There are many descriptions of coming to salvation in Scripture but Acts 6:7 contains one of my favorites. "And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many priests became obedient to the faith." Since true faith always leads to obedience, those priests who became obedient to the faith received the salvation of God.
Interestingly, Paul uses this phrase, obedience of faith, at both the beginning and the end of his letter to the Romans. Describing Jesus in Romans 1:5 Paul says, "through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among the nations." The reason Paul received God's grace and calling as an apostle was to proclaim the Gospel which leads to obedient faith.
Romans 16:25-27 is Paul's closing prayer. "Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen." The revelation of Jesus as the Christ, the mystery God kept secret, has been made known to bring people to the obedience of faith.
We should not be surprised at Paul's emphasis on faithful obedience since Jesus is very blunt about its necessity. In John 14:15-21, Jesus makes sure we know if we love Him, we will obey Him. Jesus brackets this passage with "If you love me, you will keep my commandments... Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me."
Lord Jesus, we not only want to be hearers of Your word, but we want to be doers also. Holy Spirit, thank You for the gift of faith. Please stir in us persistent obedience based on our love of our Lord and Savior.
There are numerous passages in Scripture which cause me to stop. Jeremiah 15:1-9 is most assuredly one of those.
Reading this passage forces me to acknowledge that the patient, long-suffering, Sovereign God of the universe places limits even on His chosen people. It is frightening to hear the LORD tell Jeremiah that even if Moses and Samuel asked Him, He would not change His mind. God's explanation of where the people are to go and how they are to be destroyed is unsettling. But to hear Him say "I am weary of relenting" is grievous. How much had this group of people presumed about the God of Israel? How much do I presume about Him?
The LORD attributes what He is about to do to the nation of Israel to Manasseh. 2 Chronicles 33:1-20 and 2 Kings 21:1-18 provide the details of Manasseh's life. 2 Chronicles 33:9 says, "Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel." Judah became worse than the nations God wanted Israel to utterly destroy when He gave them the Promised Land. In 2 Chronicles 33:12-13 Manasseh humbles himself before the LORD, and God heard his prayer of repentance. Even though Manasseh is restored, Jeremiah 15 describes the consequences of his sinful leadership.
LORD God Almighty, You are patient and long-suffering, but there are consequences for our sin. Please convict us and give us hearts to repent quickly. May our sin not result in leading others to forsake You.