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28/06/2009 / Test All Things

A Short Study of Romans 6:17

“But ye have obeyed from the heart.”
(Romans 6:17)

This obedience is the obedience of faith in Christ and repentance of dead works that comes by the sovereign power of the Holy Spirit in the new birth. The “heart” is the mind, affections, and the will. It is the very center being of a person. This obedience from the heart is more than intellectual knowledge and outward form. As the heart is the center of the personality, intellect, motives, emotions, and will, no outward obedience is of the slightest value in glorifying God and exalting Christ unless the heart turns to God in Christ (Proverbs 23:26; Matthew 15:8).

Such obedience can only come from the heart established with grace (Hebrews 13:9), and the heart established with grace is fixed on Christ and His finished work to put away sin and establish righteousness by His death. This obedience from the heart, then, cannot be motivated by legal fear or earned reward. It can only be motivated in obedience by the constraint of the unconditional love of God to sinners in Christ (1 John 4:10).

This is what God the Holy Spirit brings sinners to in the new birth as He brings them to obey the Gospel. This is also what He sheds abroad within the hearts of God’s people (Romans 5:5).


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