12 January 2011

Obey the Gospel

Does this fit into your present understanding of the gospel?
'But they have not all obeyed the gospel.' --Romans 10:16

'. . . inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus . . .' --2 Thessalonians 1:8

'For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?' --1 Peter 4:17
Let's keep Bible-izing our theology.


Pete Scribner said...

Glad you're back in the saddle!

I've been thinking a lot over the last few weeks about the idea of "obeying" the gospel. My tendency is (a la Horton, etc.) to consider the gospel as a message to be proclaimed as opposed to a rule to be obeyed, so thank you for pointing out my need to constantly have my understanding reformed by Scripture.

That being said, what exactly do you think it looks like to "obey" the gospel? Is this merely a synonym for "believe" the gospel? It seems to me that it probably is in the first two references you give, but the 1 Peter passage seems to me to perhaps suggest otherwise. Your thoughts?

Dane Ortlund said...

Hi Pete. Hope you are well my brother.

Good question. I wonder about what other thoughts you yourself have. I'd say, no, obey the gospel is not a straight synonym for believe the gospel. Obey the gospel seems to be to be a shorthand way for a biblical writer to denote wholesale subjection of one's life, all that we are, to Christ. Surrender to him, a yielding that includes faith-unto-justification but is broader than just this.

It would be interesting to see how J Edwards reflects on these texts.