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Obedience...of Faith

by Norman P. Grubb

THE WAY IS THE OBEDIENCE, NOT OF WORKS, BUT OF FAITH

There is the faith entry into Who we all really are. That is why our real obedience is that which Paul names it to be in almost his first and last word in his Romans letter Romans 1:5 Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith and Romans 16:19 —— the obedience, not of works and self effort, but of faith, which requires the one necessity of our inner heart acknowledgement of the actual truth concerning our Lord Jesus Christ as given us by Him.

This is as real a faith committal as was our first act of saving faith, which then produced the Spirit’s witness. But this second faith committal may be said to be more difficult and radical because that first faith committal only concerned our sins and their hold on us and the guilt and fear rightly produced by them. This second committal is our very selves, the apparent producer of the sins, and self is all we have. This is why this further total committal cannot be fully made until the fundamental fact has been cleared in our understanding, by the Word con-firmed by the Spirit, that we never had a false self—acting self to give up its apparent selfhood. This was Satan’s lie. We never were more than contain¬ers, vessels, branches, etc., with no such self—relying, self—acting self; and so this second step, or rather stride, is only a recognition of a given fact about us as participators in Christ’s two-thousand-year-old-body death and resurrection.

This is serious and radical because we have had these deceived concepts of our independent selves in action, and that in¬cludes what we might call our “good” selves. It is radical to see in full¬ness that all the good we have done by our self—activity has been Satan—good (that “good” aspect of the false Edenic Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil). Thus trying to be and do good is as much the product of our satan—self for—self nature expressed by us as are any of our “bad” doings.

Perfect flesh living is really perfect sinning. Paul said in Romans 7:21 that “when I would do good, evil is present with me”, and that was a “law”, a set principle from which he could not by himself escape. By this he meant that while resolving to do good was right (“to will is pres¬ent with me” Romans 7:18), the actual attempt to “do good”, though unknown to himself at the time, was that same self—for—self, self—relying Satan—spirit operating in his apparently good self—efforts.

Philippians 3:4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

Simple As This