Obedience… The Errors Simply Do Not Cease

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…

Amen.

  3 comments for “Obedience… The Errors Simply Do Not Cease

  1. Jamesguyo@gmail.com
    March 29, 2022 at 2:59 am

    Mr. Curt Widely (sp) , you are still tracking me and drawing false conclusions about my teaching..

    May the Lord be kind to you…

    There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with my statements that you vainly tried to pick apart..

    This proves that your claim to obedience is FALSE, because here you are, claiming to be obedient and righteous and yet doing the very opposite..

    If you are a righteous person in your self as you purport to be, why don’t you follow up with me, as I requested..

    I gave you my contact details to reach me…

    You surely think that I don’t know all those verses that you quoted?????

    There is NO SPIRITUAL WRESTLINGS that you are doing..

    You are targeting me so that you can build your own flesh..

    God have mercy on you…

    Like

    • March 29, 2022 at 4:23 am

      Quick Points:
      1. Your comments are public and we once shared similar circles. Your teaching is dangerous and since very few other people are as open with such error as you are on a regular basis, it makes for good source material. Trust me, if I could find someone else who writes the things you write… especially as often as you write them, I would have switched.

      2. You wrote “There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with my statements that you vainly tried to pick apart…” I understand you feel that way. However, I do not deal in mere assertions, I look to Scripture. I took your words, in context (as I always do), and I compared them to what the Bible states. You maintain that there is nothing wrong with what you wrote, and yet, you do not explain why you believe this to be the case. You offer nothing scriptural to (1) back up your claims or to (2) refute mine. You also offer no biblical (doctrinal) commentary… you simply make it about my conduct and motives. Read my article again James… you will find very little of “me” in it… it’s filled quite heavily with the words/promises of God. You have to deal with His word… you can’t continue to duck this matter.

      3. You stated “This proves that your claim to obedience is FALSE, because here you are, claiming to be obedient and righteous and yet doing the very opposite.”

      Your statement is illogical. My refutation of your errors does not “prove that [my] claim to obedience is false.” Firstly, in reviewing my articles, you will not find any focus on “my obedience” or “my claims to obedience.” What you will find is a thorough affirmation that God enables ALL of His quickened people to obey His commandments (to one degree or another, albeit not perfectly in this body of death), because He works said obedience in them, giving them both the will and the ability to do of HIS good pleasure (Phil 2:12-13). He promises to put HIS Spirit within the born again believer, CAUSING THEM to walk in His statutes, so that they SHALL KEEP His judgments, AND DO THEM. This is from scripture James.

      Secondly, you maintain that my addressing and refuting your error “proves that [my supposed] claim to obedience is FALSE, because here you are, claiming to be obedient and righteous and yet doing the very opposite.” — James, true believers have quoted and refuted those who put forth error for centuries. Look at my article on the Gospel Standard, or the Earthen Vessel, or any other number of faithful periodicals over the centuries wherein people have quoted, and refuted, error. You have a lot of work to do to prove that such action is somehow sinful or unrighteous based upon biblical standards.

      Think about it. You accuse me of unrighteousness and disobedience simply for taking your words, in context, and evidencing how harmful they are to the saints. James, we communicated before, we were even discussing meeting up in Tennessee. I laboured extensively on your page to highlight these errors of yours (a couple of years back) and you repeatedly twisted my words to make it look like I promoted the “law of Moses” or that I was ‘seeking a righteousness of my own.’ Even when I repeatedly emphasized that this had nothing to do with the Mosaic Law, or the law of ordinances, or trying to establish a righteousness apart from, or in lieu of Christ’s, you still spun it as me promoting such nonsense. I eventually gave up with you, and with many others on Facebook, because you all were more focused on your trite anomian/antinomian soundbites, than on the Word of God, in context, and holistically considered.

      I have zero need to re-engage with you directly, when (in light of these articles), you cannot honestly address the scriptural refutations I put forth in your replies. In one instance, you went back and edited your work to ‘explain what you really meant.’ How about saying what you really meant in the first place so you don’t have to double-back and fix things.

