I was sitting with a group of pastors this week when one of them mentioned that he was considering a new book where the author described our relationship with Christ in terms of our allegiance to Him rather than just faith.
Allegiance is only used six times in the Scriptures. Four of those terms are used to describe allegiance toward God. It is not a term that is used often but I will propose that it is not a bad term to describe our relationship to Christ, here is why:
The basic idea of allegiance basically means devotion or loyalty to a person, group or cause. While many of us do not use that term often in our normal dialogues it certainly does fit our relationship with Christ. Think about what Christ called people to do in Luke 9:23
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
– Luke 9:23 (NAS)
Allegiance to Christ requires our full devotion and loyalty. Our faith is not simply a “decision” that we made at one point in life and then we can do our own thing for the rest or our life because we have done the “one thing” that will guarantee our seat in heaven. The Scriptures are clear that when we yield our life to Christ it is enrolling in a new way of life where we surrender to Christ’s leadership and giving Him our full allegiance. Here is how Paul described his idea of allegiance:
I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
– Rom 12:1 (NAS)
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
– Gal 2:20 (NAS)
This does not nullify faith at all. In fact it may help empower the term in our 21st century mindset that helps us truly embrace the full reality of the true nature of faith. For us to conclude that faith and allegiance are antithetical would be a mistake. Nor should we see them as completely different ideas either. Rather it might be better to see that allegiance is the full expression of genuine, biblical faith. If we say that we believe in Jesus or we have placed our faith in Christ then the inevitable result is that we will be loyal and devoted to Christ in the way we live and how we act. Do any of us do that perfectly? No, but our whole attitude if fueled by biblical faith is that we are always seeking how to be loyal and devoted to live for Christ in every aspect of our lives.
This may be a new concept to some but it may also flesh out a very old idea that has always been inherent in the idea of biblical faith. If you and I say we believe in Jesus then our allegiance to Him should be evident in the way we live… it is not an option!