How to Stay Close to Christ
dren of God especially need to guard: The first is that of looking to their own works, trusting to anything they can do, to bring themselves into har- mony with God. All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin. It is the grace of Christ alone, through faith, which can make us holy.
The opposite and no less dangerous error is that belief in Christ releases men from keeping the law of God; that since by faith alone we be- come partakers of the grace of Christ, our works have nothing to do with our redemption.
Obedience is the fruit of faith. Righteousness is defined by the standard of God’s holy law, as ex- pressed in the ten commandments (Ex. 20:3-20). That so-called faith in Christ, which professes to release men from the obligation of obedience to God, is not faith, but presumption. The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been,— just what it was in paradise before the fall of our first parents,—perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized.
Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connec- tion with Christ by faith and the continual sur- render of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure.