A discussion had started in a blog post from a week or so and I wanted to move the discussion here.
One objection to the idea of obedience as part of the salvation process is that obedience in some way takes the glory away from God. It is argued that if man obeys God then salvation becomes man-centered and not God centered. But is this true?
I do not think it has to be so. The main reason being that God has required obedience from man as part of the salvation process, but yet Scripture still affirms that all the glory in salvation is to be given to God. Most religious groups argue that belief and repentance (I would add confession of Lordship and baptism) are prerequisites to salvation. Both belief and repentance are obedient actions. Yet, even with these prerequisites salvation is still a gift from God.
Although it might make sense to say that obedience lessens God’s glory in some way, I think that Scripture does not follow. Scripture both lays out that man is required to obey, but yet salvation glorifies God and not man, because without Him stepping into human history and dying for us we would have no hope.
Now is it possible that obedience takes away glory from God? Once again I would say yes. If we obey believing that our obedience in some way makes us worthy of our salvation, then we have missed the point and taken the glory away from God. Instead our attitude should be like that of Luke 17:10. Even when we do all that is required we are still unworthy servants.
Therefore obedience, which comes from faith, is still God-centered and glory is still God’s not ours.
What say you?