Saturday, January 16, 2010

Obeying from the heart; The obedience of faith: Part I

The introductory post explains the purposes, goals and scope of this blog. If you have not read it, I suggest you start there and then, look through the posts to get a feeling for where I have gone and where I am going. But, if you don’t have the time, feel free to read this post alone. The blog is meant to be a series however.
It seems like the right place to inject the concept of the the obedience of faith and obeying from the heart. This will help us gain some insight into the purpose of the law in the transition between the covenants. The place to begin is with Paul’s concept of obedience. I am afraid that we will have to get a little nuanced and technical for this inquiry; so bear with me and if I don’t communicate the idea well enough don’t hesitate to contact me or comment. This is a very important part of my paradigm shift and so it will take a few posts to explain this in the detail necessary.
First, we will look at Romans 1:5 from two different versions of the bible:
Rom 1:5 ESV  through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
Rom 1:5 KJV  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Do you notice the difference? In the ESV it says obedience of faith and in the KJV it says obedience to the faith. This makes a big difference. Obedience of faith is obedience that is brought about by faith and, obedience to the faith is obedience to a set of principals known as the faith. Which did Paul mean? Did he mean obedience to the faith, i.e., obedience to a set of principals or, did he mean the obedience of faith, an obedience that comes from faith? Would it surprise you to find out that he meant the obedience of faith? He did.
So how do we prove this? Well, if you look at Romans 16:26 in the KJV you will see that it was rendered as; But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: The Greek phrase is the same in both verses. The exact Greek phrase is hupakoen pisteos. Pisteos is the genitive case of the noun pistis and thereby, must be rendered as the obedience of faith.
This leaves us wondering why it was translated as obedience to the faith in the KJV. Especially when it was translated as obedience of faith in Romans 16:26 in the KJV. Was it a mistake or, was there a doctrinal ax to grind? In either case, it is a very big difference in meaning.
This concept will be key in explaining the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant and will help us look at obedience from a different perspective. In the next post we will look at Romans 6:17 in relation to this idea in that verse Paul speaks of obeying from the heart.


  1. Preaching on this tomorrow and while tweaking my message came across your study. Very helpful and essential to the very point we are attempting to communicate to our folks, Thanks!
    Bruce Abercrombie, <><

  2. It really does not surprise me that Paul meant obedience of faith, because he was the epitome of faith. The bible tells us that we cannot please our Father without faith. This is the kind of faith that you have to have from the heart. When things are so rough that you think you are going to lose your mind, how much peace can we get from a set of principals vs. our Father?


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