Out of Faith, Obedience

I am going through some old correspondence on the issue of Torah-keeping, and would like to share some of the better thoughts, somewhat edited from the originals…

The theology I was taught, growing up in the Assemblies of God, now seems to me  like a substitute legalism. Dispensationalism of any sort almost inevitably exchanges a Mosaic legalism for a Paulist legalism. The truth is that there is a middle ground that is completely consistent with the entire Bible, without having to relegate certain of God’s instructions to certain dispensations. Hebrews makes it very clear that the method of salvation has not changed from Abraham til now. Salvation was always through faith, and faith always results in obedience quite apart from salvation.

Dispensationalism teaches salvation is through faith in some eras and salvation through obedience in others. In reality there is no conflict between faith and obedience at any time. No one was ever saved by obedience to God’s Law. But if you do not have at least the beginning of obedience, then you cannot have faith, and you are not saved. The Spirit will lead you ever towards obedience, but if you deliberately ignore one aspect of what the Spirit has already told you in writing through Moses, how can you expect to ever effectively hear that still, small voice? I think you are fortunate that he tries to communicate with you at all when you attempt to dictate through what medium he is allowed to speak. If what you are hearing in secret in your own heart conflicts with what God has revealed openly to the entire world, then there is a very good chance that your heart is deceiving you.

Solomon wrote:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding….The wise in heart will receive commandments….He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Jeremiah wrote:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

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