Many Christians totally reject works as a requirement for salvation for the sake of following Paul in spite of James warning and Jesus repeatedly taught us to do what He says. In this post, we will see how believing as mentioned by Jesus and His disciples, is synonymous to obedience.
God the Father
Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”Num 20:12
When God the Father spoke to Moses regarding his disobedience on what He said, God responds to Moses as if He didn’t believe Him. Moses did believe on who God is and what He is capable of, yet He didn’t obey Him.
Blessed [is] that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for [him,] and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint [him] his portion with the unbelievers.Luke 12:43-46
When Jesus was teaching, He showed that those who don’t do what the master says are called unbelievers.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. … For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”John 3:16,20-21
We can see how Jesus is using the term believing in Him synonymous to their deeds.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.John 5:24-25
Again, Jesus was using believing synonymous to doing good.
Therefore, to you who believe, [He is] precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”1 Pet 2:7
As you can read from his letter, those who don’t believe are disobedient. In other words, believers are those who obey.
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?Jas 2:19-20
The book of James is one of the best to counter Paul’s deceptions, to separate believe/faith vs works and clearly mention the requirement of works for salvation.
But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.Jude 1:5
Jude was not referring to a group of people who didn’t simply believe but it is synonymous in their action. They want to select a new leader and go back to Egypt, rebelling against God.
Author of Hebrews
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.Heb 11:1
The entire chapter of Hebrews 11 is about faith. By faith, the boat was not dropped from Heaven but Noah had to work on it obeying God’s voice. By faith, Abraham was not teleported to Canaan but had to trek leaving his home land. By faith, Jericho didn’t fell down on its own but Israelites had to obey God by circling it exactly as He said. By faith, the harlot Rahab did not continue in her prostitution but rejected the old life to become an ancestor of Jesus and helped spies which are works. As you can see faith or believing is synonymous to obedience or works or action. The author of Hebrews wasn’t referring to someone accepting of something as believing but rather, acting on what we believe.
Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?Luke 6:46
God the Father, Jesus Christ and His disciples – all taught that believing or faith is synonymous to obedience or action or works.