Today I read this passage from Cyprian:
But how can we possess immortality, unless we keep those commands of Christ whereby death is driven out and overcome, when He Himself warns us, and says, If you will enter into life, keep the commandments? (Matthew 19:17) And again: If you do the things that I command you, henceforth I call you not servants, but friends. (John 14:15) Finally, these persons He calls strong and steadfast; these He declares to be founded in robust security upon the rock, established with immoveable and unshaken firmness, in opposition to all the tempests and hurricanes of the world. Whosoever, says He, hears my words, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, that built his house upon a rock: the rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (Matthew 7:24) We ought therefore to stand fast on His words, to learn and do whatever He both taught and did. But how can a man say that he believes in Christ, who does not do what Christ commanded him to do? Or whence shall he attain to the reward of faith, who will not keep the faith of the commandment? He must of necessity waver and wander, and, caught away by a spirit of error, like dust which is shaken by the wind, be blown about; and he will make no advance in his walk towards salvation, because he does not keep the truth of the way of salvation.
I feel the importance and weight of stressing that obedience cannot and will not save us - how could it? It is only by faith in Christ that we are rescued from our sins and delivered into God’s eternal kingdom.
And yet, what kind of faith do we have if it does not prompt us to obey Jesus, our Savior? What does it mean to call upon God for deliverance and neglect his good guidance? What does it say about our attitude towards God if we consider his commandments to be a curse rather than a blessing?
May the Holy Spirit give me a renewed imagination and capacity to do what God says.