The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Many believe this verse says we don’t have to obey God’s commandments, but that we can still be saved just as long as we believe. Is this right? Not if you understand your Bible!
What do you mean by believe? The word believe implies faith, conviction, trust, certainty.
If we believe on or in Jesus Christ — and, more important, if we believe what He says — we come to know Him. Notice what I John 2:4 says about those who claim to know Jesus Christ: “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ ” — that is, he who believes on Christ — “and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
This is about as strong as a verse can get in the Bible. It is also abundantly clear and straightforward. Anyone who says he believes but refuses to obey is a liar, according to God. He doesn’t really believe what Jesus Christ said. What did Jesus say? What did He command us to believe? “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15, Authorized Version). The Gospel deals with obedience! Notice:
- “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).
- “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (I John 2:3).
- “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:3).
- Acts 5:29 says, “We ought to obey God.” And to whom does God give His Spirit? “To those who obey Him” (verse 32).
- “Faith [belief] without works is dead” (James 2:26).
Why is obedience so necessary? Because “the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). The law of God is good for you. Sin is bad for you. That’s why Jesus Christ commands you to obey God’s law — it’s for your own good! Will you believe Him?