148. Obedience leads to righteousness.
If we believe in the Gospel, then there is an 'obedience that accompanies our confession of the Gospel of Christ.' (2 Corinthians 9:23) Though Paul said that in the context of giving, obedience would be required of us in all aspects of our Christian walk. Since we have offered ourselves to Christ, to obey our new master whole heartedly, we no longer can obey our old master! "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24) 'Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin which leads to death or to obedience which leads to righteousness?' (Romans 6:16) We are called to love righteousness and hate sin just as Jesus did. 'You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God , your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.' (Psalm 45:7) We are to learn obedience as Christ did and obey him just as he obeyed his Father. 'Although being a Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who OBEY him.' (Hebrews 5:8-9) For this we too were 'chosen according to the foreknowledge of God through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood.' (1 Peter 1:2) Unless we obey the Gospel, there is no sprinkling in the blood that sanctifies, without which there can be no righteousness because the Holy Spirit wouldn't indwell in our hearts. Hence obedience to the faith is required of us to be declared righteous. While many Jews 'did not submit to God's righteousness' ( Romans 10:3), 'a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.' (Acts 6:7) The Gospel is an universal call to obedience and its messengers have have been given the task even to
'call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And so you are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.' (Romans 1:5-6) This is in fulfillment of the prophecy that Jacob said about Judah. 'The sceptre will not depart from Judah nor the ruler's staff from between his feet ... and the obedience of the nations is his.' (Genesis 49:10) Amen.