      Third, trust me James, I am far from perfect in my obedience (I lament this daily… how far I fall short), and my righteousness is in and of Christ alone…. However, that doesn’t invalidate my argument. You can’t accuse me of improper conduct for showing that your argument that the Father is only pleased with Christ’s obedience, and not the Christian’s own, when Scripture makes it clear that He is pleased with our obedience, even if the experimental working out of that obedience is of His grace, strength, and mercy, by the Holy Spirit…. and not from anything of the Christian’s own carnal mustering up.

      You wrote “If you are a righteous person in your self as you purport to be, why don’t you follow up with me, as I requested…” Again, straw man argument. I never claimed to be a “righteous person in myself;” (“in myself” James? Really? You can do better than that)… it is a nonsensical statement. One can completely acknowledge that the Christian’s righteousness / upright standing before God is 100% of Christ, and yet understand that “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all GOOD WORKS.” This isn’t about establishing a righteousness of one’s own, or trusting in one’s own good works… This is simply about (a) affirming the truth that God enables His people to walk uprightly (and to grow in said walk) despite their many failings and (b) refuting the notion that God’s people ‘cannot obey,’ and/or that God is not pleased with their obedience.”
      Again, what do you do with verses like Hebrews 13:16 “But to DO GOOD and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is WELL PLEASED.” When I compare your words to God’s, “Let God be true and every man a liar” constantly runs through my mind.

      You wrote “You surely think that I don’t know all those verses that you quoted?????” James, if you know them, quote them, write about them, provide your followers with a holistic context concerning them. Give them the whole counsel of God. Stop lying to them with half truths and inaccurate statements. I get it’s important to you to claim to know these verses (despite your neglect to discuss them), to claim that I am taking you out of context, and to claim that I don’t know what you ‘really’ mean. I get it… but I need you to get this James… If you speak clearly, state what you actually mean, use scriptural references to thoroughly back up your claims, and address those passages that appear to (or in many cases, actually…) refute your assertions, so that people have a complete picture, there would be no room for ‘so many people’ to come against you (as you yourself claim).

      Again, we ran in the same circles, we know the same people, we have communicated (think about it James, how did you come to know about these articles in the first place… either you were subscribed… or a mutual acquaintance alerted you). It causes me very real sorrow to know that people I know, and care about (whether they think so or not), are trapped in the anomian/antinomian error, and saying “Amen” to your often empty pontifications and hobby-horsing.

      Regarding your claim “There is NO SPIRITUAL WRESTLINGS that you are doing… You are targeting me so that you can build your own flesh…” << Oh James, you would like to believe that, you need to believe that, you have to believe that…. Because the other alternative is that I am sincere in my desire to highlight your errors, and warn others concerning them, unto their good (and hopefully yours). It has to be just about me wanting to 'make a name for myself,' or 'puff myself up,' because the other alternative would suggest that I have serious issues with your doctrine, and maybe — just maybe, there is just cause to have such concerns.

      But let's analyze prudently. Once again, you offer zero scriptural prooftexts, make no scriptural counter-arguments, and yet you persist in imputing false motives, utilizing straw men / red herring arguments, trying to make it about "my (personal) righteousness" (which is not what I have been writing about at all); and evidence that you simply do not know what biblical obedience is, if you think that me refuting your errors is disobedience (to God's commands) on my part. I can't even believe I have to point this out to a 'preacher' of the word. You are doing in your replies here, the same type of thing you were doing when trying to reason with you via Facebook… Your M.O. hasn’t changed. It’s just ducking, slandering, misrepresenting, etc. — and so very often without any attempt to reference Scripture to back up your claims.

      Imagine (in the time you took to write your reply), you addressed even just one passage I shared, let alone the nearly a dozen. Imagine if you openly put forth one decent doctrinal counter to the position that I openly take (for the edification of others), rather than seeking a closed-door (behind the scenes conversation), or simply claiming you're right without evidencing why. Believe me, if I was writing about personal (immoral) misconduct on your part (I do not know of any, and would not write about it even if I did), then it would make perfect since to take this private. However, you openly…. for all to see… put forth anomian/antinomian error, on a nigh daily basis no less, so I openly aim to address them. Show a good faith effort publicly (unto the edification of others) to evidence why my refutation is erroneous, show that you can do more than impute false motives and make emotional arguments, and maybe at some point it will be worth trying to discuss these things again more fully and directly. Just give me, no give all reading, something better than the vanity you put forth in your original posts, and in your replies to my articles.

