Charles Haddon Spurgeon: The Kind of Faith Which Produces Obedience

It is, manifestly, faith in God as having the right to command our obedience.

He has a greater claim upon our ardent service than he has upon the services of angels; for, while they were created as we have been, yet they have never been redeemed by precious blood.

Our glorious Incarnate God has an unquestioned right to every breath we breathe, to every thought we think, to every moment of our lives, and to every capacity of our being.

This loyalty of our mind is based on faith, and is a chief prompter to obedience.

[W]e must have faith in the rightness of all that God says or does.

If the Lord be God, he must be infallible; and if he can be described as in error in the little respects of human history and science, he cannot be trusted in the greater matters.

The words of the Lord are like fine gold, pure, precious, and weighty—not one of them may be neglected. We hear people talk about “minor points,” and so on; but we must not consider any word of our God as a minor thing, if by that expression is implied that it is of small importance.

We must accept every single word of precept, or prohibition, or instruction, as being what it ought to be, and neither to be diminished nor increased. We should not reason about the command of God as though it might be set aside or amended. He bids: we obey.

[W]e must have faith in the Lord’s call upon us to obey.

We, who are his chosen, redeemed from among men, called out from the rest of mankind, ought to feel that if no other ears hear the divine call, our ears must hear it; and if no other heart obeys, our soul rejoices to do so.

Obedience arises out of a faith which is to us the paramount principle of action.

The true believer believes in God beyond all his belief in anything else, and everything else. He can say, “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” His faith in God has become to him the crown of all his beliefs; the most assured of all his confidences.

Obedience has become as much his rule as self-will is the rule of others.

We must have faith in God’s right to rule, faith in the rightness of his commands, faith in our personal obligation to obey, and faith that the command must be the paramount authority of our being.

Dear friend, have you this kind of faith?

Have I that faith which leads me to obey my God?

For obedience, if it be of the kind we are speaking of, is faith in action—faith walking with God, or, shall I say, walking before the Lord in the land of the living?

If we have a faith which is greedy in hearing, severe in judging, and rapid in self-congratulation, but not inclined to obedience, we have the faith of hypocrites.

If our faith enables us to set up as patterns of sound doctrine, and qualifies us to crack the heads of all who differ from us, and yet lacks the fruit of obedience, it will leave us among the “dogs” who are “‘without.”

The faith that makes us obey is alone the faith which marks the children of God.

It is better to have the faith that obeys than the faith which moves mountains. I would sooner have the faith which obeys than the faith which heaps the altar of God with sacrifices, and perfumes his courts with incense.

I would rather obey God than rule an empire; for, after all, the loftiest sovereignty a soul can inherit is to have dominion over self by rendering believing obedience to the Most High.

Thus much upon faith. “By faith Abraham obeyed;” and by faith only can you and I obey.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, from the sermon The Obedience of Faith, delivered on August 21st, 1890, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington