that God said to, “Remember.” The 7th-day sabbath was given to Adam in the garden of Eden before sin entered our world. It is the memorial of creation and now is the sign of sanctification. The sabbath recognizes God as the Creator and Owner of all things. For more indepth information on the Sabbath visit: Sabbath Truth.
** The sabbath commandment contains the seal of God: His NAME [the LORD (Yahweh)], TITLE [made = Creator] andTERRITORY [heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is]. If you do away with the sabbath commandment then the law has no authority behind it.
Commandments 6-10 = Love to Mankind
Exodus 20:12-17, “12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
True LOVE Produces OBEDIENCE
Matthew 5:19, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Luke 23:56, “And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.“
John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.“
Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.“
Romans 13:9, “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.“
James 2:8-13, “8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”
James 2:14-26, “14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.“
1 John 3:4-10, “4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.“
1 John 5:2-4, “2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
1 John 5:18, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”
Revelation 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.“
Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
True Faith vs ‘Just Believe’
“God requires at this time just what He required of the holy pair in Eden–perfect obedience to His requirements. His law remains the same in all ages. The great standard of righteousness presented in the Old Testament is not lowered in the New. It is not the work of the gospel to weaken the claims of God’s holy law but to bring men up where they can keep its precepts. ¶ The faith in Christ that saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. “Believe, believe,” is their cry; “only believe in Christ, and you will be saved. It is all you have to do.” While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God. Faith is manifested by works. And the apostle John declares, “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). ¶ It is unsafe to trust to feelings or impressions; these are unreliable guides. God’s law is the only correct standard of holiness. It is by this law that character is to be judged. If an inquirer after salvation were to ask, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” the modern teachers of sanctification would answer, “Only believe that Jesus saves you.” But when Christ was asked this question He said, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” And when the questioner replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, . . . and thy neighbour as thyself,” Jesus said, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:25-29). ¶ True sanctification will be evidenced by a conscientious regard for all the commandments of God, by a careful improvement of every talent, by a circumspect conversation, by revealing in every act the meekness of Christ.” – Faith and Works, p. 52.1 – 53.1
“True faith, which relies wholly upon Christ, will be manifested by obedience to all the requirements of God. . . . In all ages there have been those who claimed a right to the favor of God even while they were disregarding some of His commands. But the Scriptures declare that by works is “faith made perfect”; and that, without the works of obedience, faith “is dead.”“ – The Faith I Live By, p. 91.5
“True faith is that which receives Christ as a personal Saviour. God gave His only-begotten Son, that I, by believing in Him, “should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). When I come to Christ, according to His word, I am to believe that I receive His saving grace. The life that I now live, I am to “live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). ¶ The apostle Paul clearly presents the relation between faith and the law under the new covenant. He says: “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh”–it could not justify man, because in his sinful nature he could not keep the law –“God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 5:1; 3:31; 8:3, 4).” – God’s Amazing Grace, p. 140.3-4
True Faith and Secret Prayer
“I have frequently seen that the children of the Lord neglect prayer, especially secret prayer, altogether too much; that many do not exercise that faith which it is their privilege and duty to exercise, often waiting for that feeling which faith alone can bring. Feeling is not faith; the two are distinct. Faith is ours to exercise, but joyful feeling and the blessing are God’s to give. The grace of God comes to the soul through the channel of living faith, and that faith it is in our power to exercise. ¶ True faith lays hold of and claims the promised blessing before it is realized and felt. We must send up our petitions in faith within the second veil, and let our faith take hold of the promised blessing, and claim it as ours. We are then to believe that we receive the blessing, because our faith has hold of it, and according to the word it is ours. “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24. Here is faith, naked faith, to believe that we receive the blessing, even before we realize it. When the promised blessing is realized and enjoyed, faith is swallowed up. But many suppose they have much faith when sharing largely of the Holy Spirit, and that they cannot have faith unless they feel the power of the Spirit. Such confound faith with the blessing that comes through faith. ¶ The very time to exercise faith is when we feel destitute of the Spirit. When thick clouds of darkness seem to hover over the mind, then is the time to let living faith pierce the darkness and scatter the clouds. ¶ True faithrests on the promises contained in the word of God, and those only who obey that word can claim its glorious promises. “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7. “Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22. ¶ We should be much in secret prayer. Christ is the vine, we are the branches. And if we would grow and flourish, we must continually draw sap and nourishment from the Living Vine; for separated from the Vine, we have no strength. ¶ I asked the angel why there was no more faith and power in Israel. He said: “Ye let go of the arm of the Lordtoo soon. Press your petitions to the throne, and hold on by strong faith. The promises are sure. Believe ye receive the things ye ask for, and ye shall have them.” I was then pointed to Elijah. He was subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly. His faith endured the trial. Seven times he prayed before the Lord, and at last the cloud was seen. ¶ I saw that we had doubted the sure promises, and wounded the Saviour by our lack of faith. Said the angel, “Gird the armor about thee, and above all take the shield of faith; for that will guard the heart, the very life, from the fiery darts of the wicked.” If the enemy can lead the desponding to take their eyes off from Jesus, and look to themselves, and dwell upon their own unworthiness, instead of dwelling upon the worthiness of Jesus, His love, His merits, and His great mercy, he will get away their shield of faith, and gain his object; they will be exposed to his fiery temptations. The weak should therefore look to Jesus, and believe in Him; they then exercise faith.” – CET, p. 126.1 – 127.3
“True faith and true prayer — how strong they are! They are as two arms by which the human suppliant lays hold upon the power of Infinite Love. Faith is trusting in God,–believing that He loves us, and knows what is for our best good. Thus, instead of our own way, it leads us to choose His way. In place of our ignorance, it accepts His wisdom; in place of our weakness, His strength; in place of our sinfulness, His righteousness. Our lives, ourselves, are already His; faith acknowledges His ownership, and accepts its blessings. Truth, uprightness, purity, are pointed out as secrets of life’s success. It is faiththat puts us in possession of these. Every good impulse or aspiration is the gift of God; faith receives from God the life that alone can produce true growth and efficiency. ¶ “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith,” [1 John 5:4.] It is faith that enables us to look beyond the present, with its burdens and cares, to the great hereafter, where all that now perplexes us shall be made plain. Faith sees Jesus standing as our Mediator at the right hand of God. Faith beholds the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. Faith sees the robe and crown prepared for the overcomer, and hears the song of the redeemed.” – Gospel Workers, p. 259.2-3
The book below, in PDF format, gives a wonderful explaination of how genuine faith and works of obedience come together in the Christian life. This book contains 8 sermons covering various aspects of this most important topic.
Faith and Works by Ellen G. White [1827-1915] (PDF)
See also: Steps to Christ – PDF