      Like

    • March 30, 2022 at 9:54 pm

      James, come now… do better. As a “Preacher” you must do better. Lets be truthful in our dealings. Since I cannot reply to the public slander on your Facebook feed (convenient), but since you did link to my site thereon, I am putting forth the following for you, and for those of yours who may click that link to review:

      1. Regarding “There is a guy by the name of Curt Wildy (sp) who has devoted his blog to writing about me, of course to undo my gospel testimony, which of course id a fools errand……”

      James, I have over 1,000 published posts; less than half a dozen are about you. How does six out of a 1,000 amount to me devoting my blog to being about you? Do you think about what you say before commenting? Moreover, Anomian heresy is not the Gospel… I’m also not a lawyer, by choice, having never practiced as one, despite having a law degree. And if I am a “(liar)” as you claim, then why haven’t you proved it yet? In fact, why haven’t you put forth a single example of a lie that I have told? What kind of “Gospel preacher” are you?

      2. Regarding “A lot of people who play games like these have multiple FB accounts and names and they play these guerilla tactics because THEY ARE NOT OF THE TRUTH..”

      James, we share the same circles (well, we used to), I see your stuff on their pages, it saddens me for the reasons discussed in the articles. Me pointing out your Anomian error does not amount to guerilla tactics… especially since I am not capable of replying to your comments on your Facebook page due to your own settings… If me seeing your public posts, and refuting them, amounts to “guerilla tactics” — you have a very poor understanding of guerilla tactics (there are some books I can recommend). Also, I have but one FB account… not multiple. It is true that I’ve had at least two previous ones, but they were deleted for reasons having nothing to do with you. What it had to do with was burn-out. As I began to see the anomian and sandemanian errors spreading, I tried reasoning with those who cannot be reasoned with, those that I very much considered friends. They have so drunken your type of kool-aid on the matter that they fail to take into account the very passages you ‘claim to know about’ but almost never (if ever) quote, expound upon, or otherwise address.

      3. Regarding “I gave him my email and phone number to reach me if he really cared to teach me the GOSPEL and it has not happened..more than a month has passed…. Why? Because he knows it will NOT WORK WELL FOR HIM””

      You are correct on this, perhaps the only thing you have been right about. I have not called or emailed you because (a) based upon past discussions with you and (b) based upon your current replies, it would be futile. You have yet to refute one point of doctrine, you have yet to address one of the scriptural passages (out of dozens) I have provided… All you do is impute false motives, misrepresent stances, respond emotionally, and pound your chest as if you are some great Gospel preacher who the world reproaches due to your great fidelity to imputed righteousness. It’s laughable James.

      Imagine if you could respond honestly. Imagine if you could say what you actually meant the first time without having to edit or explain away. Imagine if you addressed the actual doctrinal concerns I raised rather than ducking them altogether. Imagine if you referenced just one or two biblical passages that I provided (again, out of dozens), and addressed them honestly, like a faithful preacher would do. Imagine if you did that instead of completely ignoring the key scriptural matters only to focus on personal ones? Then we could have common ground for direct email, or a call, or whatever…. Then we would have something intelligent, something tangible, something scriptural to work with. However, your responses, like your daily soundbites, are all pomp, fluff, so it would be futile indeed to have a side bar. You state your position publicly, as do I, and like men we should be able to withstand it… Galatians 2:14 “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter BEFORE THEM ALL (i.e. publicly) If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” — the point? Personal matters require personal (private) discussion. Vital doctrinal matters should never be side-barred with a private duck and hide.

      James, do your fans a favor, address these issues on your page (where I can’t respond, as you know)… Prove me wrong through thorough and proper exegesis. Evidence why my analysis of your error is wrong. Show people you can do more than engage in straw men / red herrings, ducking the scriptural arguments, and boasting yourself up regarding your ‘preaching.’ Be honest for once… even if on your own page.

      Like

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