Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Faith and Obedience

I recently purchased a work on biblical theology entitled Central Themes in Biblical Theology, edited by Scott Hafemann and Paul House. Right now I am working on the first essay by Scott Hafemann on the covenant relationship between God and his people. At this point I am not persuaded by the precise paradigm that Dr. Hafemann proposes, but I have found a great deal of constructive engagement with the Scripture which I am sure I will benefit from. I want to pass on one quote which will benefit you, as well.

...The covenant structure destroys all attempts to define 'faith' as a passive, mental assent to data from the past, or as an emotional attachment centred in private, religious 'experience.' The inextricable link between the provisions, stipulations and promises of the covenant reveals that to live in relationship with God is to respond with Spirit-determined obedience to God as the expression of one's ongoing trust in God. In Jesus' words, 'If you love me, you will keep my commandments' (John 14:15). Thus, 'Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him' (1 John 2:4; cf. 4:20). This obedience, therefore, is not something added to faith; it is the organic expression of faith itself. In other words, the commands of God simply make clear what trusting in God looks like in concrete circumstances. Hence, every command is an implicit call to trust God's provisions and promises (p. 39, emphasis added).

If you can remember our Sunday morning sermon from two weeks ago, this should immediately ring a bell for you. This is a theme that we will come back to time and again in our study of Deuteronomy. Loving the Lord our God alone means that we will obey his word.


blake white said...

Good quote! I just bought Hafemann's popular book 'The God of Promise and the Life of Faith.' I look forward to reading it.

Jason Parker said...

Thanks for your comment, Blake. May God bless you as you live the life of faith!