Why can one only be saved if he is obedient? Is this not works salvation?

In regards to your article on evangelism by Tozer in your newsletter, I wonder why one can only be saved if he is obedient? Is this not works salvation?

The only obedience that is necessary for salvation is yielding to the requirements of the gospel (John 3:16, Acts 16:30,31). What Tozer is pointing out is that obedience is the evidence, not the basis, of salvation. If Christianity is indeed a relationship instead of a religion, how is it possible to be unchanged by contact with the holy, awesome, personal Creator of the Universe? James addresses the same issue when he says that “faith without works is dead,” the works (obedience) again being evidence of saving faith. Jesus Himself says in Luke 6:46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”

I think that Tozer is combating the notion, even more popular now in our day, that we can have Jesus and therefore salvation on terms we decide; if it is only as Savior without the bothersome need to surrender to Him as the rightful Lord of our lives, so much the better! But as Lord, He decides the terms. The obedience that Tozer (and Jesus!) calls us to is not sacrificial duty, but the joyful response of growing love for the One who “first loved us.”

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