5.1 Living in faith according to God's commandments

Belief in God has a decisive effect on the life of an individual as a whole. Believers strive to live up to the will of God through their thoughts and actions. They recognise in God the author of a righteous order.

In order that human beings may conduct themselves within the framework of this order, God, as their Creator, has given them commandments. The commandments bring to expression God's will concerning the structure of mankind's relationship with Him. Beyond that, they constitute the foundation for constructive relationships between people.

Since believers acknowledge God as their Lord and trust His works in awareness of His omniscience, they will inquire into the will of God and endeavour to subject their own will to His.

Already in the time of the Old Testament, there were men and women who allowed their faith to determine their actions. Hebrews 11 lists some examples. These witnesses of faith are also examples for Christians. Hebrews 12: 1 admonishes us to lay aside the "sin which so easily ensnares us", and courageously pursue the path of faith in battle against sin.

The greatest example is Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. He was one with His Father and always subordinated His will to the will of God (Luke 22: 42). His unconditional obedience and fulfilment of all things which the Father had commanded Him encourages us to follow, and demands a conduct of life in accordance with His example: "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love" (John 15: 10). Thus Jesus Christ is the author of eternal salvation for all those who follow Him in believing obedience (Hebrews 5: 8-9).

Part of the Christian faith is the knowledge that salvation is attained by receiving the sacraments. The receiving of these divine acts of salvation and the expectation of the imminent return of Christ causes them to deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts [and] live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2: 12-14).

To live "godly in the present age" means to align one's thoughts and actions with the will of God out of childlike trust, free from all hypocrisy and pretence. The basis of this childlike trust in our heavenly Father is His love for mankind. In obedience of faith, man subordinates himself to the divine will.

To establish "obedience to the faith" in the name of Jesus is the task of the Apostle ministry (Romans 1: 5; 16: 25-26). Those who remain in this obedience will align their lives by the doctrine of Christ (Romans 6: 17). That is true life in faith in accordance with God's commandments. It is in this manner that mankind's love for God comes to expression.

SUMMARY

God's will concerning the way in which our relationship with Him should be structured comes to expression in the Commandments. They furthermore constitute the foundation for prosperous relationships between human beings. (5.1)

Human beings accept God as their Lord in faith. They trust in Him and strive to live up to the will of God in their thoughts and actions. (5.1)

Jesus' unconditional obedience to His Father calls upon us to follow, and demands a conduct of life in accordance with His example. (5.1)

See also