“Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this LIFE.”
” … the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are LIFE.”
The laws of God are described as being sound wisdom and discretion, because that’s what it teaches us when we exercise and apply them.
“My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be LIFE unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.”
And although we could never earn salvation by the works of the law; because only the blood of Jesus could pay that debt, we have some conditional terms of God’s covenant we must perform in order to receive and retain that free gift.
Believing, confession and repentance are part of God’s laws governing His heavenly sanctuary and the Melchisedecian priesthood. No one could receive the free gift of salvation without doing these three laws, even though keeping those laws doesn’t earn it for them and doing these things still isn’t of ourselves (“not of yourselves, it is the gift of God”). It’s of God that we perform them because He commanded us to do them.
“For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the DOERS of the law shall be justified.”
So when the disciples in Acts 5:20 were commanded to go and speak “all the words of this life”, which was the covenant of salvation also called the gospel of Jesus Christ, the people had to respond to the words they heard. They had to bring forth action and that’s why we have this scripture:
“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not BEING MIXED WITH faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed DO enter into rest, as He said…”
The spoken word alone by itself didn’t profit them, they didn’t receive any life giving benefit from just hearing the word, it had to be mixed with faith. They had to believe and obey which is what true saving faith is described as being in James chapter 2.
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
God has defined what true saving faith is which is believing and obeying, so this scripture in Ephesians should look more complete.
“For by grace are ye saved THROUGH faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Salvation is not of ourselves because once we sinned and lost our lives because of the death penalty of “the wages of sin is death” law; we became defiled and unclean. It was impossible for us to redeem ourselves no matter what we did or how many laws we kept after that. We could never save ourselves.
“Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?”
“Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.”
“And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY Him”
“And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that OBEY Him.”
The gospel is to be obeyed.
The covenant is to be kept.
“But they have not all OBEYED the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”
“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that OBEY NOT the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that OBEY NOT the gospel of God?”
“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.”