Doctor's Orders

Dave Gifford

READ : James 2:14-26

Eternal life is a free gift from God based on Christ’s death on the cross, not something we achieve by merit or personal performance. I briefly fell under the spell of people who overprotect this crucial doctrine. To do this, they treat as suspicious any language that emphasizes obedience and repentance. “Salvation by works,” they label it. James 2 makes them uncomfortable.

When we become Christians we should accept the “whole package” Jesus offers us. This includes his authority over our lives. If we do not accept Jesus as our Lord, master and authority, are we not implying that he is not worth being accepted also as a Savior? Christ is either fully competent and reliable or he is not.

Saying that accepting Jesus means agreeing to


Jesus does not suddenly make our obedience a condition for salvation. No cured patient brags that she earned her recovery by faithfully adhering to her doctor’s orders. But neither does she expect a medicine to save her if she does not follow the prescription! God’s good news is not just a ticket to heaven. Sin is a deadly disease. Intimacy with God is true wellness. We dare not be selective as to which parts of the treatment we assent to.


Heal us, Great Physician. Make us fit both for eternity and for living out this day. Amen.