Ambiguous Anomian/Antinomian commentary, without scriptural proof-text to support and clarify, will state something along the lines of…
“God loves obedience.. THAT IS TRUE.. The question is, what kind of obedience and whose obedience..???? One’s answer is revealing of their gospel whether TRUE OR FALSE. God loves the obedience of Christ and no other… Did you see the NO OTHER? Yes, NO OTHER .. Why? Because only Christ’s obedience honors the holiness and righteousness of God… What about my own obedience? What kind? Obedience of works or obedience to faith.. Your obedience of and by works is no obedience because it is sin infested and thus by the works of the Law (the flesh) shall no man be declared as righteous….The only obedience that pleases God is that of Christ and this is the obedience that God sees and reckons to all the redeemed… This is what the redeemed look to and claim to be their own obedience… And this is the obedience of faith which came by the faithfulness of Christ… More can be said, but you ought to know and understand these things because there are many tangential voices that are hell bent on minimizing the sufficiency of the substitutionary nature of all things salvation. This is free..”
Note that sometimes that which “is free” is also incomplete, defective, and potentially dangerous. For example, when you read the above-quoted text (which is in its current complete context), you see that the author fails to distinguish between Christian obedience and non-Christian obedience. He fails to distinguish between obedience FOR righteousness and obedience IN LIGHT OF having been given a perfect righteousness (as found only in Christ Jesus the Lord). The author makes no distinction between (a) the carnal attempts of those still dead in trespasses and sin to do good (i.e., to obey the spiritual law of God) and (b) the Spirit-wrought efforts made manifest by God’s people to obey God’s holy law/commandments.
To be 100% clear, God will accept no obedience whatsoever besides Christ’s obedience, when it comes to salvation, justification, or any other right aspect of our legal standing before God. No amount of obedience, if in lieu of Christ’s obedience, is in any way acceptable before The Father. The whole of our salvation must be completely grounded upon who Christ is, what Christ is, and what He accomplished salvifically for His people at Calvary. Simply and emphatically put, Christ’s obedience and righteousness is indeed the only obedience and righteousness pleasing to God for salvation.
However, what of God’s born from above people? What about the the God-wrought obedience of God’s people? Is their manifest/experimental obedience pleasing to the Lord? Are their God-enabled good works pleasing in His sight? Is their desire and effort to obey the extant law of God pleasing to Him? Let God be true and every man a liar, as we consider these things.
To begin, note the following:
Colossians 3:20 – Children, obey [your] parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
What is that passage saying? Is obedience to parents, which is obedience to the Lord, pleasing to God or not? This passage states that it is indeed pleasing to God and yet the author of the quoted text states “God loves the obedience of Christ and no other… Did you see the NO OTHER? Yes, NO OTHER .. Your obedience of and by works is no obedience because it is sin infested and thus by the works of the Law (the flesh) shall no man be declared as righteous….The only obedience that pleases God is that of Christ…”
Talk about confusion. The author’s rabid inability to avoid confusing and conflating the differing aspects of obedience causes him to err greatly in his (noticeably scriptureless) commentary on the matter. Moreover, what about:
Colossians 1:9-12 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God… 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light…”
Hebrews 13:15-16 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased…”
Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Philippians 2:12-13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [His] good pleasure.“
1 John 3:18-24 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-3 “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort [you] by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, [so] ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication…”
2 Timothy 2:3-4 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
First, reread the following from the author at issue….
“God loves the obedience of Christ and no other… Did you see the NO OTHER? Yes, NO OTHER .. Your obedience of and by works is no obedience because it is sin infested and thus by the works of the Law (the flesh) shall no man be declared as righteous….The only obedience that pleases God is that of Christ…”
Then, reread the multiple scriptural passages provided above, noting the emphasized text therein. Once done, it should be beyond clear that the true Christian (according to the sovereign grace and mercy of God the Father, through vital union with Christ, and by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit) can indeed obey God in a manner that is pleasing to His sight.
Thus, I simply cannot understand the vain pontifications of men who claim to be Gospel preachers, but are seemingly wholly ignorant of such key aspects of (1) the promises of God to His people and (2) the working of the Holy Spirit within them to bring about these promises. The “we can’t obey!” men have little to no understanding of what true salvation is all about. We are saved to serve, to obey, and to glorify God!
True salvation isn’t about soundbites, memes, empty statements without scriptural backing, etc. True salvation is a truly repentant life, being stripped more and more of self, and being made more and more a willing servant, a willing slave even, to God, His kingdom, His people, and His spiritual law. When these men unrepentantly say they can’t obey…. I agree with them (they can’t). When they say God has no pleasure in their obedience, I will not argue with them; given the clear scriptural commentary, I trust their words (concerning themselves) in this regard.
However, concerning God’s people, they will be brought more and more to a desire to serve him, bow before him, and to do (not their own will) but His. As much as they wish they could, they will never obey unto perfection in this life, but the desire to do so (after the inward man) is there. Thus, though they will not lie against God by saying they “cannot obey,” they will readily admit, “we cannot obey to the degree that we ought, to the degree that we would like, to the degree that we so very much wish that we could… but we can and will obey to the extent that God enables, as we strive to be, and pray for the grace to be, more and more obedient to the very Lord and Master who saved us from our sin, and the everlasting wrath due it.”
God does not demand perfection of His quickened people because they already have perfect Righteousness (obedience), Sanctification, and Redemption in Christ. However, God nonetheless takes pleasure in the good works (the works of obedience) of His people, seeing once again, that “…we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” [Ephesians 2:10].
Finally, the Christian should never desire to boast in their obedience, or seek to take credit for any good they do, seeing it is all wrought of God, albeit through them. We can take no credit for the good that we do, seeing that all glory must rightly be given to God, seeing that without Christ we can do nothing. Therefore, I find it incredibly hard to believe that any Christian would boast in, point to, or highlight his or her own works, seeing how often we know and feel them to be infinitely below (1) what we would want them to be, and (2) the perfection found in Christ…
And yet… that doesn’t mean we should not strive unto obedience and good works, encouraging the brethren to do the same, seeing that such efforts from His people are, indeed, pleasing to God. Rather than engaging in some outward show of false piety, and false humility, by claiming we can’t do anything pleasing to God as it relates to our works, let’s affirm the promises of God in Christ Jesus, and the effectual working of the Spirit of Christ, by striving to work out these works, albeit giving God the glory for every single aspect of them. When we have victory in a certain area, growth in a certain area, let us thank God for it, praying He will sustain it, but nevertheless using the means He has provided unto us to be throughly furnished unto all good works [2 Timothy 3:16].
To God alone be the glory, in Christ Jesus…